Question:

I was reading the bible the other day , I forget which verse but I read something like 'Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean'

That verse made me wonder. Is that a correct way to ask God for something is to ask if He is willing, rather than make it sound like we want Him to go against His will?

Also, what is the proper way to ask Him for patience?


Answer:

"And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean." Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately the leprosy left him" (Luke 5:12-13).

Any one approaching God must realize that this is God's world and we are his created beings to serve His purpose. To put it simply, we have to have humility when we come to God for help. "But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:6-10).

You can see this attitude in Sadrach, Meshach and Abednego. "Nebuchadnezzar spoke, saying to them, "Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the gold image which I have set up? Now if you are ready at the time you hear the sound of the horn, flute, harp, lyre, and psaltery, in symphony with all kinds of music, and you fall down and worship the image which I have made, good! But if you do not worship, you shall be cast immediately into the midst of a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you from my hands?" Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego answered and said to the king, "O Nebuchadnezzar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If that is the case, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us from your hand, O king. But if not, let it be known to you, O king, that we do not serve your gods, nor will we worship the gold image which you have set up."" (Daniel 3:14-18). Notice that the men were quite confident that God would save them, but notice that they understood that God might have other plans and might not choose to save them. It didn't matter to them which way it would be. They would not bow down to any idol.

This then is what God requires of each of us -- to approach his throne in humility. Not demanding things of God, expecting that He has to grant us favors, but realizing that this is God's universe, that we appreciate Him taking time to give us gifts in the pass and telling Him of our problems and needs. Even Jesus, facing death on the cross, prayed, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" (Matthew 26:39). We can do no less than our Master.

There is an old expression, "Be careful for what you ask." The Bible tells us that we ought to pray for things like patience, but it also tells us how patience is gained. "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience" (James 1:2-3). The answer to your pray will gain you patience, but you must realize that you may be sent several difficulties to overcome so that in the overcoming you learn the patience you seek. I not trying to discourage you from seeking patience. I want you to seek it, but don't become discouraged by the manner in which you eventually learn it.