Am I praying, or am I “wishing?”

A few years ago I heard myself say to a friend “I wish this situation would just resolve itself,” and for whatever reason the phrase “I wish” rang in my ears. The truth was, I had ONLY “wished” about the situation—I hadn’t actually prayed about it. Which made me wonder, how many things in my life am I silently “wishing” for, but not submitting to God? And what does it say about my trust in Him that I’m unconsciously withholding these “wishes?”

I think—among Christians—we can slip into using the word “hope” similarly to how culture uses the word “wish.” We have “hopes,” but we’re not submitting them to God. Partly, this has to do with fear—what if I offer my hopes to the Lord in prayer, and he doesn’t fulfill them according to my desires? And this of course points us to our misaligned priorities, stemming from our misaligned hearts…it’s difficult, untangling the roots of these issues, and pulling them out. But thankfully He remains patiently waiting for us to submit all of this to Him, and to begin again.

Slip, fall, begin again. Slip, fall, begin again. He is so gracious to walk with us as we wobble, and to pick us up when we fall.

I know that the words we use matter, but I sometimes find that I’ve slipped into vocabulary and expressions that aren’t rooted in my values or identity. Typically, these are words and expressions that I’ve unconsciously absorbed from culture, but aren’t supported by my faith. It’s a great exercise in discernment, identifying words and expressions that I’ve absorbed that aren’t true (or worse, are “true-ish”), and swapping them for what’s actually true.

Last thing: I think we need to be tender with each other, when we hear sisters echoing expressions of “cultural-truths” vs the actual truth. I see a lot of condemnation and finger-pointing, and assumption-making, and that’s not helpful or loving. It’s possible to contrast “cultural-truths” with actual truth without condemning the person who’s (probably unconsciously!) echoing it.

I’m praying that you’ll bring your silent “wishes” before the Lord, and that he’ll graciously reveal to you the areas where you may have slipped into echoing “cultural truths” in place of His truth.

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1 Comment

  1. welcomeheart

     /  February 20, 2019

    Thank you for your gentle nudge to make my hopes and wishes into prayers. I’ve got lots!(;


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