Have you ever asked a question you knew was leading you, at break-neck, James Bond movie car chase, speed, into trouble? I know I have. Interestingly Bond’s car and my ego have often paid an equal price when the deed was done.
Christians ask all sorts of questions when they pray and that’s good. The Bible encourages us to take our needs to God. But is a question ever more than just a question?
Jesus loved entertaining questions when He was on earth. He answered all sorts of them. Yet there were times when he absolutely shut down the one asking the question. So was Jesus rash? Did he like some people and not others? Was he temperamental? Were there days when he just had enough? More importantly how can we know our question will be well received when we come before Jesus in prayer today for the hundredth time?
The key is in the posture of our heart.
The truth is yes, there are times when questions are bad. I believe that many of us have been pushed, in moments of desperation, to use the question mark as a weapon. In the pain and confusion of life Job lashed out at God with a question: “Your hands fashioned and made me altogether, And would you destroy me?”. He could not, at that moment understand God’s plan and so he lashed out at God. God’s was not silent, but offered this response: “gird up your loins like a man; I will ask you, and you will instruct Me. Will you really annul My judgment? Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?”
So how do we avoid the danger of cloaking anger, fear, frustration or mistrust in the form of a question.
In moments of intense pain, fear, or worries start your prayers with silence.
Our words are a reflection of our heart. So if we are to be truly silent before God out heart has to be silent, not just our lips. Have you ever noticed that, many times, the heart goes on talking even after our mouth is shut. Being silent before God means being quiet in soul and body. Psalm 62:1 says “My soul waits in silence for God only; From Him is my salvation.” There is something about quiet that helps us become fully present before God. Further, when we understand, like the Psalmist, that our salvation…indeed our very existence is sourced in God, only then do the issue at hand truly come into focus.
The next time you’re tempted to lash out at God with one of those “this really isn’t a question” question take a moment to be silent…you may find you’re answer even before the question is asked.