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

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Wrong Prayers

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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 with prescription drugs. 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 modern 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, they say. 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 this. 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 wishes, wants or desires but only our needs.

So, here were the disciples, seeing Jesus walking 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, "You're putting God to the test!" Or "Do you really need to walk on water or are you just making fun with prayer?" 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" with our powerless faith 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 to get anything from God, 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. A lot of them have wrong motives, to spend it on worldly pleasures. This happens because they are not saturated with the Spoken Word and the Holy Spirit, so they never know what God's will is. It's become a prayer formula to say, "if it's God's will." Jesus never used that phrase in his prayer. But one tip he gave was, "Everything is possible to him who believes." He said EVERYTHING.

It all depends if you believe. Praying without radical believing is not according to God's will. It puts your prayer out of God's will. So your prayer is not according to the will of God, no matter how solemn or "doctrinally sound" it is.

The thing is, just pray--and believe as Jesus did his prayers. Have Jesus' faith. 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. What more God. However, you wouldn't ask your dad things he wouldn't approve of, would you? We're talking here of a good and obedient kid, not a rebellious one who's never intimate with his father. A delinquent kid is another story altogether.

Don't expect a yes from God if you're disobedient. That's plain common sense. Disobedience is disbelief, and that's not praying according to God's will. So if you pray and do not fully believe, you are disobedient. Doubt is sin [Romans 14.23].

Jesus is our model Son whom we should imitate as sons and daughters of God, and he always got a yes from the Father for everything he asked or desired. There's no such thing as a no answer. Silly theologians teach that. And we have to gear our prayers back to radical prayers, the ones Jesus prayed or declared. If the Father didn't spare his Son but gave him up for us all, how would he not also, along with him, freely give us all things? Do you fully realize this verse or do you just take this for granted?

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? It was God.
Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. [Psalm 37.4]
...for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. [Philippians 2.13]
A true child of God naturally takes delight in Him. You delight in His Word to the max. It's 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. Thus, when you pray (or wish or desire anything) it's automatically according to his will. There may be some details in your mind that veer off but the Holy Spirit edits everything and makes it perfectly fit 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 wish, want, desire 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 natural desire is to get the very will of God. And God puts that will as a desire in your heart--because he is your Father. He has your entire life in his hands. When you ask for something--for anything--you're asking 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 conditions 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?" To be sure, people will die (except those snatched during rapture) and if we're close to the Father as his children we'd know whom God wants healed and whose life he wants to take. We'd know because we are sons and daughters and Jesus is 100 percent in us.

However, for now 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 at 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. The church needs to redirect itself to this.

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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