Two really good thoughts on prayer and asking God for certain things- one by Tozer and the other by Sproul.

The word wish in its modern sense has little or no place in the Christian’s vocabulary. The word occurs rarely in the Bible, and when it does it seldom means more than to will or desire. It is hard to conceive of anything more completely futile than wishing. It is significant that wishing is done mostly by children and superstitious people. However sweet and innocent it may appear to see a child going through his little ritual of wishing, it can become something far from harmless when carried over into adult life. And even the child should be taught very early that wishing gets him nowhere. The evil of the empty wish lies in the fact that the wisher is not adjusted to the will of God. He allows his desires to play over things that are entirely out of God’s will for him and dreams of possessing what he well knows he should not have. Five minutes of this futile dreaming and he has lost the fine edge off his spiritual life. Should the act ripen into a habit, his Christian life may be seriously injured. The man soon comes to substitute mere longing for hard work, and unless he corrects his fault sharply, he will degenerate into a spineless dreamer of empty dreams. Every desire should be brought to the test of God’s will. If the desire is out of the will of God, it should be instantly dismissed as unworthy of us. To continue to long for something that is plainly out of the will of God for us is to prove how unreal our consecration actually is. Tozer

Sometimes we all feel as if our prayers lack the power to penetrate our ceilings. It seems as though our petitions fall on deaf ears and God remains unmoved or unconcerned about our passionate pleading. Why do these feelings haunt us?
There are several reasons why we are sometimes frustrated in prayer. One is that our expectations are unrealistic. This, perhaps more than any other factor, leads to a frustration in prayer. We make the common mistake of taking statements of Jesus in isolation from other biblical aspects of teaching in prayer, and we blow these few statements out of proportion.
We hear Jesus say that if two Christians agree on anything and ask, it shall be given to them. Jesus made that statement to men who had been deeply trained in the art of prayer, men who already knew the qualifications of this generalization. Yet in a simplistic way we interpret the statement absolutely. We assume the promise covers every conceivable petition without reservation or qualification. Think of it. Would it be difficult to find two Christians who would agree that to end all wars and human conflict would be a good idea? Obviously not. Yet if two Christians agreed to pray for the cessation of war and conflict, would God grant their petition? Not unless He planned to revise the New Testament and its teaching about the future of human conflict.
Prayer is not magic. God is not a celestial bellhop at our beck and call to satisfy our every whim. In some cases, our prayers must involve the travail of the soul and agony of heart, such as Jesus experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane. Sometimes young Christians have been bitterly disappointed in “unanswered” prayers, not because God failed to keep His promises, but because well-meaning Christians made promises “for” God that God never authorized.

Do you have unrealistic expectations that account for seemingly unanswered prayers? Are you treating God like a celestial bellhop? Sproul

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.