Recently I asked a friend to pray that I would have patience with the little second graders who I was teaching. Her reply startled me: “I never pray for patience because God just sends more troubles.” The implication was that God doesn’t give us what we ask for (name any virtue) as much as he teaches us those virtues through trials. While this may be true, it is foolhardy to think we can fool God by avoiding certain types of prayer. Her statement also implied that she knew better than God what she really needed and how to get it.
If the Lord sees fit to teach patience via tribulation so be it. If He sends it instantly when needed, then praise Him. But we shouldn’t try to trick Him by avoiding touchy subjects. HE KNOWS EVERYTHING. He knows our hearts and what we really need.
If we want to avoid risky prayers, we might as well avoid the one Jesus taught us, “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” In that short phrase we are giving Him permission to do whatever it takes to build up His kingdom. What would it take for the world to see Christ in us? Oswald Chamber says that the best wine comes from the best grapes only after they have been crushed. So we might as well forget all that nonsense about praying safe prayers. There are no such things.