“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” (Mark 11:24 NLT)
What is the Lord teaching you in this season of your life? Regardless of your age or station in life, if you love Jesus, His Spirit will continue to fill your heart and mind with truth.
While at a Spiritual Retreat, sponsored by our church, the Lord opened my spirit to some things about prayer that I’ve known in my head, but hadn’t connected to my heart. I “believed” them, but my faith hadn’t activated them as a regular part of my prayer time.
The first thing the Lord is seeking to teach me is to listen more attentively to His “voice,” whether through His written Word, other people, or directly from His Spirit. Then I need to live more intentionally, being guided by His Spirit, based on what He’s teaching me, especially in the arena of prayer.
Have you ever googled “Promises of God,” or looked in a Bible Concordance to begin to see how many times God has made promises to His children? Some calculations estimate there are more than 7,000 promises in the Bible.
During the retreat we reviewed about 40 promises, and I was amazed at how many times I read the words “I will!” For example: In Isaiah 40:31 – “the Lord WILL renew their (our) strength…” Or Isaiah 43:2 – “When you pass through the waters, I WILL be with you…”
Then I zeroed in on promises related to answering prayer. Verses like James 1:5 regarding God’s promise to give us wisdom when we ask. Or Mark 11:24: “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and IT WILL be yours.” Or Jesus’ words in John 14:13: “And I WILL do whatever you ask in My name…You may ask Me for anything in My name and I WILL do it.” There are others, but that’s enough to make my point.
And, yes, I understand that implicit in these promises is the understanding that we ask in line with God’s will. But here’s the kicker, we don’t always know if something is in line with God’s will until we ask in faith. For example, as I’m writing this article, at least two people that I know, and love are on the threshold of death. Both, to my knowledge, are believers, and both are in their 70’s or beyond. How do I pray for them?
To me, death is the ultimate healing for a believer. To be in God’s presence whole for all eternity! It doesn’t get any better than that. BUT! What if God has other plans? What if God knows, for whatever reason, they need to live longer, that’s between them and God. Of course, it’s always our option to pray for God’s will to be accomplished, but on some levels, that’s a cop out.
Here’s the bottom line for me. This is what the Lord is teaching me regarding how and why I pray. He told me I need to pray with CONFIDENCE that He hears me. Why is that important? Because what’s the point of prayer if no one’s listening?
Secondly, He told me to pray with CONVICTION that His Words are true. Again, why is that important? Because if God’s Words aren’t true, we’re living a lie and we might as well just be speaking to the mirror. If we REALLY believe God is alive and what He tells us in His Word is true, then let’s pray like we believe it!
Thirdly, I need to pray with CERTAINTY that my Father will answer me. When I boil all of this down this is what I come up with: I need to pray in such a way that I’ll look foolish if God doesn’t answer. I must pray specifically and with intentionality, or why bother?
I may expand on this tomorrow.
Blessings, Ed 😊