i’ve been listening to AM radio broadcasts for the past few days now. i’ve had sparky (my car) for two years, but this is the first time i’ve ever really done that. the station (1240 in raleigh) has pretty good sermons, talks and programming. today on the way home, i heard someone say:
“jesus wasn’t telling us how to get stuff from God, he was saying that if you stay connected with God, what you say and what you pray will come to pass.”
that’s all i caught, but i assume the speaker was talking about john 15:7, in which jesus said, “if you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” i love the way the man put that. so often in church today, you’ll encounter people who are very VERY interested in God’s treasury. people who seem to have mastered the art of getting what you want from God. people who would have you believe that you can buy a brand new car from God for just a $20 love offering/seed and running around the sanctuary a lap or two.
in matthew 6 jesus is talking about prayer, and how to pray. this is how the message bible puts it:
“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply.”
and then he goes on to give “the lord’s prayer” as the model prayer.
i just really appreciate how the radio preacher broke that down, because so often, even our walk with God is lived out in a very self-centered way. we fit God into our lives just where we think he should go, and we approach him with a “now-what-do-i-get-out-of-this?” attitude (and that includes our prayer requests) instead of rendering our lives and hearts and minds…and prayer requests to him for him to change, and conform to his image. the lord is calling people to live out his intended form of humanity, which inevitably includes redemption from our fallen state, and extends to the way we approach what we request of him, and how and why.