Practically everyone in the Bible spends most of their time complaining to God about how unfair everything is, but not many people actually get him to change his mind.
(Very loose paraphrase indeed of Genesis 18:20-33)
God: “I’m going to kill everyone in Sodom and Gomorrah because they are so evil.”
Abraham: “What if there are some good people, 50 say: then you’d be killing 50 innocent people! Surely you wouldn’t do that – don’t you always do right?”
The Lord: “OK, I’ll spare them if there are 50 righteous people.”
Abraham [presumably reeling from this wholly unexpected response, presses home his advantage]: “Now that I’ve been brave and said this to you: well, if you’d do that for 50 people, why not 45? Would you kill everyone because of 5 people?”
God: “OK, if there are 45 people I won’t destroy them.”
Abraham: “What about 40 then?”
God: “OK, 40 it is.”
Abraham [getting nervous]: “Please don’t be angry, but what 30?”
God: “OK I won’t kill them if there are 30.”
Abraham: “Well, I’ve spoken already, so I’ll go on: make it 20.”
God: “Alright – 20.”
Abraham: “What about only 10?”
God: “OK we’ll make it 10.”
[God leaves before he gets beaten down any more.]
What is going on here? Why are my prayers not like this? Why do we prefix every request with “if it’s you’re will …” when we never mean it, or if we do mean it we’re obviously not praying about stuff we care about. We are not Jesus, and we really shouldn’t pretend we have his obedient spirit.
Abraham, arguably God’s favourite human being ever, was God’s favourite because he spoke his mind and had a real relationship with him. In this case he practically emotionally blackmails God, saying “I thought you were good – why not act like it?” Why don’t we plead with God in this way about, say, the killing and hatred in the Middle East?
Because we perpetuate the lie between us that God wants us bland.