As part of our bedtime routine with the children, my husband and I each take a turn praying over our children before we tuck them in. Every night I ask God to keep them healthy and strong. That, in and of itself, is a good thing to pray. However, I realized this week that when I pray that specific request for my children – I view it more like a lucky rabbit’s foot. In my phobia state of mind, I rationalize that praying that phrase secures good health for my children. If I somehow forgo it during my evening prayers, then I am on high alert assuming my children will imminently come down with some illness.
Irrational, I know.
This area of my life is an example of the mistake many people make. We adopt a mentality where God is more like a genie rather than the Deity. We pray to God and expect a “Poof. Done.” response. We want God’s timetable to match ours. We expect His outcome to be exactly what we are praying for. We don’t want Him to stray from our path, and we certainly don’t want to learn a lesson. We can also believe that how we word our prayer makes all the difference in God’s answer (as if God doesn’t know what is in our hearts).
Is this “God is a genie” misconception ever present in my marriage?
- When I see a sin struggle enter into his life and only then do I pray for his temptation in that area.
- When I pray the same phrase over my husband daily, but I say it only out of habit and without any heart behind it.
- When I pray for God to “fix” something about my husband.
- When I expect that God’s response will mirror my own desires alone.
- When I am unopen to God responding with a “no” or “not yet”.
- When I accuse God of not hearing me.
- When I approach God in a “tattling voice” and want to tell on my husband rather than pray for him.
- When I avoid asking God to teach me what I need to learn through a certain situation because I want to focus on changing my husband – not me.
Once I began thinking about it… I realized that often when I pray for my husband I am doing do with the wrong attitude. I am approaching God with a list of things He needs to do in my husband’s life. He needs to change my husband here, move my husband there, and take care of x,y, and z in my husband’s spiritual life.
Instead, I should be approaching God and thanking Him for the fallen man I am married to. I should seek what lessons the Lord wants me to learn or how the Lord might move me. As I pray daily for my husband, I should do so with a respectful attitude that honors my husband even in my silent conversations with His Creator. I must battle Satan over the trials and temptations my husband is facing rather than half heartily wishing them away. Passion, persistence, focus, love, and a flexible heart towards the will of God are musts for my attitude as I lift my husband up in prayer. If I can be more intentional with having the right attitude as I pray for my husband and our marriage – I know the Lord will open up the floodgates of heaven and move in ways I can’t even comprehend!
Do you ever mistake God for a genie? How can you break out from this common misconception?