July 21, 2010

be careful what you pray for

There is an old joke that says, "I prayed for patience and God gave me a child" or something along those lines anyway.

Jesus, as he discusses prayer with is disciples, seems to know something about that joke. "Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for a fish, will give a snake instead of a fish? Or if the child asks for an egg, will give a scorpion?"


But I know that sometimes FBC asks for a cookie and I give her some fruit. Or she asks to go swimming and she gets a bath instead.

The old adage remains true. God answers prayers, just not always the way we want. Sure, he won't give us a snake if we ask for a fish. And probably there is no scorpion in the egg carton. But there most certainly could be a difficult situation on the horizon. There might even be silence on the other end.

I headed down the blogosphere rabbit hole yesterday and stumbled upon the blog of a priest in Rhode Island whose husband died just a few month ago. Her About Me reads "Trying to listen for God - but God is silent." And the silence can be the absolute worst.

In the end, however, it isn't about stuff. It isn't about selling your house. It isn't about where you should go, what you should do, or what color socks you should where while doing it. Prayer is about praising God, it is about giving thanks, it is about lifting up those we care for, and it is about listening, even when God is silent.

Be careful what you pray for because you won't always get what you expect. Be more about listening, because God is speaking even in the silence.

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