Praying for the Wrong Thing
While my son was praying that God would get him a pet snake, I was praying that no snakes of any sort would ever be in this house! So, you think they’re pretty? I don’t. Never even considered them ‘pretty’ till I had my first little boy, who pointed out the ‘beauty angle’. “Can I have a snake, mom?”
Horrifying words! Right up there with “I tried it, but only once”. And I responded accordingly: “As long as I live in this house, we will never have a snake. Ever! When you grow up and get your own house, you can have a snake. But not in my house!”
From the gleam in his eye, I knew his next step. He went to his room; the kid was praying. What a conspiracy! I hated to tell him that God was being double-teamed. For while he was praying that God would get him a pet snake, I was praying that no snakes of any sort would ever be in this house!
Unknowingly, I have prayed for my share of ‘snakes’ in my life. Attractive compelling things will crawl their way into my life and I will find myself praying that I can keep them. In my teenage years, it was the Quarterback.
There is a home in the historical section of Roswell, Georgia. It has a large, white wraparound porch, and faces a sidewalk which will get you to three different churches, a park and convenient shopping. There is a bus line just outside the back gate. “It’s on the historical tour!”, I mention to my husband. who says, “Why don’t you pray about it!” Next day, I pull up in front of the house, and pray. The day after that, I pull up in front of the house, and pray again. “This is the home I want for me and my family, Lord. (I pray) Could I please have it?” After this investment, I call the realtor to inquire about the ‘other investment’ it would take to own this colonial lady. She responds: “Oh yes, the Confederate President’s Residence”. (I knew I was in trouble if it had a name!) And, in her next sentence, she gives me almost a million reasons why I can’t afford this home. Disappointed, I ditch my prayer vigil. Over the past 18 years, I’ve forgotten why I wanted it . . .
Today, I see the house from a different perspective. It is in need of constant repair. I can only imagine the cost of upkeep! Church traffic makes it impossible to pull in and out of the driveway . Crime has come to the neighborhood – via the ‘convenient bus line.’ And the ‘historical tour ladies” frown upon bicycles on the porch. Looking back, I am so grateful that the Lord saw the big picture in that request, and closed the door.
How could I know, I was prayin’ for snakes?
In order to pray for ‘something’, you must focus on ‘something’. That house was something! It looked pretty terrific from the outside: But God was looking inside, and beyond. I should have asked Him to pull focus from his vantage.
In Matthew 7:7, Jesus said ” Ask and you will be given what you ask for. Seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened unto you. If a child asks his father for a loaf of bread, will he be given a stone instead? If he asks for a fish, will he be given a poisonous snake? Of course not! And if hardhearted, sinful men know how to give good gifts to your children, won’t your Father in heaven even more certainly give good gifts to those who ask Him for them?”
God will never use you as the brunt of a joke. It would go against His character of Love. He can never turn to a man of His equal and laughingly say : ‘Watch what I do to this guy”, because there is no one who equals God. Nothing we know comes close to His loving kindness, tenderness and mercy.
Ask. Seek. Knock. Then, wait. If you become impatient, then go back and knock again. The One who holds the complete picture will answer the door. Earthly fathers wear themselves out filling the requests of their children. So it stands clear that our Heavenly Father who sent His son to die for our sins, would give us everything we need.
Continuously ask and seek. Then knock. But if the door stays closed, consider this:
What or whom is behind the door on which you are knocking?
You can trust God to give you the best. And in years to come may look back to see that you had been prayin’ for snakes!
copyright Judi Collins 2011; Used by permission from her devotional “Prayin’ for Snakes.”