Have you ever noticed how you can gauge a person’s faith by how they pray? I’ve written about this before (“How would Jesus pray?”), but after just now receiving a particular prayer request, I can’t help but whine yet again.
I’m on a prayer chain at the church I attend. Tonight, after getting home from work and opening up email on my home computer, I found another in a continuous stream of prayer requesting messages. This one is for a certain person who has a medical problem and has been taken to the hospital. The request comes from their spouse, and what do you think they are asking for?
Let me see; first they want a “correct diagnosis of the problem.” Okay, the doctor can handle that. Then they ask for “effective treatment for physical healing.” Again, the doctor can probably handle that one as well. Next, they ask for “peace of mind for the family.” Well, I suppose the correct diagnosis and effective treatment will take care of the peace of mind. So far, I don’t see anything specifically for God. Oh wait, here’s one; the final request is for “a clear sense of God’s presence.” Last but not least I suppose.
I have to admit, I almost felt anger at this prayer request. It’s just so pathetic and weak. As I’ve written before (“Anything you want – just ask”), Jesus told us over and over again to ask for ANYTHING we want, and He will give it to us. So given that opportunity, the person submitting this prayer request asked for three things, before finally getting around to asking God for something only He can give.
Maybe look at it this way. If you went to the hospital in need of a complex surgical procedure, and you were given a choice of having a first year intern perform the surgery, or having the foremost specialist in the entire world do the surgery; who would you choose? By our lack of faith, too often we do not ask our foremost specialist for the kind of help that only He can give.
I did like their request to have a clear sense of God’s presence. And since I believe in what Jesus told us about asking for anything, I decided to ask for something that would bowl them over with God’s presence, the one thing that they should have asked for in the first place: I asked God for complete and spontaneous healing. Just for the fun of it, answer all four prayers with one holy healing. Maybe then they will understand the true power and love of God. And maybe then, they will no longer dishonor God with pitiful requests.
Please forgive me if I sound a bit harsh. A glass of red wine has a way of opening me up, so my true inner feelings spill out. And with that, good night and sweet dreams. (no matter what time it is when you read this, it’s bed time for me).
May God bless you and show you that He is capable of more than you can possibly image. Just ask Him, please.