Jesus replied: “It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Creator has set through divine authority.” – Acts 1:7 (A Women’s Lectionary: Year A, pg. 304)
It’s not for us to know.
But God knows.
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with making an imperfect petition to God. God can certainly handle frustration and God is certainly accustomed to our mistakes and misgivings. Ecclesiastes 1: Nothing is new under the sun. God’s seen it all.
I think what Jesus invites us to do, though, is to mature in our desiring.
A spiritually mature faith comes from a spiritually mature person. Who doesn’t deny their self but knows their self. Who can distinguish between desire from need. Whose supplications come from the need space less than the desire space.
Because when our prayer lives just list our desires, we’re asking God to be something other than God and we take on our own spiritual authority. Which simply doesn’t work. And leads to disappointment.
But if our prayers begin with the presupposition that God knows, then we end up handing over our deepest needs to God. And in so doing, we open the space within ourselves for God to make the changes we need. And God knows just what we need. We just need the revelation so that we can recognize, in ourselves, what God already knows. Imagine that!
Help me to see in myself what you already see, God, and to love that vision fiercely. Amen.
Kaji Douša is the Senior Pastor of The Park Avenue Christian Church, a congregation of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ, in New York City.