Committing to Prayer
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:12-14
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Matthew 7:7
And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him. 1 John 5:14-15
Do you ever read verses like these and wonder how they could possibly be true? If I’m being honest, I struggle with scriptural promises versus reality. Scripture seems to make it clear that if we abide in Christ and, in faith, ask for things according to His will, we will receive what we ask for. But how many times do we receive the things that we ask for that are of a more miraculous nature?
I have a working hypothesis as to why we don’t receive many of the things we ask for. I don’t think our main problem is lack of faith (although that could be it). I don’t think our primary issue is that we’re not abiding in Christ (although this is certainly a problem and goes hand-in-hand with our main issue). I believe that the chief reason we often ask in vain, is because what we ask for is, in fact, vain. Vain is too strong of a word. Here’s what I mean: It seems to me that most of what we ask God for is in regards to temporal issues: Healing, provision, safety, comfort, for ourselves and others. It’s not that God doesn’t care about these things, I fully believe He does. It’s just that I believe He cares about saving the lost and sanctifying the found much more. Thus, if we are not people that care more about these two things than temporal issues, are we ever truly praying according to His will? If we are not people that focus together on praying for the salvation of the lost and the spiritual health of Christ’s bride, again, are we ever truly praying according to His will?
I want to see the power of God in and around me. I don’t want to “do church”. I so desire to be a part of the supernatural, life-transforming work of God on this earth. I believe that He wants to give holy spirit power to those who are faithfully using their lives to be primarily about what He’s primarily about. I believe He wants to supernaturally answer the prayers of those who care more about keeping people from hell than keeping safety or health or anything else.
Don’t get me wrong, I believe we can and should be praying for these more temporal things. I spoke with an amazing sister in the Lord on Sunday who gets it. She prays for her healing, but even more so, that whatever happens (including her possible death), it would be used in the salvation and/or sanctification of her children and loved ones. This is amazing and I believe it is in line with God’s will.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this and I’m ready to join with others who care or want to care more about these heavenly priorities. So as a first step, I’m committing to praying for the lost every Sunday morning with like-minded brothers and sisters. You’re invited. I believe that if we’re faithful then the Lord of the Harvest will answer many prayers and the promise of John 14:12 (see above) will be a reality. Also, if you have ideas for how we can become more about God’s priorities, I invite your feedback.
Blessings dear church,
Prayer for the lost is every Sunday morning from 9:15-10:30am in the upstairs adult classroom.