Praise the Lord saints.
We all have practical needs that we should submit to our Lord. We all need funds for the rent or maybe for our house or car repairs, our children’s education. We all need food and transportation.
If we are asking to spend the funds on a holiday or something bigger or newer than we already have without it being a necessity God will see our prayer as selfish and He will not answer that prayer.
God is able to read our hearts to see what our secret motives are, these may not even be known to us. So we should examine what is in our own hearts and ask as David said search me O’ God and see if there be any wicked way in me. We should not have token prayers as a quick throw up of words to heaven without considering the content.
Many of us do not have the confidence in coming to God and asking our needs in our prayers I Jn. 5:14-15:
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
We should understand the general will of God for people and have spiritual insight to know what he is specifically doing in someone’s life to pray on target.
Some of us are overconfident and become bold to ask just about anything WE want. James says two things James 4:2-4:
You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.
When we put the things of the world our physical comforts ahead of God in our life we forfeit him as being Lord. We are at enmity with God. When we pray for something we must make sure that we are not asking for something that goes against God’s revealed will.
If we are asking for prosperity to live in luxury to satisfy our insecurities we best hope God does not answer this prayer. Many have had it answered only to learn a hard lesson.
Just as we are to handle our doctrine correctly we are to handle our prayers. Our petitions will reveal what we believe is most important in our lives. Our prayers are to come through the cross. This means dying to our self-desires so that we can be focused on God’s purposes, it is these prayers he delights in answering.
But there is also a condition of faithfulness in our lives. If we ask for more ministry, he may have that intention but if we have not been faithful in the small things we need to wait and become faithful for any expansion. God is not going to grow a church if the people are not being fed and they are being neglected.
We should not write out prayers and send them in with a very generous donation at the request of a famous TV evangelist. Don’t expect them to be more appropriately answered because you exercised faith by sending a gift that was more than you had in your bank.
When you see the prayer requests piled up in front of the “man of faith”, this is done on purpose for their TV program to prove the reaching effects of his ministry. He then utters a general public prayer over the thousands of requests to be answered and it’s over. This is not how prayer is to be done. The motives of an intercessor are just as important as what we ask for. Our prayers are too specific and to be for an individual if possible.
Twice Jesus said: Is it not written, My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations? But ye have made it a den of thieves.
Don’t let their spiritual props fool you.
Our prayers are to God and no other. We do not address unseen spirit beings and threaten them or fight against them to have God gain control over a certain area or person. If your speaking to the Devil in the atmosphere you are no longer praying to God.
We don’t want to become narcissistic, praying what I want to be, what I want to happen in my way. It should be God’s will and plans we are concerned about. Praying in Jesus name is not a warranty to receive anything we ask or say, and we can certainly thank him for that.
He doesn’t want spoiled little children, but mature heavenly minded people who look at His word and are willing to be conformed to His likeness even if it’s uncomfortable. Those who can trust Him in His decisions, He can entrust to answer.
Till next week,
Elder Dr. Robert L. Harrison