I feel sorry for God. At least you’d think so if you could read my mind. I’m always trying to bail Him out of tough situations, as if He needs my help to avoid embarrassment.
Let’s say I’m asking God to give an unemployed friend a job. I always make sure to include caveats in my request – “Of course You know best, Lord. Maybe you have something better for him down the road.” That way, if my friend never gets a call after the interview, it’s not God’s fault and my prayer can be checked off as “Answered.” It’s win win.
And then there’s the technique of spiritualizing everything. This is the one where I pray that he gets the job, but I remind God that my friend’s spiritual condition is more important than a paycheck. So, job or no job, as long as my friend keeps his chin up (at least in public), God’s reputation remains intact.
Years ago, I gave God an even bigger escape route by blaming unanswered prayers on my own and others’ lack of faith. I’ve since abandoned that line of thinking (though I still have many questions.) It was tidy while it lasted, though.
Certainly it’s right to remember that God’s ways are not our ways. Even Jesus included the phrases “if it is Your will,” and “nevertheless, not my will, but Yours be done” in one of His most famous prayers. Still, Jesus wasn’t afraid to lay His request out there in no uncertain terms: “Father, let me avoid the crucifixion.”
God doesn’t need me to bail Him out by craftily telling Him things He already knows. It’s probably better for me to take the approach that Jesus took… express my heart and quit trying to rescue God. He’ll do what’s best regardless. And if that doesn’t meet with my approval, I’ll just admit that I don’t understand and keep loving Him anyway.