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There was a time, early in my Christian years after “coming back to the Lord,” where my father had a tendency to apply a bit of cynicism at certain times related to my Christian life…our Christian life, including my younger brother and our mother. For example, one of his favorite snarky remarks whenever there was some kind of trouble in our lives, dad would sarcastically say, “Well, why don’t you just put it in the Lord’s hands.” I got used to hearing that and wasn’t too bothered by it. As a matter of fact, deep down I sort of agreed with him that we Christians too often abdicated our responsibility to apply wisdom, common sense or patience to difficult matters and would often just “pray about it” expecting God to do something to fix or solve a problem. I always had this deep sense that God wasn’t waiting around to orchestrate matters and make things happen just because we prayed about it, but that God gave us all we needed to decide and act wisely if we chose to do so while attempting to exercise the mind of Christ. It seemed more appropriate to practice checking in with God when facing difficulties with the simple ask for wisdom, discernment, and the courage to act responsibly, whether in relationships or tangible matters. Prayers certainly, but of few words and more mindful contemplation of godly wisdom then action.

Jesus was recorded as saying, “Ask anything in my name, and I will do it.” Of course, we know that Jesus doesn’t give everybody anything and everything they ask for just because they ask for it in his name. The common interpretation is that Jesus will do anything you ask of him as long as it glorifies God and is a part of God’s will. Period. Of course, that means we do a lot of asking accordingly and it is fair to say we’ve learned by now over the past few thousand years that either much of what we ask for is not a part of God’s will, i.e., we don’t get what we ask for OR we are mistaken about what we think will glorify God and thus are asking for the wrong thing. But ask we do. For example, when someone we love or know is injured, terminally ill or suffering from mental illness we always pray for healing. I mean wouldn’t every healing bring glory to God? Right? So, we ask. Yet, we discover it is a rare thing that those exact prayers are answered. Injuries still lead to disability. Terminal is terminal. Depression lingers on. When the rare healing occurs, there is certainly a great wonder, and much glory is given to God.

We Christians do a lot of asking and we’ve been taught to bring everything to God in prayer. You could argue that the main good thing is that you are at least coming to God, directing your attention to him. Maybe instead of a God who is a fixer of the external, we have a God who meets us at the level of the internal. In the mystery of how the presence of God might be revealed in our lives we discover a subtle sixth sense of presence which brings us peace, hope, assurance, wisdom and discernment in the midst of those tangible things that are not going to be fixed. Still, we are left with “ask anything in my name, and I will do it.” Sometimes context is important. You can at least propose that at that time, Jesus was speaking about that time, the time he was present on earth and was indeed doing it…all the time. I think most everyone that came to him with a request for healing….he did it. Maybe now, when we “put it in the Lord’s hands,” we are simply bearing our heart and soul to him in a time of need for ourselves or for another and he meets us in our consciousness to bring peace, hope, assurance, confidence, wisdom, discernment...even correction, humility and conviction. Then we do it. So we think we do it. Maybe he does.

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