This is something people say to each other, when they perceive someone is praying out of the ordinary. When people are reaching higher than most are willing to. When disappointment might be a thing. Most people are basically scared to death of the life of Faith. We love to TALK about it! But LIVING it is another matter!
However, the KJ Version of the scripture, which comes to mind every time someone says that to me – is found in Philippians 4:6. In the KJV it says, “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
I know that most other translations say “Be anxious for nothing”. Careful, Anxious - whatever. “Careful”, when used in the admonition mentioned above however, “be careful what you pray for”, is usually followed by, “you just might get it!” Which usually means that, either we don't always know what we need, so if we ask and get it, it might be more of a pain than a blessing! OR, they feel GOD doesn't know which prayers to answer, or how; or worse - that He some great smart-alec, just waiting to rub our ignorance in our faces. Sometimes it does seem that way, until we get to know Him. His character is not vindictive, except toward His enemies. He doesn't do that with His children though. He is infinitely caring, attentive and knows, more than we do, what it is that we need most, at any given time!
Yeshua made a similar cautionary statement - to those who seemed to be lining up to follow Him. But He said it a bit differently. He said,
“For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether or not he have wherewith to complete it? Lest haply, when he has laid a foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold his effort begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish. Or what king, as he goes to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and take counsel whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him that comes against him with twenty thousand? Or else, if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends an ambassador, and asks for conditions of peace. So therefore whosoever he be of you that renounces not all that he has, he cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14: 28-33 ASV)
He was obviously saying, “Before you sign on, be sure you are ALL IN. KNOW what you will be giving up to follow, and be sure you are okay with that!”
When it comes to praying for things though, like deliverance from some difficulty. But in any perceived needs, we should pray in a surrendered way – as in -
“This is what I think I need, Father God, but what do YOU think?” We should never demand things from God! He is not our servant, we are supposed to be HIS!
Recently, earlier this year in fact, there was such a situation, in my life, wherein I “got what I prayed for”! This morning The Holy Spirit continues to shed light on it for me.
For the last couple of years things at home had gotten more and more intolerable between the hubs and I. He was FINALLY discovering some piles of well-hidden, protected, flesh that had NEVER been dealt with by leadership, or himself. Flesh which had, btw, been stinking up MY world for the last, almost four, decades! And I was dealing with the bitterness of the fact that he was just now getting around to that mess! Just now having his “prodigal son” moment – while treating me like I was the prodigal the whole way! That business, along with the shock of finding out some things that he had hidden REALLY well. Oy gevault. It was the proverbial last straw on this already loaded, very weary, “camel” - beast of BURDEN extraordinaire!
There had been a significant betrayal – besides the obvious ones - which happened all the time. Situation after situation in which he took leadership's word over mine, or even that of our children. Those kinds of “less significant”, but no less humiliating, betrayals happened entirely too often, so I was already pretty “flat” from the many “buses” he had thrown me under to preserve his own white-washed image! And the anger of those, as yet unresolved, repeated, betrayals was sort of piling up, and heating up, like a volcano about to erupt!
So I was praying for deliverance from this situation, a LOT. First I was praying that prayer in the scripture; “Lord, I believe!!! Help my unbelief!” (Because the ONLY reason I was still here was - is - because I KNOW - beyond ANY shadow of any doubt – what God's will for this marriage IS. HE gave me a vision at the beginning of how this is SUPPOSED to be going! Now, IF only a certain butthead would only remove his head from his butt and PAY ATTENTION!!!! I would add, this IS finally happening NOW, since I left and everything, but wasn't happening then. Not in a way that was helping me heal.).
But then, as The Holy Spirit got my attention back on HIM - I began to realize that I couldn't accomplish God's will by myself, or even through my prayers! It began to dawn on me that GENE had to WANT this as badly as God and I did! Because God was NOT going to over ride anyone's free will!
And, that realization, plus the aforementioned decades of deferred hopes on this issue, began to take a toll on me. I began to “be weary in well doing”. So my prayer changed to something more like a “Marcel Ledbetter” prayer, “Just shoot up here amongst us and give ONE of us some RELIEF!”
(Sorry, some of you won't be old enough to track that reference. It's an old story told by a comedian, in which his cousin “Marcel” had chased what he thought was a coon up a tree, but it turned out to be a bobcat! Lol Anywhooo... an appropriate analogy for marriage if I ever heard one!)
Finally, with the help of The Spirit I was able to surrender my marriage to GOD – whose property it was anyway - lock, stock and barrel – and take my hands, and heart off of it entirely.
But then, in putting it down, I realized that I REALLY needed a break from the situation. Because, somehow, just sitting – waiting some more - while seeing my hopes deferred day after day, was wearing me thin (because, as I have alluded to, this man has had some significant pride and stubbornness issues). So I began to beseech God for a break! I said to Him, “Even Elijah had a dang cave so he could get some rest!!!!!”
Apparently, Father God agreed that this was a great idea. Because, only a few months after praying that, I found myself neck-deep in making plans to DRIVE to OREGON, in a rental car, to help a young lady out there! She was recovering from another fall off the addiction wagon. She wanted so badly to live a Godly life, but had NO ONE to turn to spiritually!
She and I had gotten to know each other on Facebook, and I had been mentoring her as well as possible from this distance. But it became clear that more accountability was needed, and some intense deliverance ministry, if she was going to be able to get over this wall in her life! So my “break” was being thrown head first into a deep pool of spiritual needs, in which I, just learning to “swim”! And in which I was to be the main “life-guard”! Well, alrighty then!
As if THAT weren't Faith stretching enough - this venture would require me to use my portion of our combined income, which would require some faith on both our parts – financially speaking especially. My pittance would pay my rent and leave me a whopping $100 to live on for the month! And his two thirds would pay the bills here, and leave him maybe that much for food, gas, etc. But you know, when God says go ….
I have always believed, and seen, that “where He guides He provides”. Also I kept hearing - “Go and I will show you”. So that is what I did. And He kept His word as always! But back to the original point – of “being careful what one prays for” . . .
When I got there. To a bit of temporary disgruntlement, I found that the room I was to live in, was more like a walk in closet - and it was in a corner of the basement! Immediately I thought to myself, “Well sister, ya DID ask for a cave!” Lol. The only difference in MY “Cave” and Elijah's turned out to be that my cave had internet, and instead of birds bringing me food, it was Amazon Fresh! But the results were very similar!
I went in to this God selected “Cave”, sort of running for my life, from past issues and the damage of those relationships, and came out of there with a sense of Anointing to finish the work God has appointed me to do! Part of which was seeing that young lady delivered, and some other people in the “Clean and Sober” house helped as well, to at least have a vision and a hope to begin their path to wholeness! So. Mission accomplished. Prayer answered. The “Cave” was a great idea after all.
Tomorrow I will share part two of this journey to wholeness.
Shabbat Shalom Haverim!