"And Lord, please let the electricity go out again. Amen."
I didn't know whether to laugh or groan at my 7 yr old daughter's prayer request. After being without electricity for several days in August, due to Hurricane Irene, the electricity had finally come back on. But evidently too soon for her. She'd enjoyed the extra outside play time, and fun of "roughing it," although honestly since we have a generator we weren't roughing it too much. We had refrigeration and lights, but no air conditioning, television, phone or Internet. Other people had suffered far more than we had. Thankfully God said no to her prayer.
But how many times have I prayed for something that made God laugh or groan? Things that seem just perfect in my little world, not realizing the impact that it would make on the world at large. Not realizing others suffering, or that they would suffer if my request got a "yes" answer.
The best prayer is "Thy will be done." But so often I pray "MY will be done!" Not literally, no. But certainly my requests seem that way.
Even if I tried, I can't see the big picture like God can. And that is why relationship is so much more important than requests. God wants to know our hearts desire, just like I want to know my daughter's. But that doesn't mean either of us are guaranteed to say yes. It's the relationship that matters, even when we say no.
Spend some time today building that relationship with God through prayer. And remember that sometimes he loves you so much that he answers no.