“Be careful what you wish for.”  That’s a pretty common saying, right?  When somebody really wants a job, and then they start doing it and find out it is more work than they bargained for.  A teenager begs to watch a scary movie, and then they have nightmares.  I ask for a dozen donuts, and then I get sick because I eat them all in one sitting.  I get it.  We don’t always consider all of the possible outcomes of getting something we think we want.

I rarely hear that saying applied to prayer, though.  I find that kind of odd.  I feel like we often pray for things that we wish we had.  So why aren’t we more cautious about what we pray for?  In my opinion, we should be.

I believe that prayer works.  I have seen people healed, situations resolved, and peoples’ hearts both broken and cured due to prayer.  I have personally had prayers answered in the midst of a prayer.  However, there is one request that God granted for me that I instantly regretted asking for…patience.

Some of you know what I am talking about.  If you ask God for knowledge, He will put you in a situation where you can acquire it.  If you ask God for advice, He will often surround you with Christian counsel to help guide your decisions.  And if you pray for patience, God will bless you with situations where you are forced to be more patient than you ever dreamed. 

For the vast majority of folks, being patient isn’t fun.  That’s why I wanted help with it.  I wanted to magically be able to wait at the DMV for hours without ever worrying about where I needed to be.  I wanted to be able to ride out tantrums with my kids without ever getting frustrated.  I wanted to be able to wait…and wait…and wait for whatever God has planned for me. 

So what did God do?  He made me wait for answers for many things.  He put me in frustrating situations that seemed like they would never end.  He put me in situations where I felt like I was going to go crazy if something didn’t happen soon…and of course, nothing did.  I did become more patient during those times.  There is no doubt about it.  But it was definitely not what I was hoping for.

While I appreciated the opportunities to become more patient, I have definitely learned my lesson.  I will only pray for things that I am ready to acquire through direct application.  Nowadays, any time my family is going through a troubling time that seems to never end, I find myself wondering who asked for more patience.  I may or my not be guilty for accusing my wife of doing so on occasion.  I’m telling ya, you have to be careful what you pray for.

Have you ever had a prayer answered in a way that was more than what you bargained for?




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