Thursday, June 19, 2008

Be Careful What You Pray For!

The mother of James and John, two of the chief apostles to the Lord, one time approached the Savior with a request.

“What wilt thou?” The Savior asked.

“Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom.” she responded.

“Ye know not what ye ask,” Jesus explained and then went on to prophesy of that the brothers would experience some of the same things he did, but that it was not his decisions as to who would sit on his right side and on his left. Only the Father could determine that. (See Matthew 20:20-23)

Matthew doesn’t record for us the mother’s response, was she disappointed, sad, upset that her request had not been granted, or did she understand what a mistake she had made in asking? You see, elsewhere in the scriptures we learn that the righteous will be on the right hand of God and the wicked will be on the left. As we are taught in the book of Alma, “For the names of the righteous shall be written in the book of life, and unto them will I grant an inheritance at my right hand” (Alma 5:58. See also, Mosiah 26:23).

So what James and John’s mother asked for is that one of her sons be among the righteous and one be among the damned. As Jesus said, she didn’t know what she was asking!

This story makes me wonder how many of my requests are like this? How many times have I prayed for something that actually would not be good for me? It makes me stop and ponder, but most of all it increases my trust in my Savior. He died to save me. Surely now he is also going to lead and guide me into all righteousness–even if I am asking for something else.


Knowles Family said...

What great insight! Thank you again.

connie said...

Amazing!!! And so true. The Lord knows what we need better than we do.

Anonymous said...

I always learn something from your insight into things. Thanks for sharing....TeLene

Cyndy Parrott said...

Well put, Sister Johnson! I too learned this truth the hard way. My husband loves the Old Testament! I thought it would be wonderful if he could be given the chance to see the Old Testament land so I began praying and asking Heavenly Father to bless him with such a chance. Years later my husband got that chance but not how I imagined it would be - he was sent to Ramadi, Iraq while serving as an LDS Chaplain in the Army. The experience was not "tourist" to be sure. He saw the land of Abraham and then some. After his return, he has asked me "NOT" to pray for him again! :) Lesson learned!