Have you ever heard someone say:
“Be careful what you ask for? After all you might get it!”
Have you ever heard someone apply that notion to their prayer life? In other words:
“Don’t ask God for the wrong thing, because He might give it to us!”
While this attitude is commonly held by many, we need to consider if it is valid. Perhaps the best example (or most often cited example) biblically of this line thinking comes from the appointment of Saul as King of Israel (1 Samuel 8-10). The people of Israel wanted a King like the other nations . . . a King who “looked the part.” So God obliged and gave them Saul — a decision that led to many difficulties for the nation. So, at first glance, this story appears to prove the previous point . . . if we ask God for the wrong thing, He just might give it to us — and through it teach us a lesson.
Doesn’t that encourage you to pray more? Me neither! I am scared to ask for the wrong thing, so I might not ask for anything at all!
What is interesting to me, is that in Romans 8:26-30, the Apostle Paul lets all of those who are Christ followers know that a new dynamic exists in our prayer life. As Christians, when we pray we have One who COMMUNICATES the true desires of our hearts to God, AND who even CORRECTS our prayers if they are misguided – bringing them back in line with God’s will.
The example of Israel in the days of Saul and Samuel shows what prayer was like BEFORE Christ . . . but not after Christ. For those who are Christians, the Holy Spirit has come to take residence in our hearts communicating and correcting our prayers before they ever reach the ears of our Heavenly Father.
Doesn’t this encourage you to pray more? Me too! We need not fear asking for the wrong thing if we are praying “in Jesus name.” The Spirit makes it right.
This Sunday at Wildwood Community Church, we will be looking at Romans 8:26-30 together in part 6 of our “Spiritual Life” series. We hope you make plans to join us in our 9:30 or 11:00 worship service as we see more of God’s Spiritual provision for us as we live out the Christian life. Hope to see you there!