Words of Worth

“Yes to all!”

September 14, 2012


India on any given day.
Bruce Almighty’s mind when, endowed with some of the powers of God, he began to hear a backlog of unanwered prayers people had prayed.

India boasts one seventh of the world’s population. That’s crowded.
Bruce Almighty organized billions of prayers into file cabinets that filled his apartment. That’s crowded.

Cammy and I have mentioned in previous blogs how quick the Christians in India are to pray and trust in God and how that example now inspires us to say, “Pray like an Indian!” Every afternoon in India, when our teaching was completed, Cammy and I met with the translators for a debriefing of our instruction. One day, a woman translator came into the room and immediately put her head on the table. We asked if she was tired from her long day, and she said, “No, I was just praying. It has become such a habit that when I stop working I have time to pray.” That got me thinking. And you know how that goes…one thought leads to the next.

So I thought about 1 billion people living in India and then about the 300,000 thousand who are Christians. If they all laid their heads on a table at some point in the day, that would be a lot of prayers for God to answer. Then I thought about the world’s population at approximately 7 billion people and wondered how many of that total were praying Christians. Then I thought, in my finite mind, that it must be very challenging to be God and have to manage the world’s prayer requests. And then, of course, I thought about Jim Carey in the movie, “Bruce Almighty” and how God let him have just enough of His powers to realize some of what God tends to in a day.

As God, Bruce is plagued with voices in his head, and learns they are a backlog of unanswered prayers that demand his attention. Overwhelmed with how to manage them, he first tries to file them in cabinets, on post-it notes, until he finally decides to download all of them on his computer. Not even emailing enables him to keep up with all of the prayers so he replies to the billions of emails by typing, “Yes to all”! The result-“They’re all out of control. This is mayhem. I don’t know what to do…there were so many, I just gave ‘em all what they wanted.” Bruce realizes that “yes” is not always the best answer to prayer.

In the wilderness the children of Israel prayed for meat and the Psalmist tells us “he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul.” (106:15) The meat crowded the ground, but crowded out God in their hearts.

When God doesn’t say, “Yes to all”, He gives us what He sees as best for us and His answers are far better than our hightest hopes. We need to “Pray like an Indian” and be quick to go to God in prayer with our requests. But we also need to be quick to accept that His answer can be, “yes”, “no”, or “not now”.

Yes, “Pray like an Indian” but leave room for God! (sv)

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