Read: John 16:23-27
“And this is the boldness which we have towards him, that if we ask him anything according to his will he hears us.”
1 John 5:14
One of my minor duties as the Senator’s Staff Assistant was to help with the requisitioning of supplies. Keeping a close eye on our consumption of paper clips and printer paper, I would carefully assemble a list of our needs. Then, when a sufficient number of items had made their way onto that list or we were nearly out of something with which our office simply could not function (like the aforementioned paperclips) our Regional Director would make the requisition. Before placing each call, she would turn to me from her office and enquire, “Is there anything else you need?”
While the question was intended to stimulate my memory of any last-minute additions, it instead opened to the door to a wide range of less-than-relevant responses. My smart replies covered a variety of “necessities” ranging from a disco ball (for all of our wild dance parties) to gigantic blow up elephant to step on staffers who got out of hand. I was quick to point out that the quality of our work would be vastly improved should each of us have access to a vibrating, heated lazy boy and didn’t hesitate to suggest that the addition of a video arcade might improve hand-eye coordination for those tasked with answering the phones.
My suggestions, of course, were not entirely limited to the impractical or downright fantastical. A combination coffee maker/fax machine that gave a personal voice greeting every morning also made it onto my list, as did haz-mat suits for those opening the Senator’s mail. I never got what I asked for, but this didn’t stop me from trying, and I was delighted when our Regional Director finally did concede to at least one of my requests and added a box of colored paperclips to our order.
Sadly, many of us approach God with a list of wants and desires which are not that far removed from my own bizarre additions to the requisitions list. Seeking what we have deemed to be the “perfect” life, we ask for things that fulfill neither our needs nor God’s plan.
Scripture, however, portrays a different approach. Instead of assembling a jumbled list of everything we want, Christians are instructed to draw close to God, learning His ways and walking according to His commands. When we do, the things which we pray for begin to take on the form of His desires rather than our own. According to the Bible, these requests will always be granted.
Challenge: Are you praying in God’s will or are you asking Him to fulfill your own? This week, take some time to carefully consider your prayer life. Then commit to drawing close to Him!