When We Pray
Whatever you ask…
April 17th, 2019
I’m not sure what got me thinking about it yesterday, but something (or someone) lodged something in my mind that I just can’t shake. I want to share it with you today.
Have you ever wondered why our prayers aren’t yielding more power than they should?
Seriously! It’s a tell of our faith, or perhaps better stated, a tell of our lack of faith.
When You Pray…
In private –
But when you pray, go into your private room, shut your door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:6 (HCSB)
I really don’t think this is saying not to pray in public but look at the times that Jesus went off to be by Himself in prayer. When Jesus says here go into your private room, He’s really saying He wants us praying earnestly and often, but while we do this, make sure we have time when we can be alone with God and He with us where the only focus is Him and our sharing with Him.
No one else, just God and us, no clutter, no interruptions. Go into your room and close the door so there isn’t anything going to come between you and the Lord.
All the time –
1 Thessalonians 5:17 (HCSB)
The Holy Spirit lives in YOU, there is no excuse not to be communicating with him all the time. Not doing so is just rude. Would you have a houseguest and then not talk to them? The Holy Spirit is closer than any guest you could ever invite into your home, literally!
Ask in faith –
But let him ask in faith without doubting. For the doubter is like the surging sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
James 1:6 (HCSB)
This is where my pondering was focused yesterday. Do we really ask in faith? I can’t honestly say I do a very good job. At best I reflect the apostles, who Jesus chided for their lack of faith.
But He said to them, “Why are you fearful, you of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea. And there was a great calm.
Matthew 8:26 (HCSB)
I/We want to believe that we have deep faith and are founded in the Word of God but when it comes down to it, we consistently fail to have faith as small as a mustard seed. If we did, there would be no need for earthmoving equipment. Just say, “you, mountain, go there!” and there it would go.
We don’t move mountains; therefore, it is safe to say our faith isn’t even as big as a mustard seed.
Just how big are we talking about? Most mustard seeds are 1 to 2 millimeters (0.039 to 0.079 in) in diameter. That translates into less than 8/100ths of an inch. BB’s that are shot from an air rifle are 0.180 inch. So mustard seeds are less than half the diameter of a BB.
Not real big at all. And we obviously don’t have that kind of faith.
The Big Question
I’m not wanting to place doubt in your minds. That would be the farthest of my intentions. But if our behavior (and I’m talking about me right along with you) demonstrates that we do not have the requisite faith to see our prayers become effective weapons in our battle against the evil one.
This doesn’t mean you don’t have enough faith in Jesus to have secured salvation. Quantity isn’t an issue for salvation. We have to have faith and that faith must influence us sufficiently that we are willing to affect our repentance.
For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift — not from works, so that no one can boast.
Ephesians 2:8-9 (HCSB)
No quantity, just faith in the Lord’s saving Grace. You conclude that Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross for you so you would not have to bear the consequences of your sin; you get His Grace. He pays your debt.
“Because of your little faith,” He told them. “For I assure you: If you have faith the size of a mustard seed, you will tell this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”
Matthew 17:20 (HCSB)
If you want power in your prayer, you must have faith.
This isn’t to say that even a little faith in prayer can’t accomplish great things. Faith in our prayers is quantized by nature. Intercession in prayer by multiple people bolsters our supplication to God. If it didn’t then what would be the purpose for asking for prayer support? It wouldn’t help any more by seeking more prayer warriors to your pleading.
It also behooves us to be persistent in prayer.
“So I say to you, keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you.”
Luke 11:9 (HCSB)
We see this is quantitative. The more faithful prayer the better. Would it not stand to reason that the more ‘faithful’ the prayer the better the outcome?
Let’s go back to Matthew …
Jesus answered them, “ I assure you: If you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you tell this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will be done. And if you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Matthew 21:21-22 (HCSB)
We don’t pray with the infusion of faith we should. Our lack of faith is born out in our behavior. Every single time we fail to turn issues over to the Lord and rely on our own ability we demonstrate yet again a lack of faith.
We may want to make the excuse we are perfectly capable of accomplishing something so why should we not do it and why involve the Lord. The answer to that is that the Lord’s involvement is what He desires. He wants so much to perform His perfect work through us. When we reserve items for ourselves, we minimize His Glory and deprive ourselves of the blessings that come from fully trusting in Him.
Let’s Make a Change…
I want to propose a change. I can unilaterally do this, but I would much rather you partner with me and do it yourself.
Tell Jesus you want to be more proactive including Him in our day-to-day lives, we are going to pray expecting Him to respond when we pray in accordance to His will. We are going to make every effort to put Him and his response first in our day-to-day functions.
If we can commit to this and follow through with action of any level, we will see an up-turn in our prayer responses. He wants to be directly involved in our lives and in our prayers. If we commit to this and execute on it, we will see results.
There is no reason we wouldn’t, so long as we have faith and especially “When We Pray!”
In the Grace of Jesus!