Archive for Father

May I Have $3 Worth Of God, Please?

Some years ago in one of my seminary classes, we were asked to read a little booklet that began with, “May I have $3 dollars worth of God, please?”  The booklet then when on to present to the readers a conversation between what sounded like a little boy talking to the clerk at the “heavenly candy counter”.

“May I have $3 dollars worth of God, please?” 

The content that followed went on to reveal a Christian-world-view that seeks only enough of God to make one “feel good”, but not enough to change one’s life; that seeks just enough of God to “inspire”, but not “perspire” one’s self for the Kingdom of God; that seeks just enough to God’s goodness to comfort, but not enough to become changed or to become transformed into God’s “godliness”.

“May I have $3 dollars worth of God, please?” 

Isn’t this how prayer to God can be at times?

And because of this type of “mind-set”, there are many who would give up on prayer altogether.  Have you ever heard someone say they were  “giving up on prayer”, because God did not answer a prayer that was very important to them; that God “let them down” at a great (or greatest) time of need? 

Maybe even you have felt that way… I’ve been tempted too! 

“May I have $3 dollars worth of God, please?”

What is prayer about?  Is it about what we get, or for Who we are with?  How we pray manifests in how we answer this second question. When we pray, do we think of God as our heavenly ATM? Or as our Abba-Daddy Who is in heaven?

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

(Matthew 6:9-10)

When we pray, do we come to God with our grocery lists like walking down the aisle of our local superstores with our shopping carts, picking and choosing the things that “strike our fancy” or that give us just enough to keep us going for the week?  Or do we come to the Father as the One who is the source of every good thing we need for true life? 

“Give us today our daily bread.”
(Matthew 6:11)

When we pray, do we treat Jesus as the Father’s “customer service rep” when we want to lodge a complaint?  Or as our Lord, Savior and Deliverer?

“Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”

(Matthew 6:12-13)

I have been learning that we can view prayer either as what’s in it for me, or as Who is waiting there for me. 

First and foremost, prayer is about our relationship with God and letting our time in prayer become the context by which we nourish our personal and intimate understanding of His character.  It is the garden where we experientially come to know and grow in the knowledge that “God is good and His love endures forever” (e.g.,1 Chronicles 16:34).  And then we give thanks!

Then, it is from this position of assurance and trust in God’s love, faithfulness and Holy Character that we pray… that we ask, “May I have You, God, please?”  That we begin to believe…

32 “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:32-34)