The prayer list tonight was the longest I've ever seen. People battling addiction, facing cancer, dealing with other health issues, family struggles...the list went on and on. We studied the temptations of Jesus, the first of which was to turn stones into bread. After forty days' of fasting, that proposition must have been pretty...well...tempting. Do it, and abracadabra! The problem is solved! But it would have been a carnival act, a magic show like pulling a rabbit out of a hat or coins from thin air, instead of working within the framework of the order of Creation where stones remain stones, and bread remains bread.
It made me wonder how often my prayers succumb to this temptation, asking God to turn the stones of life into bread. My favorite definition of prayer is "rebellion against the status quo," but when are we to rebel, and when does it become time to accept our circumstances and allow God to use them to shape us in his image? I'm not sure of the answers, but Jesus taught us to pray tenaciously, so I'll keep working at it. Maybe Jesus will turn the stone of cancer or addiction into a loaf of healing, and it won't be a sin.