Some time ago a clergyman shouted with all of his might, “God, damn America!” Standing behind his pulpit with his colorful clerical robe and embroidered stole, his rant and rage shocked many who saw him on television.
The longer I watched and wondered, the more his words confused and disturbed me. I could not help but think about the impact this would have on those who were in his congregation or watching him on television or read his words in newspapers and magazines. Surely some would be as disturbed as I was. But, there would be others who would agree with him and cheer for him.
Most often when we and others call on God it is for a favor or something we cannot do. It could be for healing, a financial need, a loved one who has wandered from God, or insight or wisdom. Then there are others who call on God because they want Him to use His power to do things that are destructive - like “God, I hate America so much that I want You to use Your power to hurt people I can’t.”
David spoke of them: “They speak of You with evil intent; Your adversaries misuse Your name.” We need to remind ourselves that God will only answer our prayers if our requests are consistent with His name or in keeping with His character. He is not available to hurt or harm His children or His creation or to satisfy our anger or do our “dirty work” or evil intentions.
God is always there, willing to hear our requests and answer them in the way that will bring honor and glory to Him. If we call on Him “with evil intent,” He will not hear us.
Prayer: Lord, grant us purity of heart and mind when we approach You in prayer. May our requests honor You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Scripture for Today: Psalm 139:20 They speak of you with evil intent; your adversaries misuse your name.