Don’t tell God what to do

Now as they went on their way, Jesus entered a village. And a woman named Martha welcomed him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to his teaching. But Martha was distracted with much serving. And she went up to him and said, “Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me.” But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things, but one thing is necessary. Mary has chosen the good portion, which will not be taken away from her.”

I’ve recently heard this passage (Luke 10:38-42) taught. After looking at the context, a side conversation came up about heart motives before the Lord, specifically in the realm of prayer.

How often do I talk with God and make demands of Him?

Ouch. Conviction.

(Yes, I should pray trustingly and with expectation that He will hear and answer me. So this post isn’t intended to be legalistic by any means. It’s just something I’m thinking about.)

Even if my prayer isn’t specifically a self-centered request (e.g. asking for healing for someone else suffering from cancer), how often is my prayer filled with verbs like “bless, provide, heal, strengthen, guide, etc.”? I’ve noticed that a lot of my verbs associated with supplication (not adoration, confession, or thanksgiving) are said without so much as a “please.”

I don’t think my prayers have been necessarily demanding or insincere, but I really needed the reminder that I’m talking to the holy & perfect Creator and Savior of the universe. I need to show respect and recognize my place before I dare approach His throne. He doesn’t owe me anything. I deserve the opposite of what I’ve been given.

I foresee this being a good pondering topic for the near future. I can say with certainty that I’m thankful He listens to me. Who am I that He would look on me with love?

One thought on “Don’t tell God what to do

  1. I think we often see two ends of the spectrum in approaching prayer. One is the friendly request one that you mentioned above that can sometimes be almost light-hearted or demanding and the other can be one in which we pray to the Lord as though He is far away and distant from us. I think you make an excellent point about approaching the Lord in prayer and doing so in a way that shows Him the honor, reverence, and respect that is rightfully His while doing so in a way that is founded in our intimate and covenant relationship with Christ. Thanks for the post!


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