Be Careful What You Pray For Because You Just Might Get It
You just heard a powerful sermon, you probably got moved to tears by it. Now you’re lifting holy hands in surrender, telling God under muffled sobs, “Use me Lord. Use me for your glory. I want none of me and all of You. I want to be an instrument for your Gospel”. You’re excited. You’ve joined a new church team or a new ministry. You love serving people. You love serving God. You feel you’re doing well. Then, two months/years later you’re telling your friends that you’re leaving that church/ministry, they ask why, you say “I feel used”.
I’ve seen this happen over and over again. Let me just clarify from here that I know some ministries/churches manipulate people, use the name of God, to make people ‘serve’ in church. And this is terrible. If you’re in that situation currently, I advise you to please leave! But this is not what this post is about.
This post is about dealing with the consequences of answered prayer. It is for the Christians who think serving God is all fun and games. Who think service is all smiles and hugs. Serving God is that too but it is also hard work. So because the pastor forgot to thank you today for singing well, you feel unappreciated and you’re telling everyone that you’re being used? You’re hilarious! You forgot when you prayed 2 years ago to be used by God? Stop your whining and complaining. People have given their lives, joyfully, to see this Gospel being preached. Apostle Paul narrated in 2 Corinthians 11 how he has been shipwrecked a couple of times, flogged, broke, hungry etc and you’re here complaining because your name wasn’t mentioned on stage? God help us.
A biblical example of being careful what you pray for is in 1 Samuel 8, when the Israelites asked Prophet Samuel to give them a king. They wanted to be cool like the other nations who had kings and were tired of Theocracy. God gave them what they asked for and that led the nation of Israel down a terrible path. God, in his mercies, redeemed the story eventually but think about it: if God was to answer all your prayers, like he did for the Israelites, do you think it’ll be good for you? Can you handle the consequences of your answered prayers?
Some folks pray to God to make their enemies “die by fire”. I laugh when I hear that. If God were to answer some of these prayers then the person that’s praying may just fall and “die by fire”. Sometimes, we are our own worst enemies. Be careful what you’re praying for.
Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane prayed to God, asking him to let the cup of death pass over him but he ended that prayer with “Not my will, but yours”. I feel all our prayers should be just like that; honest, specific but should always end with asking God’s will to be done and not ours. If God had granted Jesus his prayer to let the cup pass over him there’ll probably no Salvation story today. God’s will must supersede ours.
If you’re feeling used where you’re serving, remind yourself why you started. Remember you’re serving God not men. I hope this quote by Christian Rapper, Lecrae will help, “If you live for their acceptance, you’ll die from their rejection”. The only approval we should seek for is God’s. Be encouraged.
One way to not fall into the trap of praying against the will of God is to pray in the Spirit. When we let the Spirit of G0d pray through us, He prays for us to God and our prayers get answered according to the will of God. When you pray in the Spirit you don’t have to be careful what you pray for.
What are you praying for? What are you knocking on heaven’s door for? If God answers your prayer will it build you or destroy you? Yes, I know God cannot give his children stone when they ask for fish. Be careful what you pray for!