Prayer Trap

Mark 11:24

Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

One of the challenges we all face is reading Scripture on a stand-alone-basis. For example, when one studies prayer and God’s purpose and response to prayer, we can easily become dishearten when we rely sole on one scripture to provide us the assurance we seek.

Today’s Scripture is a good example. By itself, the words imply anything and everything you ask God from a position of total conviction will happen. Yet the many other lessons of Scripture provide a more wholistic view.

Those who preach a wealth and prosperity gospel like to use this Scripture emphasizing one’s lack of faith if your request doesn’t happen per your expectations. Yet when you look at the prayers of Paul, Jesus, and his disciples, there is a contradiction.

Paul prayed three times to have God remove the “thorns piercing his flesh”. God’s reply: “my grace is sufficient.” The prayer was answered, but not according to one’s expectations.

The disciples in their early ministry with Jesus prayed to have a child healed but failed. Jesus came over and completed the task with the remarks that some situations requires prayer and fasting.  Again, the prayer wasn’t answered according to the disciple’s desire because there was something else they needed to do. Yet the prayer was answered through Jesus’ request.

Jesus in the garden before his crucifixion prayed that his trial be removed from Him and they find another way to accomplish the goal. His request was denied by God who allowed the events to occur for fulfilling Scripture. Yet Jesus established the attitude we all need to display when praying…’Your Will Be Done.

Throughout Scripture, Jesus’ prayers were always answered. But His prayers were to serve others and glorify God in the process. Even His request to change the events of the last torturous 24 hours finalizing at his crucifixion was Him complying with the desires of His Father’s heart. Though He desired not too, He yielded to His Father’s Will.

We likewise need to be careful when praying. Instead of falling into the trap believing all unanswered prayer is due to a lack of faith denies Scripture and who God IS. All prayers are answered; may not be according to our timeline, nor according to our expectations, nor according to our words. Instead, we make our requests relying on our high priest Jesus and Holy Spirit to intervene on our behalf for the best outcome of the situation we want changed.

At times God will immediately grant you your heart’s desire. Other times you may have to wait 20, 30, or 40 years for the answer. Some times God says no. And we may never know on this side of eternity if it was for our sake He said no, or for the sake of others. What we do know, God is good and loves to answer prayers so you may come to truly know Him more and more each time.  

Yes, we believe God can do the impossible since he is the author of impossibilities. But taking into account all possible outcomes if my desire is granted, He is better at that than I because he sees the future.  I appreciate His involvement and watching out for our best. And we have also come to appreciate praying with Him for the sake of others rather than constantly asking Him to fill my cup. He does that anyway because He is Good. He is just teaching us how to be more compassionate and caring for others through our prayers.

When we pray, we touch the heart of God. The real purpose of prayer is a means of communicating and building a relationship with your Father. We experience the inner character and attributes of coming to know who He IS. When we come to realize He is not a vending machine, genie, nor Santa Claus, but the God of the universe who wants to be your loving and caring Father, prayer takes on a whole new meaning.

The basis of prayer is belief. But a belief built upon a trustful, relationship with the living God, not only for your sake, but also for the sake of others, and always for the sake of His glory.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

 *  Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

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Copyright 2013-2020 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

Pray. Listen. Do.

John 18:37

…Everyone who is of the truth listens to my (Jesus) voice.” ESV.

pray1

When a crisis occurs in your life, how do you normally react? When you are at the end of your rope for solutions, where do you turn to? When no one seems to understand you or care, where do you go for support?

We are all human with similar needs, desires, and responses. How we react to adverse situations over time is typically a byproduct of a learned response. Whether we have a violent temper, a foul mouth tongue, or a beaten-up self-image, there are multiple responses as there are people. However, one response has proven over and over again to work most effectively when given the chance. When one turns the matter over to our Creator and watch how He reveals His love and care for you, then you learn the power of praying, listening, and doing.

The Kingdom of God operates through the heart of its citizens. Unless one is in contact with the Lord of the House, one doesn’t really reap the benefits of having a personal relationship with the King. When you have the King’s ear, you have someone who can make the difference in everything you do. So, when you learn to listen and do what your King suggests, you have a very good source of knowing what is best. Therefore, stop your busyness and explore all the other possibilities you haven’t considered.

Most of us start with the doing phase. We focus on what must we do. Instead our focus needs to be on leaning more on Him through prayer. And in our prayer, we need to spend more time listening than speaking. The Spirit already knows the best solution for your dilemma. We only have to learn to pray, listen, and then do.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager & Founder of
Vocational Leadership 360
Author of e-Books:

Dancing With God: Life-Giving Theology Explained
Great Business Emulates a Good God
Be Radical…Follow Christ!
Simply The Messenger
Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!


Copyright 2013-2018 Abbaco LLC | All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

 

What Do We Gain By Prayer?

What is the Almighty, that we should serve him And what profit do we get if we pray to him?’ Job 21:15

prayer 6

A better question is not what you gain, but what are you losing out on? If you are satisfied with your current experience in life, why want more? Though if you are tired and feel beaten, maybe it’s because you are trying too hard.

Ever notice when learning a new skill, the many ups and downs you may experience until you slowly become steady in your performance. When you finally arrive at the place where you are a master of your craft, only then do you realize the difference between being an amateur and a professional.

Ever notice how today’s luxury become tomorrow’s necessity? One of my first cars didn’t have air conditioning nor a radio. Yet today both are common items found in each vehicle. Before smart phones, we managed to communicate and survive. Yet after becoming proficient with the I-phone, we couldn’t live without it.

The same is true with prayer.

Imagine a married couple that rarely communicated. How would you rate such a marriage? When you compare such a marriage with one where both mates continue to share ideas and experiences, which would you prefer? In most cases, we would want the one where the relationship was strong; where there is mutual respect, love, and submittal. The relationship would build upon each other and help each side to grow and taste the best of the human experience. There is a great joy when two people become one new entity.

Isn’t that true with our heavenly Dad? Isn’t prayer simply the means for us to communicate with our heavenly Father? To strengthen the bond between each of us? To share life’s experience with one another? Until we realize that prayer is simply relating with God, we may never come to the place where God wants us to be. Whether we have a prayer closet, a prayer chair, or a prayer bike, the location is not as important as we talk and listen to our Creator. For when we do, his character, attributes, and favor oozes out of the relationship to the point where one wonders how come we didn’t start talking to our heavenly mate much earlier in life.

So quit making new year resolutions to pray more. Instead just pray wherever, whenever, for whatever. Like a marriage improves when two people spend more time communicating with each, so it is with our Triune God. There is so much more to gain when one loses oneself in pray with our heavenly Dad.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Executive Director & Founder
Marketplace Bible Institute
& Resource Center, Inc
Author of e-Books:
 *  Great Business Emulates a Good God
 *  Be Radical…Follow Christ!
 *  Simply The Messenger
 *  Unequally Married

Encourage a Friend…Share Today’s Message!