I heard the story the other day about a fellow who asked the televangelist to pray for his hearing. The televangelist did so as he took the fellow’s head in his hands and gave it a good shaking, then shoved him over backward.

“How’s your hearing,” the televangelist asked.

“I don’t know. It’s not until Wednesday at the courthouse.”

That old story reminds me of the Bible verses that say, “Ye have not because ye ask not. Ye ask and receive not because you ask amiss” (James 4:2-3).

It would seem that televangelist had asked amiss.

Perhaps we’ve all asked amiss at some point in our lives. Often that means selfishly asking for things that aren’t really in our best interest. The Lord mercifully says no to such prayer requests. We may not be happy with that answer at first, but later, perhaps even years later, we thank God for not listening to us.

Country music singer Garth Brooks captured this truth in one of his most popular songs that says:

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers

Remember when you’re talkin’ to the man upstairs

That just because he doesn’t answer doesn’t mean he don’t care

Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

We should all be thankful that the Lord is in control, instead of us. If we had our way in all things, we’d likely make a royal mess. But he has a purpose and a plan for each of us, and he’s working within us and around us to help us fulfill that purpose and plan.

“The steps of a man are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23).

So, we can take courage in knowing that the Lord has our best interest in mind as he leads and guides us through the journey of life, that he is busy working all things together for our good.

We may not be able to trust the televangelist to get it right when he prays for us, but we can always rest assured that our Lord WILL get it right.

Roger Alford is pastor of South Fork Baptist Church. Reach him at 502-514-6857.

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