June's Monthly message

 

Wrington and Lynch Chapels

Minister’s Website Article, June 2019

 

We are a praying church. We have prayer meetings; we have people who bring others before God if they are unwell or in difficult circumstances. We believe in the power of God who hears every prayer.

That’s not to say our prayers cause God to change his mind. A better way to view it would be to say that, through prayer, we share in the heart of God. Sometimes God needs to work in the pray-er as much as the person prayed for.

However, Jesus said, ‘Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it.’ Does that work? I guess we all know of times when we prayed ‘in the name of Jesus’ and nothing changed. So was Jesus being naive, or telling lies?

I guess, sometimes the answer is that God cannot answer all our prayers. If a Manchester United fan prayed for their team to win against Manchester City, and a Manchester City fan does the same from his perspective, how can God answer both? Christians often pray for contradictory things. If two Christian men are in love with the same girl, and both pray that God will make her choose them, the prayers of at least one won’t be answered.

Probably every Christian has asked God to do something, something they think glorifies God, have prayed in faith, believing, and God didn’t answer. Many people are then shaken in their faith, and wonder whether Jesus’ promise was true, or even if the Christian faith is true. 

The bible gives examples of unanswered prayer. St Paul said he asked God three times to remove his ‘thorn in the flesh’ and it didn’t happen. So, why does Jesus say what he says about asking God in his name?

Some people say all our prayers ARE answered, but we don’t see the result because of lack of faith; that you really are well, but don’t appear to be. That’s a terrible answer. How can someone with cancer, who is prayed for and still dies, be really healed?

Another answer some people use is that God answers all prayers, but with some he says ‘No,’ some ‘Yes,' and sometimes ‘Wait.’ I don’t like that answer either. Surely, an answer of ‘No’ is really an unanswered prayer.

Other Christians try to qualify their prayer so that they cannot expect an answer. Not good.

So, what’s the solution? I think Jesus’ promise is true, but we need to understand it. Asking ‘in Jesus’ name’ doesn’t mean just tacking those words on the end of our prayer. It means praying in the attitude and heart of Jesus. That means we have to look at our attitude, our motives, our lack of faith, and how much we mean what we say.

So, selfishness, or only praying because that’s what others expect, even if you don’t mean it, are not good.

Also, the answer to your prayer, especially for others, may be in your own power. God may be saying, ‘I’ve given you the means to deal with that. Go and do it.’ To pray for financial help for someone when you have spare cash yourself is ignoring the answer God has already given you.

We also are meant to persevere. If it’s something you’re not really bothered about, and take three seconds to pray, then God can hardly be expected to answer, can he?

Perhaps I’ll say more on this next time. But let me finish with this: Just coming to church, praying now and then, is not doing this in Jesus’ name. Jesus calls us into a deep, intimate relationship with himself and his heavenly Father. If you don’t know Jesus, and haven’t welcomed him as your Lord, then your prayers are from the wrong place. God is still very gracious; but why not get in the right place first?

 

If you want to know more, make contact through this website.

 

Every blessing

 

Duncan

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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