Praying for Foolish Things

Journal Entry Date: July 7, 1996

“Sometimes you get what you pray for, even though it wasn’t what God may have wanted you to have. He gives it to continue teaching us and growing us in spiritual maturity. Read 1 Samuel 12 for when Israel asked for a king when God was already in place as their King.

I really like the statement Samuel makes toward the end of that chapter:

‘But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.  Yet if you persist in doing evil, both you and your king will perish.’

1 Samuel 12:24-25

God always has a plan. If in our own foolishness we determine not to follow His guidance, God may find someone else to serve in our stead.

For an example, see 1 Samuel chapters 13 and 14. While King Saul ‘tarries under a pomegranate tree,’ Jonathan and his armor bearer basically win the battle with the Philistines single-handed… because God was with him and Jonathan was willing to have faith and do what God led him to do.

This is also a good example of the sin of spiritual idleness in contrast to the victory of seeking and following God’s will.”

Author’s Note: The events mentioned above from 1 Samuel 13-14 have always captivated me. If you want to study it further, you can also take a look at a sermon I posted a few years ago titled, ‘To Tarry or Not to Tarry‘ on SermonCentral (click on the sermon title to view it). The people demanded a king to lead them, and after God provides Saul, we find him sitting on the sidelines instead of getting in the game!

Over the years, I have prayed for many foolish things. In part, I think it’s because I was never really taught how to pray. Finding someone to be your spiritual mentor can be challenging… and more mature believers don’t always seek you out. Regardless, my prayers would either be self-serving, or I would essentially instruct God on how I thought it would be best to accomplish something.

Only many years later would I begin learning to pray for what God wanted. Some of those lessons are in more current journal entries that I hope to post in the near future.

In the meantime, the good news is that God is long-suffering and extends His grace to us, His children… Even in my foolishness, God would still use those situations for His glory… Just continue to fear the Lord and serve Him faithfully with all your heart!