Manipulating Our Maker?


Do you sometimes view God as a heavenly “Mr. Fix‐It” -- a supernatural problem solver who can be manipulated according to your whims?

“If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.”  1 John 5:14

It’s tempting for some of us to view our Lord as a heavenly “Mr. Fix‐It”—a supernatural problem solver who can be manipulated according to our whims. We might make a little wager on our favorite football team and then pray for God to intervene so our team will win. Or on the day of the church picnic, we might pray for a rainstorm so we don’t have to fix that potato salad we promised to bring.

Others see prayer as a negotiating tool. They want to make a deal with God: “Lord, if You give me this promotion at work...or allow me to get pregnant this month...or let that car at the dealership still be on sale... then I promise I’ll do [fill in the blank] for You.”

Of course these are foolish bargains that reveal a misunderstanding of the majesty of God. He is Lord of lords, King of kings, and Creator of all heaven and earth. He is not a deal maker who allows Himself to be manipulated. Instead, He wants us to carefully consider His will for our lives before we pray. Prayer is a privilege—a direct line to the Lord’s eternal wisdom and love. Let’s not forget what a blessing it is just to come into His presence.

Just between us . . .

• Have you ever tried to manipulate God through prayer?

• How can we be sure our prayer petitions are within God’s will?

• Do our prayers include adoration, devotion, and intercession, or do they represent merely a daily “wish list”?

• How might our relationship change if we focused on prayer from God’s perspective?

Heavenly Father, thank You for the privilege of bringing our requests to You. Give us a deep desire for Your will—not ours—for our marriage, and help us to shape our prayers and our priorities accordingly. Amen.

From Night Light For Couples, by Dr. James & Shirley Dobson

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