By Roberta Ley
"Please, God, give me this one thing and I'll never ask you for anything else again.” Does that sound familiar? Have you ever prayed that prayer? Did it get answered? I would hazard to guess that it did not. One reason why, I think, may surprise you. First of all, why are you in a situation that such a prayer is necessary? Have you reduced God to being your last resort? So many people, Christians included, have put God in the same classification as that little glass box you see on the wall in office buildings; you know the one that has the fire hose and says "In case of emergency, break glass.” He is only there to help us once we have gotten ourselves in so deep that it will take divine intervention to get out.
Those who are not Christians and call on God as if He were some sort of magic genie from a lamp are in for great disappointment. God does not hear those who are not His children. Look at it this way; if a stranger's child came up to you and said "Hey, dude, mom didn't give me my allowance, I need ten bucks," you're not likely to give it to him. Maybe, but not likely. If your own child however, asks for something, you are much more likely to give it to him if it is something that will help him and not hurt him. The only prayer from a non-Christian that God will hear is the prayer for forgiveness and salvation.
As for those Christians who call on God only when they have used all their own resources and have reached the end of themselves; they have sadly missed a great deal of the meaning of being a Christian. God does not want to be your last resort; He wants to be your first and only resort. He wants us to ask Him for everything. Big things, little things, all things are to come from Him. In Matthew 6:33 we are told by Jesus to "seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness and all these things will be added to you.” What "things" will be added? All things; the daily needs such as food, clothes, a place to sleep, as well as all those little intangibles like peace, security, comfort, a calm spirit in the face of turmoil.
God may or may not make you rich by world standards. Should you be blessed with wealth and power – wonderful. Thank God for it and use it to His glory. If you struggle paycheck to paycheck to make ends meet, thank God for it and use what you have to His glory. If you have no home, little or no food, thank God for His salvation of your soul and use what you don't have to His glory. Remember, Jesus Himself was essentially homeless. For the three years of His ministry, He had no home of His own. He wandered the area preaching and teaching, staying with friends or even sleeping in the open. He had no money, no job, just the clothes on His back. Yet look what He accomplished! Everything He did, He did for the glory of the Father.
Don't make the mistake of seeing God as just that emergency fire hose to put out the fires that should have been avoided in the first place. Go to Him first, only and always. Ask Him for everything and anything; seek His will in everything you do and the answers to your prayers may not be what you expected but I guarantee they will amaze you.