Thursday, February 14, 2019

Pestering God About Mr Gatti's

When my kids were younger and I was occasionally home with them during the summer, I tried to take somewhere fun on Fridays if they had been good all week long. Before our local one closed down, Mr Gatti's was their favorite destination. Each Friday morning,  the questions would begin. "Daddy, are we going to Mr Gatti's?" "When are we going?" "Are we really going to Gatti's?" "Do we get to go?" "Please, can we go to Gatti's?" "Are we going?" Sometimes, I would finally respond, "If you ask one more time we're staying home!" It drove me crazy, especially because they asked from a sense of insecurity, from lack of trust in me. Or at least that is the way it felt.

Sometimes, though, we treat God the same way my kids treated me. We think if we ask God over and over again we will get what we want, as if repeating it a bunch of times well get God to do something God doesn't want to do. But Jesus told us, “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again." (Matthew 6:7, NLT). When Jesus warns us against simply repeating our prayers over and over, I believe he is saying two things: 1) Give God more credit than that and 2) Trust God more than that.

Do we really want a God who changes infinite plans just because we bother him until we drive him crazy? Do we really think God's patience is so small that it works that way? God is loving enough to respond to our requests but God is not so small that God changes things just because we bug Him. But beyond that, we must trust God more than that. We must trust God enough that when we present God with a need we trust God to remember that need and to meet it in the manner which will bring Him the most glory.

Being consistent in prayer is one thing. Pestering God because we think we can force his hand or because we don't really trust him is another.

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