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Don't forget the magic words
Do we expect God to answer our prayers because “we’ve been good” or because “He’s supposed to be good”?
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. (Philippians 4:6)
I worked in customer service for many years, or at least in positions that required a great deal of interaction with the public. It’s extraordinary how much easier it is to respond in kindness to people who are kind to you (the magic words really do work, y’all). If a customer is polite and respectful and says please and thank you, it makes you want to move heaven and earth to get them what they need.
But then, you have the entitled ones. They demand your attention and are impossible to please. They expect you to move heaven and earth for them when all they have given you is rudeness.
Granted, you shouldn’t be rude back. Not if you want to keep your job! But, boy, it’s a pleasure to serve pleasant people.
So how do you think God feels when we come to Him with a laundry list of desires? We heard somewhere that God will give us what we ask for, so we make Him a wish list and expect Him to kowtow to our demands.
Then we get angry at Him when He doesn’t answer us. But if He does answer (unlikely with that attitude), we don’t thank Him. After all, He’s God, and that’s what He does, right? We don’t need to thank Him for doing what He’s supposed to do, right?
Now, I’m pretty sure no one would express any of that out loud Just reading it makes me cringe. But don’t we feel that way sometimes? Don’t we just expect God to answer our prayers because “we’ve been good” or because “He’s supposed to be good”?
Yes, God is good. But He is also all-powerful. He doesn’t have to do anything for us, and if we come at Him with our entitlement mentality, He isn’t going to respond the way you want. Because enabling our selfishness isn’t why He answers prayers.
Be grateful. Remember Who He is. God responds to gratitude, and He resists the proud. So the next time you ask Him for something, don’t forget the magic words.
Questions for Reflection
How would you say you view God when it comes to answered or unanswered prayer?
What is a prayer God hasn’t answered for you yet?
Has He really not answered, or is His answer No?
Weekly Memory Verse: