On 2007-01-12, Brand Robins wrote:
As I was brought up, its okay to pray for more food, especially coming out of a family that started off blue collar and had periods where having what we wanted wasn’t a daily event. That’s asking for continuation, for protection, and maybe for comfort. (Asking for comfort is something I go back and forth about, and find the acceptability of highly contextual.)
Thanking God for being rich, otoh, is right the fuck out. Though my dad would never have said fuck, he did once give me his unvarnished opinion of a man who in testimony meeting (a Mormon meeting in which you get up and tell each other about how you believe in God) talked about how blessed he was and how he knew God was real because he had a big house. I don’t think I’ve ever seen my father so close to spitting in rage.
As you say, I think the key is humility. If you’re asking for something because you really don’t know if you can get it but do really need it, because you really need help going on, because you really are lacking… then asking God for what you can not assure yourself of is humble. You are saying “though who art greater than I, please bless me.” The other side of it is asking for things you think you deserve, thanking for things you already have because you’re so awesome, or thinking that anything you’ve gotten is about you rather than about God’s mercy (or God testing you)—that ain’t humble.