A catalogue at the door throws me into a tizzy of wishing. I scour pages, noting new outfits, furnishings, or appliances that I'd order if I had the money! I write each item on my "wish list" and toss it all on a shelf. When the catalogue expires, I throw both catalogue and list into the recycling bin with a clear conscience. After all, I was only wishing.
There is a verse where the King James Version uses the word "wish" while later Bible versions use the word "pray".
3 John 2 – Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. (KJV)
3 John 2 – Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. (NIV)
The Greek word for "wish" is "euchomai". It means to wish, or by implication, to pray to God. What if every time I used the word "wish", God took it as a prayer and answered it? Horrors! What would I do with that houseful of stuff on my wish list? What if God heard words like "I wish you kids would leave me alone" as a prayer and answered it?
We need to be much more careful about what we wish for! How about, "Lord, we wish that every person would reach out in love to one another." "We wish for a sweet spirit of fellowship." "We wish that all would be clothed with patience and love for one another."And what if God answered?
Prayer: Lord, guard our tongues so that we don't wish or pray for things that we would be horrified to get. Instead, give us the grace to wish for those things that further Your kingdom. And God, we wish that You would answer! In Jesus' name. Amen.