Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wednesday in the Word: Prayer

And it came to pass, when he was in a certain city, behold a man full of leprosy: who seeing Jesus fell on his face, and besought him, saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And he put forth his hand, and touched him, saying, I will: be thou clean. And immediately the leprosy departed from him.  ~~ Luke 5:12,13

Over the past couple of years, as I've read through the Gospels, I've begun to mark the places where someone comes to Jesus and makes a request of Him by saying, "Lord, if thou wilt . . ." or where Jesus asks someone what they desired Him to do for them. In every case, Jesus says, "I will . . . " and they receive whatever it is they have asked of Him.

Photo by amslerPIX

Many people would love to take these instances out of the context of the whole counsel of God and try to make God their personal genie whose mission is to grant their wishes. Nothing could be farther from the truth!

First, we must remember that God's promise is to grant whatsoever we ask according to His will:
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.  ~~ I John 5:14,15
The key here is that whatever we ask must be within His will for us. I remember praying for my mother to be made well when she was terminally ill from complications of diabetes. There were those who said that we didn't have enough faith for her healing, but we were confident that God knew what was best for our family and that He would be glorified most by our compliance with His will. I must admit I don't understand, even 30 years later, why God chose to take my mother early in her life, but I believe with my whole heart that He was just as honored through her death as He would have been through her healing. Her healing would have been a good thing, but He chose not to grant that because it was not within His will.

We also have to remember that many times we ask for something just out of our own desires, with little or no thought for God's desires:
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.  ~~ James 4:3
While what we want may not be bad, sometimes it is a selfish thing and not within God's will for our lives. He is conforming us to His Son, and what we want is not in line with His plan. Or maybe what we want is not what is best or it's something that will hurt us. I heard the story once of a child who was trying to catch a bumblebee that was buzzing in his room. His nanny wouldn't let him catch it, of course, and he began crying and pitching a fit to have his own way. His mother, in the other room, heard the fuss and insisted on letting the child have whatever it was he wanted. The nanny, with no choice left, let him catch the bee, and he was immediately stung. That poor little boy, as well as his mother, learned that not everything he wanted was good for him! God knows what is good for us, and we would do well to trust Him when He says, "No."  
Finally, Jesus did nothing that was against His Father's will:
For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.  ~~ John 6:38
The key to these passages in which Jesus said He would do whatever the person asked is that fulfilling the request would bring glory to God. When we ask God for things that will glorify Him, He is willing to grant those requests.

Are you praying for something special? When you are sure you are praying within God's will, not to simply please yourself, then pray with that confidence mentioned in I John 5:14, 15. Be willing to submit to God's will, even if it means His answer is no. Then come boldly to Him with your request!


  1. Dear Susan,These words meant so much to me this morning. I have had a bad year physically and prayed that the Lord would touch me. He has in so many ways and I thank Him. Right now I found I have Atrial fibulation
    (fast heart beat) I can not
    get up without shortness of breath.
    It was so bad last night that my husband took my hand and prayed for
    a touch. Whether He sees fit to heal me is His business. I just want Him to be glorified in my life. Thanks for the encouraging words today. Blessings!

  2. Good reminders. The bee story is a great illustration.

  3. Howdy Ms. Susan. This is the blog I was reading when I got sidetracked by the Rochesters. Good stuff on prayer. Good devotion. Have a great day! Bro. James

  4. Aliene ~ I'm so glad this was a blessing to you!

    Barbara ~ I've loved that bee story for years and finally got to use it! ;)

    Bro. James ~ Thanks for stopping by! I subscribed to your blog the other day; looking forward to seeing how your new church plant goes!


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