Praying (ATP)

Praying (ATP)

When praying about something, do you just pray once about it (say one day, one time & move on & wait ) or do you keep it in your daily prayers? Example,  healing for instance.

Praying is an important, yet extremely misunderstood part of our faith, and for that reason I’m very happy to answer this question. Depending on which “camp” or flavor of Christianity you subscribe to, you could get a different answer on this. I have learned it is not hard to answer any question when you understand our faith and Scripture.

To start with, the purposes of both the Scripture and faith is to point us toward God. It always was. Jesus claimed on many occasions in many ways to bridge the gap so to speak between us and the Father. The overwhelming theme in scripture is God, a loving Father, desiring a pure relationship with His creation. Even salvation, with all its promises, with all its claims, has the purpose of bringing mankind back to His presence. God loves people.

Why you may ask do I say all this? It is because you cannot understand prayer without understanding the one you are praying to. Have you ever been uncomfortable with a conversation because you didn’t know the one you were talking to? Sadly, this is how most people pray. They pray when there is a need, to a God they don’t know, not really knowing if He is even listening much less willing to answer. People then make “spiritual” claims such as, “God works in mysterious ways,” in order to pacify their lack of knowing Him. Many even spend a lifetime with this gamble-mentality kind of prayer.

1 John 5:14 tells us, “Now this is the CONFIDENCE that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” That’s a bold statement! Most people pray with zero confidence. If you were confident when you ask, you wouldn’t feel the need to keep asking which is really begging. In the next verse (15) it says, “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Prayer isn’t as much about what you ask as it is about knowing the One whom you ask. If you know who you ask, you will know His will. If you know His will, you know what you can trust Him for. When there is trust, then asking or receiving isn’t difficult.

When one approaches prayer this way, something in them changes. I’ll use the example of healing since that is what is asked. In many places all through scripture, including Matthew 8:17 and 1 Peter 2:24, we see God’s will IS healing. Since it is His will, we do not have to seek Him on whether or not He wants us healed, but we simply must believe it. Now that we know this, Mark 11:23 says we can believe it’s ours. If we then SAY we are healed, we shall be healed. However, even if we claim this in faith, and then go do things that cause the reverse of healing, we can negate this faith by our actions and thus we will go without. An example of this would be a person who claims healing in their lungs, yet continues to smoke.

All prayer, when asking God for something, needs to happen from a place of knowledge of His will.  Without this, people are simply spinning their wheels. The heart of prayer is this, conversation with a God that you love and want to get to know. I always encourage people with this, which I suspect will answer your initial question: if you need something, put it before the Lord. After that, thank Him for it whenever it comes to mind. Spend more time praising Him and thanking Him for His goodness and less time asking Him for it. The purpose of asking God for things really isn’t for us anyway. We should know what’s ours, but ask for those who don’t.

God’s heart is nothing but good toward you all the time. If you have a need, He knows and wants to fulfill that need. Even more so, He desires you to trust that He wants to. However, because of His desire for us to have free will, He has given us the right to choose or refuse. God is not withholding from His people, He is waiting for their faith to release it in their lives.

To sum this all up, if there is something you need, learn His will and claim it, praising Him for it. Save the bulk of your asking for those who don’t know what to believe. One who prays in such a way, trusting God in their conversation with Him, will always be fruitful.

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff