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Putting Our Faith in Wishes or Prayers?

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Author: Sarah Smiley

If you could make one wish, what would it be?

For me, several things come to mind: I wish I could lose weight. I wish I could keep my car clean. I wish Ford would stop singing the Superman song 24-hours a day.

Think of all the places humans have designed to ask for and (hopefully) receive wishes: When we blow out the candles on our birthday; when we toss a coin in a fountain; when we blow an eyelash off our finger. We are all very wishful, aren't we?

Today I was listening to an old Hollie's song that begins like this: "If I could make a wish I think I'd pass/Can't think of anything I need."

Wow, imagine living in a state of total contentment. "Can't think of anything I need?" I repeated the verse and thought, "This guy's got a serious case of lovesickness, or something!"

And, actually, the song is meant to be about love and romance, but as I listened to the words, I began to see a different, personal interpretation.

The lyrics continue: "What more could I ask/ There's nothing left to be desired/ Sometimes, all I need is the air that I breathe and to love you."

As Christians, these lyrics unwittingly describe the truest form of loving God. Matthew 22:37-38 says, "Jesus replied, 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment."

According to the Bible, we should need nothing more than the air we breathe (no wishing-fountains, candles or superstitions) to love and believe in God.

The Bible also tells us, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-- not by works, so that no one can boast." (Ephesians 2, 1:8-9)

Come to think of it, all the wishes I've ever made at the mall's fountain have never come true. I never suddenly had the body of a Super Model. I never stumbled upon a box full of cash or won the lottery.

Hey, I want my money back! I want a refund! Those fountains never work; they just eat your change!

The prayers I've said in my life, however, have always been worth the investment. While the answer isn't necessarily what I want, usually it is what I need.

Perhaps if we left more up to God, if we put our faith in Him instead of a birthday candle or fallen eyelash, we could find a state of being where there's "nothing left to be desired." Because the Bible tells us prayer works, but I don't recall it saying anything about wishes.

Sarah Smiley, Copyright 2004

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THIS MUST BE INCLUDED: Copyright 2004 Sarah Smiley - Sarah Smiley's syndicated column Shore Duty appears weekly in newspapers across the country.

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