Glorious Prayer
Monday, July 5, 2010

“And I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.” (John 14:13)

                I continued to be startled by how Christians react to prayer.  They truly seem surprised when God answers their prayers, and equally surprised when He does not.  I remember once my wife was diagnosed with a heart attack.  An angiogram was scheduled to try to determine the damage done.  The elders came to our house the night before the test, laid on hands and prayed for her.  The next morning three of the elders accompanied us to the hospital 170 miles away.  Again, we all prayed before she was wisped away to the operating room.  A couple of hours later, the doctor announced that my wife had the heart of a 30 year old.  A biblical reaction to such news would have been, “Praise you God for hearing our prayer.”  But that was not our reaction.  We were miffed at the doctor for his misdiagnosis which scared us so.  In reflection, I am convinced that had we gone directly to the doctor, by-passing prayer, we would have had a very different test result.

                You see, for some strange reason, we pray when all medical recourse is gone.  We pray when the banks, the lawyers, or the CPAs can no longer help.  We pray “when there is nothing else to do.”  But that is never the reflection of prayer in the New Testament.  We have a divine right and promise to go to God with fervor and assurance that our prayers will be answered.  However, there are some very revealing components to prayer, that are essential in successful prayer.  A look at the promises of Jesus during the Lord’s Supper will greatly increase our understanding, our assurance, and our success of prayers.  Let’s take a look at those.

                The first promise is that, “I will do whatever you ask in My name, so that the Son may glorify the Father.”  We always look to this passage to be committed to praying in Jesus name.  And that is very important!  But while it is important, if your prayer has lapsed into a legalism of always having to close a prayer “in the name of Jesus,” you have missed the point.  The point is found in the second half of the sentence, “so that the Son may glorify the Father.”  If your prayers are not God-centered, God-focused, and God-exalting, they are not in the name of Jesus.  The glory of God is the reason why we pray, and the reason why Jesus answers our prayer.  James tells us, “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives . . .” (James 4:3)  If your prayers are to fulfill your own desires whether they are for healing, financial help, or restored relationships, instead of the glory of God, then be prepared for unanswered prayer.  All life, therefore all prayer, must begin with God at the center, and His glory our highest aim.

                The second promise of Jesus in prayer builds upon the first.  In John 15:7, He said, “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be given to you.  This is to My Father’s glory.”  An on-going symbiotic relationship with Christ is a must for answered prayer.  Remaining in Jesus implies that we don’t go to Him in the midst of crisis, but that we abide daily in His presence.  We live for the glory of the Father, and that His words direct the traffic of our lives.  And the promise is, “ask whatever you wish.”  But there is a catch.  You see, if you abide in Jesus, then the very desires of your heart are the same desires that drive our Creator.  We want what He wants, we desire what He desires, and we live for the very things He lived for.  That promise alone should drive us to a relationship with Him because He promises out of that relationship will flow an extraordinary prayer life.

                The third promise of prayer is found in John 16:23.  He said, “In that day you will no longer ask Me anything.  I tell you the truth, My Father will give you whatever you ask in My name.”  Here Jesus is referring to the power of the Holy Spirit.  Once we have been indwelt by the Holy Spirit and truly live by His power, then no longer will you sit down and present a prayer roster to God.  Your life will be a life of prayer.  It will be an abiding relationship in which your heart feels, prompted by the Spirit’s power, and prayer will be spontaneous and beautiful.  We don’t have to ask in a formal sense, but God knowing the desires of our surrendered hearts, responds without asking.  The prayers of our hearts are catapulted to the throne by the Holy Spirit, and the Son of God intercedes with those prayers to the Father.  And the Father responds because whatever the Son does is for His glory.  Paul tells us this in Romans 8 and he concludes this argument by saying, “If God is for us, who can be against us.”

                We cannot come to an understanding of the power of prayer without the principles laid out by Christ in His final supper with the Apostles.  It is all about the glory of God, and if our prayer is for any other purpose, spend time fishing.  It will bring you more pleasure.

Kingdom Road Ministries
PO Box 503
10 South Main, Suite 201
Victor, ID 83455

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