Ok, I think I’m a really positive person. 99.9% of the time.
I have a policy that I will never use this blog to post anything negative.
Well, I’m about to break that rule.
There’s something that’s driven me crazy for years and I think Advent is the time to bring it up.
We see examples of people in the Bible challenging, whining, ranting and raving to God as well as thanking, praising and asking.
Now I know we can say anything at all to God in prayer. Just like a toddler can say outrageous stuff, a parent still loves to hear them talk. It’s all good with God. No matter what you say He’s not going to vote you off the island.
But there’s a phrase I hear people use all the time that doesn’t make sense to me. They pray, “Lord be with…”
For the love of Christmas, why???!! He IS with us! Always. Jesus came to earth. Emmanuel, God with us. He left His Holy Spirit to be in us always. So why ask Him to “be with” us?
It’s a sure thing! Like betting that the Cubs won’t make it to the World Series. Again. Or that Bob Goff will do something delightful. Or that the Oscars will go overtime.
Bam! It’s a done deal!
Do we pray this way because:
a. We know God has promised this, but He might forget?
b. It’s a space filler? We can’t think of anything else to pray and it sounds holy?
c. We want a 100% prayer batting average. Praying for a sure thing is safe?
- 18 verses where God says “I am with you”.
- 7 verses that say, “God is with you.”
- 4 verses that say, “The Lord is with you.”
- 4 that say, “I will never leave you.”
- And one verse that says, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”
What part of “never” don’t we understand? Could we all agree not to insult God with this request?
Now, I can totally understand praying that people we love would be aware of God’s presence with them…that they would sense His love in palpable ways. Great! Let’s go with that! But we don’t need to pray that He would be with them. He is.
Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Ok, I feel better now. Back to the positive policy. Thanks for letting me rant.
What bugs you?