In the film "Amadeus", it gives a terrifying example of the destructive power of a certain kind of praying. Antonio Salieri prays as a youngster, "Lord, make me a great composer. Let me celebrate Your glory through music and be celebrated myself. Make me famous through the world, dear God. Make me immortal. After I die, let people speak my name forever with love for what I wrote. In return, I will give you my chastity, my industry, my deepest humility, every hour of my life." Do you see the fatal flaw in Salieri's prayer?
Salieri certainly seems to be blessed by GOD, despite his deeply flawed praying. His father, who opposed his interest in music, dies. Salieri is able to study music and becomes a very popular musician, rising to the position of court composer in Vienna. Then Mozart arrives on the scene and Salieri recognizes Mozart is far more talented than he. Envy rises in Salieri's heart and he begins to complain of GOD: "All I ever wanted was to sing to God. He gave me that longing and then made me mute! Why? Tell me that. If He didn't want me to praise Him with music, why implant the desire like a lust in my body and then deny me the talent?"
As Mozart continues to outshine Salieri, Salieri turns on GOD, throwing his crucifix into the fire and saying, "From now on we are enemies, You and I, because You choose for Your instrument a boastful, lustful, smutty, infantile boy and gave me for a reward only the ability to recognize the incarnation; because You are unjust, unfair, unkind. I will block You, I swear it. I will hinder and harm Your creatures on earth as far as I am able." With that he sets out to destroy Mozart.
So, when we are called to "confident praying", we are not being called to selfishness or to be demanding, but to confidence in GOD and submission to HIM. We must say from the heart, "Not my will, but Thine be done." Let us always pray, "LORD, what THOU Will, when THOU Will, as THOU Will, however THOU Will!" That, and that alone, is confident, godly and constructive prayer!
"Dear FATHER in Heaven, Please forgive us all for our self-will which rises up even when we pray! Teach us, Oh LORD, the Grace of submission. May we each learn to wait on YOU and to yield to YOU in all things and at all times. Thank YOU, FATHER, for all of the many Blessings YOU grant each one of us on a daily basis. We Pray to YOU, JESUS, in YOUR Precious and Mighty Name. Amen."
Reading Luke 22:39-71 this morning….