“I am claiming it!” my friend Margie, who has been praying for a child for years, exclaimed with bravado. “The Lord will give me a baby soon,” she added.
I feel uneasy with the word “claim” when talking to God. I always have.
To my mind, nobody has any right to claim anything from the Lord; only He has the right to decide what to give us—and when. He owes us nothing. In fact this is what His grace is all about; we deserve zero, but He heaps blessings upon us anyway.
I verbalized my aversion to the word “claim” to an old pastor friend.
He laughed and said, “Christians who 'claim' are simply exercising their faith. They just want to show that they trust God 100%.”
“I trust God with the same percentage,” I argued. “But to 'claim'?!”
In my head I turned what he said around, but still couldn't grasp it. Not until I read a small coupon attached to an ad in a newspaper.
“Clip this coupon to claim your FREE eco bag at a designated booth at . . .”
The word “claim” hit me between the eyes. I looked for a catch in the ad—in the fine prints—but found nothing. It required nothing, all I needed was the coupon to claim my prize.
Ah, so, I thought, grace is like coupons upon coupons of free gifts strewn everywhere by God.
Many of these coupons are left unclaimed because we can't find them—we are either too busy with worldly persuasions, or distracted elsewhere, or are not looking hard enough. So when we finally find one or two (many more if we wish), we can claim our prizes because they're ours—free.
“From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another.” (John 1:16 NLT)
Despite my new understanding, I still won't say 'claim' when praying, but I no longer flinch when I hear it from others.