Monday, July 22, 2019

Great Expectations by Sandra Fischer

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. (Mark 10:38) NIV

Has anyone ever asked something of you with preconceived expectations and hidden motives?

According to Mark’s gospel, James and John did exactly that when they told Jesus: “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask” (Mark 10:35b NIV) Such audacity might elicit a sharp rebuttal by almost anyone—except Jesus, who simply asked what they wanted. Their answer revealed hidden, selfish motives. They wanted Jesus to grant them positions of honor, to sit at His right and left in His glory

“You don’t know what you are asking,” Jesus said. (v.38) He explained that to follow His course would mean a way of suffering and death for them. He added, “to sit at my right or left is not for me to grant” (v.40) Perhaps their recent experience of being part of Jesus’ inner circle at the Transfiguration prompted them to presume upon Jesus.

I wonder if we presume upon God sometimes when we pray. Do we have great expectations for Him to “do for us whatever we ask”? And, like James and John, do we fail to reckon what granting our prayers might require of us?

We do know throughout scripture that we can ask anything in prayer, but we should not presume upon God with wrong motives. Interestingly, James writes, “you do not receive {answers to prayers}, because you ask with wrong motives” (James 4:3a NIV) And Paul exhorts us to “call on the LORD out of a pure heart” (2 Timothy 2:22 NIV)

Jesus taught us to pray to the Father for His will to be done. He will meet that expectation every time.

“Father, help us in our petitions to want Your will above all else.”

Sandra is a Faithwriters Platinum member, author of “Seasons in the Garden.” Contact

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