Estimated reading time: 3 minute(s)
Remember a little while ago, I posted some thoughts regarding asking God for things, even though we might know or trust that he knows the best option or outcome anyway? I am still chewing on that, to be sure, because the more I get to know our Father, the more I trust his love for me and his way superior wisdom (not to mention much better vantage point).
This morning I was thinking more about what we ask God for and had a couple more thoughts to add. This past weekend, we were looking at Paul’s prayer and how he asked for stuff we don’t usually pray for. We like to pray for healing and other physical things (monetary needs, jobs, places to live, food to eat, etc.) Paul asked God to give the church inner strength, an understanding of just how amazingly loved by God they are, and by that to be filled with the fullness of life that comes from God. Notably, he didn’t ask for healing, provisions, or freedom from persecution. He asked that they would know Jesus more.
And, I may have mentioned this before, but it bears repeating, in Jesus “model prayer” (his reply to, “Master, teach us how to pray”) neither did he pray for healing – only for “daily bread”.
But what perhaps “clicked” today for me was that, even though Jesus didn’t necessarily ask God for it, and Paul did not, what we see Jesus doing is tons of healing. A majority of the stories we have from Jesus’ life on the planet involve some sort of healing. (And sometimes we see him asking his Father to bring that healing, but often he just healed.)
Why the discrepancy? Why wouldn’t Jesus model that in his “How To Pray” prayer? Why didn’t Paul ask for that for the Ephesians? I think maybe that there are “better” things than healing, at times, but in the end, God loves us… and he listens to us. He really does. When Jesus saw the people who were hurting and were asking for healing, maybe he knew of some way they could “grow” spiritually – that “inner strength” Paul asked for the Ephesians to receive – but when he was asked, he gave.
I know that as a dad – and certainly a flawed dad – I can be swayed by my kids’ askings. Even if perhaps there is a “better” option. Not always, of course. But sometimes. And I wonder if sometimes God forgoes the long range “best” to just say a short term, “I love you.” Could that be? Does that mean he is choosing an inferior option? Doesn’t that lessen him? Only if love is a lesser choice. I think he’d argue that it is not.
Much of this is just off-the-cuff ramblings from some thoughts I am still processing. It’s been a strange season lately. Lots of major illness and other things to ask God to heal, restore, renew. I am doing that. (And actually, so is he. Some very positive – if only short term? – happenings in response to our askings.) So, thanks for reading along, and I very much welcome your thoughts on “prayer” and the balance between asking him for what we long for, what we think is best, and trusting the love of our amazing Father, whom we know loves us, and knows “best.”
It’s an interesting journey, is it not?