The One Thing You Should Never Pray For
There’s one thing in life you should never pray for.
But before we get there, let me remind you of a story that’s all too familiar in pop-culture—good guys win, bad guys lose. Have you noticed this?
Is it not the plot of every action movie? The villain has left the hero, or the hero’s brother, sister, parents, wife, kids, dog, etc for dead. Filled with righteous indignation the hero gears up for battle and is given over to revenge; and we eat it up. Even though we know what’s coming.
Is this hatred for the bad guy not the story WWE tells every Monday night? What can we do to make the “heel” even more hated, so that at the next pay-per-view, the “baby-face” can get over?
Is it not why we’re drawn to stories where it seems like the bad guys went free? Case and point, “Making a Murderer”. How is that attorney not in prison?
Imprinted in our souls is a divine longing for justice. We crave for things to be made right.
And in order for things to be made right, we want punishment. To “bring about justice” means violence, and hurting those who have hurt us. We want to take away everything they have robbed from us.
Conversely, mercy means to refrain from violence. Mercy is mainly understood as an inaction. Mercy means doing nothing.
Now. As a Christian, I don’t believe that this yearning for justice is an evolutionary coincidence. You don’t see any other mammals organizing rallies because they’ve been wronged or treated unfairly. Instead, you see humans, being made in the image of God, reflecting a communicable attribute of God; that is, justice.
This is why, you should never pray for justice—at least not for yourself. Don’t ever ask God to deal justly with you, because He just might.
King David writes in Psalm 51, “Against you, and you only, have I sinned.” Except if you know the story, you know he sinned against a lot of people—mainly Uriah. But it leads us to an interesting conclusion: whenever we do something wrong, which we all do, we’re sinning against the God of the universe. We’re operating contrary to how God has designed the world to work. And because of that, we deserve to be punished.
Enter the Gospel. See God’s justice requires that He make things right—either by punishing you, or by absorbing your punishment. His perfect justice requires restoration. The good news for you today is that Jesus has paid your price. He’s taken on your punishment so you don’t have to.
This is why you should never pray for justice, God just might give it to you.
Instead pray for grace, which God too, will give you. In fact, He already has, you just have to accept it.