Friday, August 3, 2018
I just heard this funny story again recently, one some of you may be familiar with. There are several variations of it but the points that it makes are the same. Here’s mine: After his sermon, a pastor announced that he would see anyone after the service who needed special prayer. A young man in attendance that morning took him up on his offer. The pastor asked what his petition was and the young man said he needed prayer for his hearing. Immediately, the pastor cupped his hands over the petitioner’s ears and prayed. “Oh God, I ask you to please heal this young man.” The pastor then asked “How’s your hearing now?” The young man replied, “I don’t know, it’s not till next Thursday.”
Here are two obvious points to this story: (1) When we pray, we should do it in faith but also with understanding. Speaking in general about prayer, Paul wrote: “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my understanding; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my understanding.” (I Corinthians 14:15) (2) When someone asks us to pray for them, we should make sure what their exact petition is. Sometimes, we just assume the obvious and ask accordingly. One pastor I know was approached by one of his members who asked prayer. She said her husband left her and was very worried about it. He too, instantly lifted up his prayer and said “Oh Lord, please speak to this man’s heart to come back home immediately.” She quickly interrupted him saying: “Oh no pastor! I wanted you to pray that he never comes back.” I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Be careful what you pray for.” That is some very sound advice.
God’s word for today: (Philippians 4:6) “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”