I was praying at the hospital last evening. In my prayer, I caught myself using the word “just” in the language of my prayer. This distracted me. On my drive home, I wondered what the use of this word said about my theology of prayer. Was it a nervous tick? Is it a response to rote-ness? Am I really saying “this is the only thing I was wanting done or petitioning?” Obviously it has caused me to think about prayer, Father’s heart, my heart, and how the three function synergistically.
Interesting how our heavenly Father works. I “just” came across this article on a website that discusses this very idea. You have to love the humor of the Sovereign One. I am reposting it for your reading and ruminating pleasure.
Some lighthearted fun from the Holy Observer today. (This post was written in 2004, and the movie mentioned is The Passion of the Christ.)
God to Intercessors: Just Stop Saying “Just”
Linguistic grace no longer applicable to mutually exclusive prayer requests
For decades, God has lavished his followers with linguistic grace regarding what could be considered an epidemic in the prayer world – the use of the word “just.” Usually found in a pattern similar to “God, please just [insert petition] and just [insert another petition],” the word “just” has made answering prayers a confusing and tedious process for the Almighty. In response, God declared earlier this month that Christians everywhere may no longer use the word “just” during intercessory prayer, effective immediately.
In an AIM interview with The Holy Observer, an official from Heaven explained, “This has been a huge frustration for everyone up here. For ages our gracious Father has put up with the grouping of mutually exclusive prayer requests, on each occasion taking extra time trying to decipher what the intercessor probably wanted the most. You see, the prayer queue was getting quite backed up but it was usually manageable. That is, until last month when the queue was flooded with hundreds of millions of contradictory requests. They were like, ‘Lord, just use this movie as an evangelistic tool,’ ‘God, just help us to grow spiritually as we watch this movie,’ ‘God, just let everyone understand that this movie is about Your love,’ and the one God answered, ‘Father, please just let this movie make box office history.’”
That debacle last month was apparently the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back. It is reported that God, in His perfect frustration, echoed throughout Heaven yelling, “I can only JUST do one thing!” Thus, we have the aforementioned decree.
One official, obviously becoming irritated by the topic, continued, “And that’s not even the end of it! Not only do humans continually ask God to ‘just’ do 47 things, but then they add another 85 things that they’re‘just’ doing! ‘I just want to thank You for Your grace,’ ‘I just want to lift up my mom to You,’ ‘I just praise You today.’ No! See if you just wanted to praise Him today you’d be done now! But you’re NOT, are you!?”
Officials also explained some of the details of this decree, which will be released in its final form to church leaders worldwide on April 1st. “Not only is God demanding an end to the use of the word ‘just’ during intercession, but he also is going to reject every incoming prayer request that includes it. This, of course, excludes the use of the words ‘adjust,’ ‘justice,’ ‘justly,’ ‘Justin,’ ‘Justine,’ ‘justness,’ ‘unjust,’ the adjective ‘just,’ and all their forms.”
Many congregations across the country seem confused as to why this holy mandate is necessary. “I just don’t understand what the big deal is,” began Quinton Hainsley, an intercessor at the Fire Spirit House of Prayer in Atlanta, GA. “I think this is just directed at a few Christians who just don’t think before they speak. They also just don’t let the Spirit guide them.”
Others are responding with repentance and lamentation for all the prayers that may have gone unanswered due to their self-contradictory phrasings. Genesis Kun, music director at Open Gate Assembly of God in Nashville, began worship this past Sunday, “Dear Jesus, we ask merely one thing of you this morning: please pour out Your wisdom on us and give us the words to speak, as we have faltered in the past. And be our foundation during these times and send Your Spirit in a mighty way. Our single prayer to You this morning is for forgiveness. If You could just..…ly give us grace we might honor You as we continue to think about these things.”
Regardless of their levels of understanding as to why God’s directive is necessary, most Christians are hopeful that this will help God expedite their prayer requests so they might receive answers sooner. We will have to wait and see about that, but one thing is certain. God, in his perfect timing, has asked us all to give up “just” during this Lenten season and beyond.