an attempt to control or influence a person, situation, or thing; typically unfairly, cleverly, or dishonestly.
robs people of their free will to choose, rather than influence them ti according to their own free will.
2 Timothy 3:1-5 ESV
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.
With God, we CAN'T do that!
If we are true followers of Christ, manipulation is not an acceptable behavior.
We Try to Maipulate by...
Action: If I do good, God will reward me. (Ex: Simon the Sorcerer tries to buy spiritual gifts) Incantation: If I pray just the right words, God will grant my wishes. (Ex: Jesus speaks on prayer) Bargaining: God, if you do X, I will do Y. (Ex: Abraham bargains with God over Sodom's fate) Pleading: Please God change this! I beg you! (Ex: The death of David's son after his Sin with Bathsheba)
How God Works
God cannot be manipulated; he knows our hearts, our motives, and our desires even better than we do. He loves and cares for us deeply, but also has ultimate providence and control over our lives. We have no control over God's will, he is unwavering in His plan for us. Even through God's providential will, we must also understand that we still have free will to control the moral choices we make on a daily basis.
Understand our POWERLESSNESS. Have a HEALTHY FEAR of God. Realize our NEED FOR HIM. SURRENDER to His will.
What Can We Pray For?
What can we pray for?
So, What's The Point?
We can still pray and ask God for what we desire to happen in our lives, but if we are truly seeking Him, our desires will match His desires for our lives. When we pray, the Spirit guides us and intercedes for us to help us discern God's will for us (Romans 8:26-27). God has a perfect plan for our life if we are seeking Him. He promises us wonderful things if we are willing to follow Him.