John 14:13-14 ~ “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. ”
I pray everyday. Actually, I pray multiple times per day. When I find myself in pain, scared, or frustrated to my wits end I stop, quiet myself, and turn to God. Doing so usually brings me a sense of peace which gets me through the moment.
However, I often find my prayers becoming “lists to Santa” of things I want. Then, I find myself getting irked when what I'm asking for doesn't happen fast enough. Essentially, I’m treating God like a cashier at Burger King; I want it my way, right away.
John 14:13 implies that’s the way prayers work, “Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do,…” Seems pretty straight forward, just ask for something in the name of Jesus and you'll have it. Of course, if such were the case every Christian would have a million dollars in bank and instant revenge against our enemies.
I have no doubt God is real and He answers prayers. If I prayed without believing that, I’d be wasting a good deal of time each day. God DOES answer prayers. I can see patterns in my life which could have only taken shape if an external hand had been guiding events.
Yet, God is first and foremost a parent, and every parent knows not to give a child a cookie every time they ask for one. A good parent knows when to give the kid a celery stick instead. Sometimes, I think God gives us a proverbial celery stick in answer to our prayers. It’s not the answer we want, but it’s the answer we need.