I listened to a sermon clip today that shined a bright, glaring light on a sin of mine in prayer. The pastor explained that we don’t pray prayers that we are certain God won’t answer (such as “let gold Cheerios fall into my breakfast bowl in the morning”), and that we also don’t pray prayers that we are certain God will answer (“humble me, Lord”).

Guilty, guilty, guilty (of the latter; I think it’s okay to skip out on the former). It’s obvious why: because I’m scared of the means God will use to answer my prayer. I avoid, “Lord give me patience,” because last time I remember praying that (longer ago than I care to admit), I found myself stuck in traffic, having a generally terrible week. I certainly don’t want to pray that God will increase my trust in him, because I fear circumstances that will force the issue.

The pastor went on to say that praying these prayers is an aspect of repentance, agreeing with God that these are areas that need to change. But the fear remains. My discipleship leader said that God is gentle with us, that he uses the kindest means to sanctify us. So I’m going to take a deep breath, trust in God’s love toward me, and pray scary prayers. You might want to avoid making plans with me for a while!