Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching. For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their own desires and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear. They will reject the truth and chase after myths.
2 Timothy 4:2-4
Dear God, verse 3 hardly seems prophetic. I cannot imagine a time when most people would not follow their own desires and look for teachers who will tell them what they want to hear. That’s just how we roll.
During the last presidential election, I saw everyone, including me, seeking out an echo chamber that would affirm our point of view on the candidate. Whether it was only getting news from specific news sources we knew probably saw things the way we saw them, visiting with friends who were going to vote like us, or only following people on social media who believed like we did, it was a surprise for one side that one candidate won the popular vote because “everyone they knew” was voting for the other person, and it was a surprise to the other group when the other person won the electoral college.
I use this as an example because I think social media and its ability to customize what we consume from the Internet is helping to only entrench all of us into only hearing what we want to hear and causing us to lose the skill of listening to an opposing argument without being offended. Then, when it comes to putting ourselves into a position where someone comes along to speak your truth, it becomes even harder for us to hear them because our hearts are even harder and our ability to process an opposing view is diminished.
Father, I like to think I am more evolved and open minded than that, but I fell into the same trap during the last election that a lot of other people did. I love to think that I am smart and wise, but the truth is that I need to hear from the Holy Spirit, I need to be challenged, I sometimes need to receive rebuke, sometimes I need to repent, and sometimes I need to change my perspective, paradigm, or opinion. So I submit this prayer, that you will give me what you need me to have, teach me what you need me to know, and motivate me to do what you need me to do.
In Jesus’ name I pray,