Fool’s Prayer

Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, Italy, (Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva) taken by Martha Wiggins, 2011

Basilica Santa Maria sopra Minerva, Rome, Italy, (Basilica of St. Mary over Minerva) taken by Martha Wiggins, 2011. Saint Catherine of Siena is buried beneath the altar, and to the left is a statue carved by Michelangelo -Christ Bearing The Cross.

“Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil.  Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few.   For the dream comes through much effort and the voice of a fool through many words.”      Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

     Sometimes when we approach God in Church, in prayer, or even in the Bible, we go with our prayers prepared and the answer we expect.  With script in hand we know just how everything will go before we even get there, before we even pray.  We may actually get exactly what we expect, but that doesn’t always mean it is the best answer.  I call this type of pre-scripted prayer and answer fool’s prayer.  God may suffer us as fools because we don’t know any other way, but it will certainly take much longer to accomplish His will in our lives, for He will first have to show us that our answers are not in our best interest.

As in Ecclesiastes above, we should always approach the house of God to listen and not to hastily give our laundry list of prayers and desired answers.  We should not be impulsive in bringing our cares and concerns to Him, but rather, after careful consideration, and then with a listening ear to hear what God has to say.  When we do so, we are quicker to learn where He wants to lead us.  We hear rather than tell.  We pray with few words, hear with a listening ear, and do not offer the sacrifice of fools.

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