Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NKJV
Not long ago, a friend and I stopped for lunch at a popular sandwich restaurant. We placed our orders and were waiting at the register. We then witnessed the most “interesting” order ever.
She began by asking for a wrap. She then saw the “baking” marks on the tortilla and said, “that bread is bad. I don’t want that.” The teenage sandwich maker gently explained that the marks were normal. But she opted for another bread type.
“Is that bread fresh?” “Yes, ma’am, it’s baked fresh daily.” “I don’t want the meat on top. Give me the slice underneath. Is the cheese fresh?” Imagine my eye rolls. “Yes, ma’am.” “Is the lettuce fresh?” At that point I wanted to turn to her and say, “Ma’am, there’s a store next door. Go and buy your sandwich fixings and make it yourself.” I was impressed by the patience of the young kid responsible for making her “fresh” sandwich.
She then “chose” the tomatoes and other toppings. Her sandwich was finally finished. As he carefully wrapped her sandwich in the paper bearing the familiar green and yellow logo, she adds, “Oh, I would like some jalapenos.” But before he could add the peppers to a small cup, she once again “requested” fresh peppers.
As I was rehashing that incident to my husband, I felt “God’s nudge” and a tingle in my stepped-on toes. The first thought was, “Am I that demanding/obnoxious in prayer? Do I tell God how I would like Him to answer requests? Do I try to pick and choose what I am willing to do? Do I want things that I think will be ‘best’ for me instead of what would bring Him glory?” Yes, I’m sure I do.
“But Linda, doesn’t God’s Word say to come ‘boldly’ before the throne of Grace?” Indeed, it does. That doesn’t mean to barge in with our list of demands. Once we “tell” God how we want Him to answer our prayers, we are no longer requesting. We are demanding.
That scripture gets twisted many times. Take a look at it in its entirety. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” What we find at His throne is grace and mercy. I may go “boldly” to His throne, but I leave humbled with the realization of the price Jesus paid for me. My requests begin to pale in importance.
Another passage I lean on is Philippians 4:6 & 7 (ESV). “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Puts asking into the proper perspective.
So, if you find yourself “barging” into the throne room as I often do (more times than I want to admit), take a step back and a deep breath. Enter His presence with thanksgiving. Begin to truly worship the God of the universe Who knows and sees all.
God does hear our prayers. He knows the intentions of our heart. He knows what is best for us. And we need to trust Him even when we wonder if the “lettuce is fresh.”
Heavenly Father, I come boldly before Your throne in the name of Jesus. I worship You. I know You hear and answer my prayers according to what would bring You glory. Amen