Dear church,

“Why have you given me but one lot and one portion as an inheritance?” – Joshua 17:14

Be careful to wipe any sense of “deserving” out of your prayers. The people of Joseph, the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, were convinced they were being shorted in the allotments of land for Israel. They had grown into a large nation, and the land didn’t seem big enough for them. Not only that, some Canaanites still lived there, and they were tough customers. 

So the people of Joseph complained to Joshua. In reality, however, they were complaining against God. It was God who was allocating the land by lot (Joshua 14:2). Joshua finally told the people they had everything they needed. “You are a numerous people and have great power.” Basically, Joshua said, “Get to it!”

When we pray, we must pray with humility. If we don’t, we may get demanding with God, expecting him to heed our every whim. Like a parent with a toddler, he sometimes must tell us “no” – because we don’t need the thing for which we are asking or because the thing actually would be a curse instead of a blessing. 

Instead, God might very well say, “You have everything you need already. Get to it.” We receive everything from God as a gift. And we don’t deserve even this much.


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