Turn Off The Bat Signal.
In our church, we have been studying prayer and worship. Our pastor pointed us to 1 Samuel 4. In this passage, the nation of Israel is up against the Philistines. Now, there is some backstory to this, and I will simplify by simply saying that Israel was not in obedience to God's instructions. When they went out against the Philistines, many of their numbers were struck down!
This was very surprising to them as they had "God" on their side...right? To make matters worse, they grabbed the ark of the covenant, which was a representation of the presence of God, and brought it out to the battle. Surely, God would decimate the armies of the Philistines if they carried the ark right? Nope, this time they lost even more men!
In our prayer, don't we do this? Don't we pray hard for something and expect God to perform for us meanwhile; we have not listened to His instructions? We expect God to respond to our "bat signal." We openly live in rebellion. We embrace sin because those sins suit our selfish agendas but then something unexpected comes up and fire up the "bat signal" expecting God to swoop in for the rescue... basically, we try and "bring out the ark." It is much like instructing your kids not to touch the hot stove. They ignore you and touch the hot stove and then call for you exacting you to make the pain go away. As a good parent, you treat the pain for sure, but your child has to now live with knowing that consequence. Why can't we learn this SAME lesson? Is God harsh for not addressing the pain to our liking?
Listen, this is not about what God should and shouldn't do! This is about what WE should do. We know God is good. He has already rescued us through the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross!!! So, instead of trying to use God for our agenda, let us align ourselves with HIS agenda. Let us walk in the things we KNOW our His will... We are aware not to touch the stove! Let's be givers. Let's be lovers. Let's be gracious. Let's be sacrificial then when we pray; we are petitioning our God as our champion we are fighting alongside instead of the authority we are fighting against!
Soli Deo Gloria