It has been said never to completely turn your life over to God unless you are willing to have it turned completely upside down, to find that He wants you to give everything you have to the poor and to become a missionary to a remote village in The Republic of Sierra Leone for the rest of your life.
So, generally, we don’t pray for these things. Maybe it is because we are afraid of what will happen or because we want to control God in some way—if we do not pray for something does that mean we somehow think that it cannot be what God wants for us?
A prayer and some responses:
“God, I want my boss to become a Christian and see the error of his ways and turn his life over to Christ,” we might pray.
A direct result, the one that we are hoping for would be for the conversion to happen and for the boss to join your specific church where he can be in the Sunday School class you teach. That could happen.
Or, he could convert to Christianity, and be called to sell all his possessions, including the business you work for, and become a missionary to a remote village in The Republic of Sierra Leone for the rest of his life.
Both are answers, positive answers to the prayer.
But not all prayers are answered the way we want.
Sometimes, like Jonah, after doing everything we can think of to avoid God’s call in our lives, we pray or hope for things that are just not right, like the total destruction of the Ninevites. Surely they are so corrupt they are beyond the reach of God.
Well, I do not recall anyone outside of the Westboro Baptist Church praying for the destruction of any set of people, but people do pray for the ACLU or Planned Parenthood to wither and die—is that the same as hoping Nineveh is destroyed? Instead, we pray for Liberals to forsake their evil intents and join with God’s people. We pray and ask God to change the lifestyle choice of LGBT.
Preacher’s scream that natural disasters—like Katrina or Sandy—are the fault, at least in part, of the ACLU, of Abortionists, of Liberals and every other group that wants to take God (the Christian God) out of the schools. They claim that because we have taken God out of the schools, we can no longer expect God to protect our children.
It sounds to me like they are saying that if we would just forsake our evil ways and turn back to God, then perhaps the natural disasters would not happen so frequently.
I have begun to notice something a little bit odd about people who tell us what God’s will is.
None of these oracles ever say proclaim God wants something other than what they are doing. What I mean by this is you do not hear someone say “God wants all guns to be melted down to scrap, but I don’t care what He wants, I will keep my guns,” or “God told me I should keep my old beater of a car, but I am going to get that new Camero anyway,” or “God wanted me to help out the homeless shelter with a $10,000 donation, but I really want to go to Tahiti for vacation.”
At least Saint Paul was sincerely conflicted about his desires and doing what was right. Even thought his passage is hard to follow, it shows us a man who knows what is the right thing to do and yet cannot do it. It is his struggle. I Wish our evangelical preachers would exhibit a little more of this instead of the assuredness they seem to have.
I don’t know what I’m doing, because I don’t do what I want to do. Instead, I do the thing that I hate. But if I’m doing the thing that I don’t want to do, I’m agreeing that the Law is right. But now I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it’s sin that lives in me. I know that good doesn’t live in me—that is, in my body. The desire to do good is inside of me, but I can’t do it. I don’t do the good that I want to do, but I do the evil that I don’t want to do. But if I do the very thing that I don’t want to do, then I’m not the one doing it anymore. Instead, it is sin that lives in me that is doing it.—Romans 7: 15 – 20
the picture is from here