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Is It Okay to Beg or Nag God? (Y1.T2.D26)

Unsplash; "Annie Theby"


Yes, it is. In fact, Jesus encouraged it.

In today's passages, the Savior provides a parable about a widow who nagged a wicked judge until he finally heard her request. At the end of the parable, Jesus made this point: "Won’t God avenge his chosen ones who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? I tell you that he will avenge them quickly" (Luke 18:7–8).

Last summer, I found myself needing God to avenge. If you follow this blog regularly, then you know I have three grandsons. The middle one, Leo, is currently six years old. He is a bundle of investigation with little to no impulse control.

He rises earlier than the rest of the family, which frequently gets him into trouble.

On this particular evening, the sun was lowering but not the temperature. Most people in Baltimore were probably wide awake, while I was getting ready for bed. Seeing Leo's mother's number on my phone screen didn't alarm me, because we talk often enough.

"Hello," I said

"Mom, Leo's missing." Her voice was frantic. "Maddox took the baby for a walk, and I told Leo to stay inside with me. I went to the bathroom and came out, and he was gone."

Okay, I think—typical Leo. He probably followed after his brothers.

"Pray, Mom, please, pray."

I sat up, ready to pray with her, when I heard voices in the background calling Leo's name.

"The neighbors are with me. It's been at least 30 mins. Please, pray. LEO! LEO! LEO!"

Reality stabbed through me. Leo was missing.

"I'm praying," I said and hung up to let her search. My heart started to race as I prayed and texted my pastor. Prayed and texted my prayer partner. Prayed and texted the temahs (other women who've helped me raise my children). I prayed and texted everyone God brought to mind.

As I did that, ideas of who or what might prevent a little boy from responding to the cries of his mother or neighbors evoked images of this world's present dangers. Wicked plans exist to seek to entice and destroy an inquisitive little soul.

I fell to the floor, prostrate. "No, God, no, please, not this. Not this. Please, I beg you. Not this." I wept out my concerns, "He's too innocent." I nagged, "He's too young. She won't make it. No, Lord. Send your angels. Release the boy. Cover him from wicked eyes." For fifteen minutes, I covered the altar with my tears and pleadings.

Writing gurus teach us to not tell the reader you cried, but make them cry. But I can't do that because this moment was so raw. And I continued to cry in thanksgiving when the call came from my daughter. God had quickly avenged. They found Leo walking casually back toward home without his shoes on as if it were just another day.

I encourage you to take your requests to God. Keep seeking. Keep asking. Keep knocking. The heavenly Father wants to give good gifts to his children (Matthew 7:7–10). Remember, begging him is not about the number of words we say (Luke 18:9–14) but the posture of our heart when we say them.

Your Requests Cannot Exhaust God

1 He also spoke a parable to them that they must always pray, and not give up, 2 saying, “There was a judge in a certain city who didn’t fear God, and didn’t respect man. 3 A widow was in that city, and she often came to him, saying, ‘Defend me from my adversary!’ 4 He wouldn’t for a while, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God, nor respect man, 5 yet because this widow bothers me, I will defend her, or else she will wear me out by her continual coming.’”

6 The Lord said, “Listen to what the unrighteous judge says. 7 Won’t God avenge his chosen ones who are crying out to him day and night, and yet he exercises patience with them? 8 I tell you that he will avenge them quickly. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?”

9 He also spoke this parable to certain people who were convinced of their own righteousness, and who despised all others. 10 “Two men went up into the temple to pray; one was a Pharisee, and the other was a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee stood and prayed to himself like this: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of men, extortionists, unrighteous, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week. I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far away, wouldn’t even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:1–14)

Matthew 19:1–3, Mark 10:1–2

3 He answered, “What did Moses command you?”

4 They said, “Moses allowed a certificate of divorce to be written, and to divorce her.” (Mark 10:3–4)

Matthew 19:4–6, Mark 10:6–9

7 They asked him, “Why then did Moses command us to give her a certificate of divorce and divorce her?” (Matthew 19:7)

Matthew 19:8, Mark 10:5

10 In the house, his disciples asked him again about the same matter. (Mark 10:10)

Matthew 19:9, Mark 10:11–12

10 His disciples said to him, “If this is the case of the man with his wife, it is not expedient to marry.”

11 But he said to them, “Not all men can receive this saying, but those to whom it is given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way from their mother’s womb, and there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men; and there are eunuchs who made themselves eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven’s sake. He who is able to receive it, let him receive it.” (Matthew 19:10–12)

Matthew 19:13–14, Mark 10:13–14, Luke 18:15–16

Mark 10:15, Luke 18:17

Matthew 19:15a, Mark 10:16

15b and departed from there. (Matthew 19:15b)

Meditation Moment

Dear God,

I know there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5). I'm grateful as one God you consist of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit who helps my weaknesses, for I don’t know how to pray as I ought. But the Spirit himself makes intercession for me with groanings that can’t be uttered (Romans 8:26). I accept Your promise that if I remain in You, and Your words remain in me, I can ask whatever I desire, and it will be done for me (John 15:7).


Meditation Music Link


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