"..Yet in My Flesh I Will See GOD" [Job. 19.26]

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wrong Prayers

In the bible, especially in the Gospel, impossible prayers were answered. And I don't mean dying patients in ICU recovering through expensive surgery and medical procedures and medicines. Or the sick gradually getting well. These are what we call "miracles" today, but they're worlds apart from what the bible calls miracles.

Jesus resurrected dead people. That's what God means by "miracles." He made the lame walk, the mute talk and the deaf hear INSTANTLY. Never gradually but always instantly. The church has departed too FAR from this definition and changed everything to mean the workings of medical science plus prayer. Or gradual cures. It's been teaching us this for decades.

Or, we're taught that prayer has limits. We shouldn't be overconfident with our prayer. In fact, modern church teaches that God answers prayer in 3 ways:
  1. Yes
  2. No
  3. Later
Looks familiar? I'm sure you were also taught thus. Problem is, I don't know where they got the idea. God answers "No"? Really? I used to believe that, but after re-thinking Scriptures, I really don't know. Did Jesus get a no answer? We're co-heirs with Christ, aren't we? And another thing--they taught us that God doesn't answer wants or desires but only our needs.

So, here were the disciples, seeing Jesus walk on water. Then Peter said (or Peter prayed), "Lord, I also want to walk on water." Was that a need or a desire? (Or should I say a whim?) Would Peter die if he couldn't walk on water? Was it an urgent need? Nope. We can all live well without having to walk on water. But Jesus answered Peter's prayer with a YES.

How would we answer if someone asked us about a similar request? From what we've learned from church, this is how we'd reply: "That's a silly prayer request. God won't answer it." Or, "Let's see if it's the Lord's will." It's even worse if we're praying for a dying person. We'd typically say, "Let's see what the Lord's will is. Let's be prepared and wholeheartedly accept whatever he allows to happen."

Nice sounding words. To us this is according to sound doctrine. Problem is, Jesus never prayed like that. And Jesus is our model, right? We should imitate him as followers. He let Peter walk on water even if it was just Peter's whim or impulse, not an urgent need. Jesus could've said, "You don't need to walk on water. It's just your silly fancy. I need to walk on water because I have to show you I am Lord."

But Jesus said, "Come." 

So Peter was able to walk on water for a while. But later, he started to sink. What did Jesus do? He didn't say, "See Peter? It's not the Lord's will." We use that lame excuse when nothing happens after we pray--or if we start to "sink" or if something goes wrong. We are prone to say, "It's probably not the Lord's will" to justify WRONG PRAYER. We do that especially when the sick guy we prayed for dies.

But what did Jesus say to Peter? "You, of little faith. Why did you doubt?"

It wasn't a question of whether it was God's will or not. Peter sank because of his unbelief. You see, God DOES NOT answer "no." In Christ, it's always a YES [2 Corinthians 1.20]. Peter wanted to walk on water out of whim, and Jesus said a big YES. It was God's will. This should revolutionize our faith and prayer. This should stop us from saying weak, powerless and timid prayers.

Nothing happens after we pray (or wrong things happen after we pray) because we pray wrongly. It's not a question whether it's God's will or not. The problem is, we doubt. Anyone who doubts shouldn't expect his prayers to be answered, said James. God wants bold prayers that declare his powerful truth. He expects us to declare his LIFE, and abundantly at that.

Of course, we have to pray "according to his will." Praying thus makes everything a yes. But again, problem is, so many Christians do not know what God's will is or how to find it out. It's become a prayer formula to say, "if it's God's will." Jesus never used that phrase in his prayer. One tip he gave was, "Everything is possible to him who believes." He said EVERYTHING.

It just depends if you believe.

The thing is, just pray. Just ask--and the Holy Spirit takes care to fit everything to God's will. You are a son. A daughter. We ask our dads anything we desire and they give it to us, by hook or by crook. Of course, you wouldn't ask your dad things he wouldn't approve of. You know your dad. He's your dad. Well, I'm talking of an obedient kid here, not a rebellious one. A delinquent kid is another story altogether.

Don't expect a yes from God if you're disobedient. That's plain common sense.

Jesus is our model Son whom we should imitate as sons and daughters of God, and he always got a yes for everything he asked or desired. There's no such thing as a no answer. And we have to gear our prayers back to this. Never mind if you don't know what to ask for or how. Doesn't matter if it's just a whim, desire, want or need. Just ask. And the Holy Spirit adjusts things to fit the mind of God--He knows His mind.
In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God. [Romans 8]
So don't wonder if your prayer is "according to God's will." If you are a true son or daughter, anything you ask is "according to his will." In the first place, who do you think put that idea or desire or whim in your mind? God is the one who puts that there.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. [Psalm 37.4]
A true child of God naturally takes delight in Him. It should be a given, otherwise, you're not a child. Then the Father inclines your heart to his will so that what you have in mind or heart is actually his idea. There may be some details in your mind that veer off but the Holy Spirit edits everything and makes it perfect with God's will.

Now, all you have to do is boldly ask it or declare it in Jesus' Name. God makes sure his obedient children get what they want or need for success. There's no "no" answer.
May he give you the desire of your heart and make all your plans succeed. [Psalm 20.4]
Make sure he is really your Father and you are a genuine child. The prayer Jesus taught says, "Our Father, who is in heaven." And then it declares that "your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is heaven." This means your desire is to get the very will of God. When you ask for something--for anything--you want his will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Asking for someone's total healing is definitely God's will, for instance. Some people still ask if it's God's will. So they doubt. They entertain negative thoughts that question even things we clearly see in Scriptures were done by Jesus. Even the dead were raised up by Jesus--what more the sick? But this wrong prayer taught in church today makes us doubt these things and forbids us to pray bold and confident prayers. It suggests that we can never be too sure with our prayers. Our prayers have limits, it insists.

The result is powerless prayers that easily succumb to the negative things we see in the physical and what doctors and medical test results say. Don't get me wrong--medicines and medical doctors and tests are all good. But they do not have the last say about our health condition and lives. God does. We have developed the BAD habit of conforming our prayers to what we see or hear in the flesh--like what happened to Peter--so we sink.

We're not led by the Spirit. We're led by things of this world.

It's not because it isn't God's will. It's because we doubt. Hence, so many people we pray for die. And I can hear Jesus say, "You of little faith. Why did you doubt?"

We have to re-program our minds and faith big time. We have to let the Word of God dwell in us richly--and radically. I'm sure a lot of traditionally minded Christians will shake their heads on this--if not laugh or mock. But we have been deceived big time and gotten too comfortable with powerless and wrong prayers.

Many times, we agree with what experts say about "incurable diseases" or hopeless disease "stages." There is NO such thing as "incurable" to God. And we have to declare this boldly and confidently, not give it half-hearted, timid, double-minded effort.

I admit this is big work. I myself struggle at times because this wrong prayer has become a stronghold. It's been taught in churches a long time. In fact, it's become like bible truth. If you talk about radical miracles as Jesus did them, church would think you're nuts. But praise God I'm starting to get positive results. Real, supernatural miracles--though I still have a long way to go. We need to give this our best, serious shot--because it's God's will. It's God's way.

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