Posted by: pastormikemcdowell | November 18, 2015

November 18, 2015 “Diamonds or Duds?”

“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.” (Ecclesiastes 5:2)

Good Morning Dear Friends,

I wonder how many of you have ever seen a movie made a few years back called “King Ralph.” The premise of the film is that the entire royal family of England has been wiped out by a freak accident during a thunderstorm, and a crude American Las Vegas lounge singer named Ralph Jones is discovered to be the next in line for the throne. He is, of course, ill-suited for such responsibility and has his share of amusing challenges adjusting to his new position of royalty, but he does enjoy the “perks” of being a king. In one scene, he is sitting in a bubble bath, wearing the crown, and notices a small bell next to him on the ledge. He rings the bell and immediately a servant appears to do his bidding, saying that he always wanted someone to wait on him in such fashion. The servant dutifully brings him his request…an assortment of candy and his favorite…milk duds.

As Christians, we are considered to be a “Royal Priesthood”, our royalty coming through our association with the King of Kings, Jesus Christ. Quite often, like “King Ralph”, we regard the privileges of this unearned title as opportunity to demand that our every whim be granted. We pray for outlandish things. Instead of wisdom, grace, love, patience, goodness, and kindness, we seek “milk duds”…things for our earthly comfort rather than things truly befitting of royalty. Then we wonder why our requests are not granted. Theologian John Piper wrote,

“It is not surprising that prayer malfunctions when we try to make it a domestic intercom to call upstairs for more comforts in the den.”

Prayer is a sacred privilege. Of course, we are permitted to request anything of God, and quite often we are unexpectedly blessed with all manner of good things. But with royalty comes responsibility, and we do well, as did King Ralph eventually, to learn that servanthood, not self-serving indulgence, is the true mark of greatness. If you find your “prayer intercom” seems to be malfunctioning, consider your requests. Are you seeking things of true and lasting value, spiritual “diamonds or duds”? Let’s pray!

Most High and Holy Lord; You delight us with good gifts day after day. May we be wise in requesting those things truly befitting of royalty…things that will bring glory to Your most Holy Name. May this become our greatest desire as we pray, we ask, in Jesus’ Mighty Name. Amen!



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