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And a Child Shall Lead Thee

My oldest daughter has taken to asking God to “protect all the good people” and “make sure there are no hurricanes or tornadoes” and other similarly kindhearted, faithful wishes for the general welfare. Our world-wise adult reflex is to prompt her to water down her requests to something meaningless like “please watch over them”. Why?

Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, … if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:21–22)

For with God nothing shall be impossible. (Luke 1:37)

If nothing is impossible for God, why can’t he seem to muster the same benevolence as my child? Have adult believers learned to be less compassionate in their prayers in order to cover for God’s lack of compassion?

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  1. Lincoln Cannon said,

    September 17, 2008 @ 11:47 am

    Nothing shall be impossible, but it takes time and effort, even for a god, to make the actual reflect the desired possible.

  2. Jonathan Blake said,

    September 17, 2008 @ 12:13 pm

    So there is a qualifier on Luke 1:37 so that it should read “For with God nothing shall be impossible except things that require God to control time or work instantaneously; He cannot do that so do not ask.” :)

  3. Lincoln Cannon said,

    September 17, 2008 @ 12:41 pm

    I don’t have the greek available offhand, but the English uses “shall be” — not “is”.

  4. Jonathan Blake said,

    September 17, 2008 @ 12:53 pm

    I’m no scholar of Greek, but “shall be” seems to be an interpolation since there are no corresponding words in the original, for what it’s worth.

    In any case, you’re basically agreeing with my restatement.

  5. Lincoln Cannon said,

    September 17, 2008 @ 3:03 pm

    Yep — even if that means the text is fallible, which it is, of course.

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