We probably all have words that we can't stand to hear, those that give us that 'nails on a chalkboard' sensation when someone says one of them. Some of my personal 'favorites' are:
"Hubs", and its variation, "Hubby"
And any word to which an "uh" is added to the end when spoken. For example, Love = "Lov-uh" or No = "No-uh". (We used to refer to this speech atrocity as "Valley Girl" talk, but I have just seriously dated myself with that reference.)
Yet, as much as these words bug me, I believe my Number 1, 100%, most assuredly worst pet peeve word is: "Deserve". Yes, Deserve. Various dictionary definitions for the word "deserve" center around the idea that one is "qualified for" or "has claim to" something because of what he or she has done or because of some characteristic one possesses. (I can already feel the veins in my neck bulging as I type the definition).
But, why? Why does the word "Deserve" irritate me so much?
First of all, it's because we live in a world where people seem to feel entitled. Saying you "deserve" something is the equivalent of throwing a tantrum - or what we refer to in the South as a 'hissy fit' - because you want what you feel you have coming to you, you want what you "deserve"! The scripture in Ephesians (below) speaks against boasting about our own works -- and I would equate boasting to a tantrum. So, stop it already.
Secondly, as I see it, the concept of "deserving" is in direct opposition to what God has done for us. We are sinners. Saved by God's grace and mercy. A gift. That's it. We didn't earn salvation and we dang sure don't deserve it. And let's not forget that Jesus was perfect and did nothing, NOTHING to deserve what the world did to Him.
So, I would ask you (and ask myself): Do you really want what you "deserve"? You sure about that?
Ephesians 2:8-9 ESV For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. Source: https://www.openbible.info/topics/grace
Recommended Read. (As an Amazon affiliate and Christianbook group associate, I receive compensation for qualified purchases).
Prayer is not a Presentation; It's a Conversation
The Bible has many verses telling us to pray for things we want, things we need (big difference between 'wants' and 'needs', but that's a topic for another time.... stay with me here). In fact, God's Word tells us that we don't get because we don't ask. Here are just a couple of examples of scriptures commonly referenced on the importance of asking through prayer:
James 4:2-3 New International Version (NIV)2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.
John 16:24 New International Version (NIV)24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
OK, so I got this. Let the prayin' and the askin' begin!
But, wait (insert sound of car slamming on brakes).
Hang on a minute. I've been praying for years for something to happen in the life of someone I know. Years, I tell ya. My motives were pure, my prayers were diligent, clear, and to-the-point. God knew exactly what I wanted Him to do. Yet, despite my presentation worthy of a Fortune 500 boardroom, what I was praying for did not happen. Frustrated and, frankly, burned out, I told God "Fine, then, forget about it. Just skip it. I'm done praying for that. I give up. You can take this one, God".
Did you catch that? I'm "handing it back" to God (like I ever "had it" in the first place). My prayers were based on what I came up with, what I determined to be the perfect solution for the problem. Yeah, I am so stinkin' brilliant, "Here God, just do this", I say. (So, how did that work for ya, Abby?)
Well, thanks to this embarrassingly 'junior Christian' epiphany on my part, I will be praying in a whole different approach from now on - in all things, but especially when it comes to how I pray for God to work in my life and in the life of others I care about. I will start my prayers by thanking God for being God, and for the opportunity to even get to pray. I will then praise Him for His wisdom as He works all things for good, according to His perfect will. Finished with: And Lord, forgive me for my spiritual cockiness. Shoulda dropped the mic a long time ago.