Monday, August 31, 2020
What we ask in Prayer
So Jesus answered and said to him,
“What do you want Me to do for you?”
It is hard to believe that the Lord would ask us what He could do for us. However, sometimes that is the question we must answer. Bartimaeus was blind, and he knew exactly what he wanted Jesus to do for him: restore his sight. Yet he received much more than physical sight! He received salvation, for Jesus knew Bartimaeus's heart was faithful. Bartimaeus immediately used his gift to become a follower of the Savior.
Jesus also asked James and John what they wanted Him to do for them. They requested the most prominent places in His kingdom. This time, Jesus answered that He could not give them what they asked. Their request was selfish, and it brought dissension among their fellow disciples (Mark 10:41).
Only when we pray according to God's will is He pleased to grant our requests (John 15:16). We will not see our prayers answered if we ask selfishly (James 4:3). If God refrains from giving us what we are asking, we should evaluate our prayers. Are our motives selfish? Are we asking for far less than God wants to give? (2 Kings 13:19; Eph. 3:20). Are our requests worthy of the God we approach? Do we lack the faith God requires to give us our desires? (Matt. 17:20). Is there unconfessed sin? (Isa. 1:15). God delights in responding to our requests (Matt. 7:7). If we will ask according to His will, we, like Bartimaeus, will receive far more than we anticipated! (Jer. 33:3). - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day
Name it and claim it! Well, in Spiritual reality, that's not how it works. You see, there's the little, but entirely significant, matter about the Will of God in what you requested. If indeed it was framed as a request.
Whole Churches have sprung up in recent decades that preach this kind of Gospel.
Yet look closely at what Blackaby says...from Scripture...not necessarily his opinion. It must be in accordance with God's Will.
Next is the possible scope of an answer to a prayer from God. Scope being the acceptable definition we are thinking vs what He says is an answer to prayer.
Death of this physical body is considered an answer to prayer in God's eyes. Might not be in yours, considering the potential loss of a loved one. But to God, death is a healing. The body is no longer suffering and the person involved is no longer in any pain. They are experiencing God's peace.
It's then up to us to accept God's Will. To keep on, after an acceptable period, mourning a loss that was His Will to happen isn't healthy. Sure I miss family and friends who God has called home, but there's no respecting the life they lived if I spend so much time, energy and effort reminding God that He chose something that I didn't want. But truth be known I wouldn't want anyone whom He has called home to see the world in which we live today.
The name it and claim it people fit in with the prosperity people. Again, what we pray for must coincide with what God's Will is. What did Jesus pray? Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven. Look at the night of His betrayal. He knew what was to come. He knew that for several hours His Father would not be able to look at Him. That for the first and only time in history their blessed fellowship would be broken. He could have prayed differently but He didn't.
We get caught up in thinking that we deserve this blessing or that blessing. Jesus said we would have tribulations in this life. Does that sound like blessings to you in everything you do? He said a man's enemies will be members of his own house. Sound like blessings to you? He spoke through the Apostles to tell of enmities and struggles in the Church to come. Wolves in sheep's clothing infiltrating the Church. Sound like uninterrupted blessings to you?
The sad truth about life is the more we are blessed the less we rely on Christ. I know that we are compared to sheep in the Bible. His sheep hear His voice. Do you hear His voice? Or are you hearing the voices of the world that try to convince you of what you deserve? Of what you have earned? Funny how the health, wealth and prosperity Gospel sounds so much like the theme of the rest of the world. It's because it's source is the same. It's considered a doctrine of demons.
If Jesus said we would have difficulty in this life then my friend, we are going to have difficulty in this life. He brought great assurances that we wouldn't be alone in them. He brought such assurances because the difficulties would seem to be that great.
There's been more times than I can remember of situations where things seemed insurmountable. God showed up at just the right time with just the right amount of help to do exactly what was needed. No more, no less.
To be 100% truthful, I don't want to be rich. I would be content with being debt free. I do not want wealth or prosperity to diminish my reliance upon my God.
Look at the celebrities who have passed away. I guarantee you not one of them took anything with them when they died. Not a cent of their net worth. It doesn't even depend upon whether or not they were saved. In both cases none misses their wealth or possessions. In Heaven believers are with Christ. In Hell they are in torment apart from God. Jesus told us what each is like.
So when you pray look at your priorities and your heart. Just what is important to you, is it what's important to God? Soon Christ is returning. All who are dead in Christ will be rejoining their bodies, now glorified bodies free from the effects of sin. Those who are alive in Christ will shed their sin cursed bodies to inherit glorified bodies and join Christ in the air. Everything believers are wearing at the time will stay here on Earth. Nothing goes with them.
The physical isn't as important as the Spiritual. Remember that when you are praying. The physical is indeed important but our growth in Christ is paramount. That is the work He began in us that He will continue until the day He either calls us home or He returns.
Look at your priorities in your prayers. Look at your motivations in your prayers.
Are your prayers Christ-centric or are your prayers you-centric?