The Value of Prayer

“You can pray for anything, and if you have faith, you will receive it.” (Matthew 21:22 NLT)

Have you ever prayed earnestly and in line with what you believed to be God’s will, yet it wasn’t answered like you desired? I certainly have. I begged God to save my marriage. God hates divorce and marriage is His plan, so why wouldn’t He answer? He did. He said “no.” But why?

For months I prayed for my parent’s salvation, and God answered that prayer. Both were saved and baptized and began faithfully walking with the Lord. What was different? Why was one prayer answered, but not the other?

Would it throw you too much of a “curve ball” to tell you the value of prayer isn’t found in the answer? The purpose and highest value of prayer is the development of a deep and abiding relationship with God, not to get answers.

When you were growing up, did your parents give you everything for which you asked? Maybe yours did, but mine didn’t. Why not? Largely because what I would sometimes ask for was to feed my selfishness and greed. My parents were very generous. I was the youngest of three children and my parents would make sure we had what we needed even if it meant they had to do without something they needed.

In Matthew 6:33 Jesus said: “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and He will give you everything you need.” Notice He said: “above all else,” not “in place of all else.” What’s the difference? Above all else denotes top priority, not exclusivity. We have other things – family, job, hobbies, etc. – that have their place, they just can’t be our top priority.

Jesus promised that if we would give Him the top spot in our priorities, He would give us everything we need to be everything He desires us to be. What’s the implication? He takes care of those who give Him first place in their heart and life. He doesn’t promise to cater to our every whim.

So, back to the value of prayer. When God says no, it doesn’t mean He’s withholding something from us that we need, it simply means He IS the answer we NEED!

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After my divorce, sobbing as I knelt by my bed, I poured out my heart detailing to God all I’d lost, which in my calculation was EVERYTHING! He didn’t speak in an audible voice, but just as clearly as if He had, He said to me: “You haven’t lost Me and I’m all you need!” Prayer is our limited endeavor to allow God to remain in the top spot of our heart and life.

In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus asked His Father to spare Him the agony of the Cross. On some levels essentially what He was asking was: “Let the world go to Hell, but let Me come back to You and bypass the Cross.” That’s what was implicit in Jesus’ request to “let this cup pass from Me.” And that’s clearly what the Bible says.

What’s also clear to me, but not explicitly stated in Scripture is what I believe the Father would have said had Jesus not added: “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours.” Jesus WAS God’s heart! Had Jesus’ desire been to avoid the Cross, I believe the Father would have said in a very loud, booming voice – “DONE!” – and the fate of every human being would have been sealed. That’s the eternal value of prayer.

Jesus wasn’t concerned about anything else but pleasing His Father and carrying out His will. He was privileged to know His Father’s will. We don’t always have that privilege. That’s where trust comes in. When God says “no,” I have to conclude that He sees and knows much more clearly than I do, so I yield my will to His and with Jesus say: “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours.”

When prayer becomes the heart-line between us and God; when prayer is not simply the rubbing of our proverbial “Jesus-lamp;” when prayer is the longing of our heart to not only know, but do, God’s will, then we’ll begin to see the eternal value of prayer, whether His answer is “yes” or “no.”

Blessings, Ed 😊

One thought on “The Value of Prayer

  1. I believe you said you could chose to share replies or not. i would prefer you didn’t so i can reply candidly. we need to speak to our audience. you i know. others not so much.

    you have discussed God Himself being the answer to prayer and in another blog doing what the Spirit nudges you to do and do it quickly.

    In that line i would like to point out in the Lord’s Prayer Jesus asked that God’s Kingdom would come and His will be done on earth. Kingship. I pray and hope for Jesus to be King on earth. He is my King now. But not always. He is King when i do what He wants and I do it immediately. We wouldn’t say to Jesus the King ‘I’ll get to it later’ or ‘I’ll put it on my to-do-list’. Neither would we should we be passive about it. we should ‘jump to it’ as my grandfather would say.

    see how quickly Abraham obeyed God when told to sacrifice his son. He got up early the next morning. he went to a specific to sacrifice his son by was stopped at the last minute. God took His Son that same hill probably, and actually did kill His Son. He killed Sin and Jesus in the process.

    i believe as you stated or implied that we sometimes miss Gods best when we hesitate or don’t make it the priority of the minute. Breaking away from our prioritized list and the route we have laid out for the day can be difficult. But if Jesus is King then has every right to ask us to detour in our movement, in our speech, in taking time for a person whom we may not know and say something not that significant but to them an impact. We just don’t know. BUT we do sometimes ‘know’ God says ‘do this thing’ and we pause or formulate or strategize and the moment is gone. Yes we should think before we speak be when a person gets save they don’t need to pray to see if God wants them to be baptized. He already told them to. Maybe we just need to ask ‘are you okay?’ It may develop from there or not. We just don’t know about what life is, what is happening, what will happen. about all we know is what is inside us. maybe.

    Jesus is King whether we act like it or not.

    you ‘trigger’ me in the best sense of the word. thank you.
    if at any time you can use anything say just use it. don’t take the time to credit or explain. We love you guys and want to help. If there is ever anything just take it and run.


    Liked by 1 person

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