Give your prayer life a tune up with today’s lesson on Embracing Prayer.
“But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. So Pilate decided to grant their demand.” (Luke 23:23-24)
Some call it a mob mentality. People stop thinking clearly and allow emotion to rule. They say things they later regret. These verses describe the scene in Jerusalem when Pilate wanted to release Jesus. The crowd asked for the release of Barabbas the murderer and demanded the crucifixion of Jesus.
That kind of mentality doesn’t always require a mob. This passage makes me think about my own loud shouts and insistent demands on God. Too often, I want what I want – not what He wants – and I want it now!
Obviously God is not like Pilate who knowingly and willfully did wrong in order to save his own skin. God is holy and righteous and just. Yet I wonder if sometimes God gives me what I ask for, even when I ask for second best.
God longs to give me things for my ultimate good – things that will draw me into closer relationship with Him, glorify His name and develop the qualities of Christ in me. Those things don’t always look good from my short-term, earthly perspective. I occasionally see them as uncomfortable, difficult or painful.
My arrogance shows when I insistently make demands of God. Do I know better than He does? Do I want my own way, regardless of what is best?
Gracious God and Father, please don’t give me what I ask for when I ask for the wrong things. Help me to stop demanding and instead be still and know that You are God. You are all wise and all powerful. Help me to want what You want. Amen
Questions: What is the difference between persistent prayers and insistent demands? How do we know how to pray for what God wants?