24 Mar Trying to Manipulate God
I have a friend who lives in Africa. On occasion we send him funds from Spring of Life to help with various projects. Sometimes I am a bit amused and a tad offended by him. When he needs something he begins his email with a plethora of compliments. “You will never know how wonderful your devotionals are. I am translating them into my native tongue and going to publish them so thousands of people in Uganda can be saved.” When I read that I know what follows. He needs something!
I am reminded of the literally thousands of prayers I have heard in churches since I was a child. Often the suppliant begins, “Oh, mighty God, ruler of the world, master of the universe, Father of our magnificent savior Jesus Christ.” That goes on for a while and the second half of the prayer is a list of prayer requests.
Have we never read Matthew 7:11? “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
As a father I would have been extremely put off had my sons ever approached me when they needed something by saying, “Oh, wonderful and generous father, who truly lives up to the greeting cards that say, ‘Best Dad Ever.’” I think that would have most likely guaranteed they would not get what they wanted.
God knows our needs and our wants. He wants us to live the abundant life and yes we should thank Him and praise Him for His goodness to us. But when it borders on psychologically trying to manipulate Him I doubt if He is pleased. When Jesus told us to call God Father there was an important reason.