Manipulating Our Maker?
“If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.” >1 John 5:14
It’s tempting for some of us to view our Lord as a heavenly “Mr. Fix‐It”—a supernatural problem solver who can be manipulated according to our whims. We might make a little wager on our favorite football team and then pray for God to intervene so our team will win. Or on the day of the church picnic, we might pray for a rainstorm so we don’t have to fix that potato salad we promised to bring.
Others see prayer as a negotiating tool. They want to make a deal with God: “Lord, if You give me this promotion at work . . . or allow me to get pregnant this month . . .or let that car at the dealership still be on sale . . . then I promise I’ll do [fill in the blank] for You.”
Of course these are foolish bargains that reveal a misunderstanding of the majesty of God. He is Lord of lords, King of kings, and Creator of all heaven and earth. He is not a deal maker who allows Himself to be manipulated. Instead, He wants us to carefully consider His will for our lives before we pray. Prayer is a privilege—a direct line to the Lord’s eternal wisdom and love. Let’s not forget what a blessing it is just to come into His presence.
Just between us . . .
• Have you ever tried to manipulate God through prayer?
• How can we be sure our prayer petitions are within God’s will?
• Do our prayers include adoration, devotion, and intercession, or do they represent merely a daily “wish list”?
• How might our relationship change if we focused on prayer from God’s perspective?
Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of bringing our requests to You. Give us a deep desire for Your will—not ours—for our marriage, and help us to shape our prayers and our priorities accordingly. Amen.
This devotional is taken from Night Light for Couples. Copyright © 2000 by James Dobson, Inc. All rights reserved. Used with permission.
About Family Talk
Family Talk is a Christian non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Founded in 2010 by Dr. James Dobson, the ministry promotes and teaches biblical principles that support marriage, family, and child-development. Since its inception, Family Talk has served millions of families with broadcasts, monthly newsletters, feature articles, videos, blogs, books and other resources available on demand via its website, mobile apps, and social media platforms.
About Dr. James Dobson
Dr. James Dobson is the Founder and President of Family Talk, a nonprofit organization that produces his radio program, “Dr. James Dobson’s Family Talk.” He is the author of more than 30 books dedicated to the preservation of the family, including The New Dare to Discipline, Love for a Lifetime, Life on the Edge, Love Must Be Tough, The New Strong-Willed Child, When God Doesn’t Make Sense, Bringing Up Boys, Marriage Under Fire, Bringing Up Girls, Head Over Heels and, most recently, Your Legacy: The Greatest Gift.
Dr. Dobson served as an associate clinical professor of pediatrics at the University of Southern California School of Medicine for 14 years and on the attending staff of Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles for 17 years. He has been active in governmental affairs and has advised five U.S. presidents on family matters. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (1967) in the field of child development. He holds 17 honorary doctoral degrees, and was inducted in 2008 into The National Radio Hall of Fame. Dr. Dobson recently received the following awards: Winston Churchill Lifetime Achievement Award from the Faith & Freedom Coalition (2017), Daniel Award from AZ Christian University (2016), and the Defender of Life Award from the Justice Foundation (2015).
Dr. Dobson is married to Shirley and they have two grown children, Danae and Ryan, and two grandchildren. The Dobsons reside in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
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