2012-10-03 - God's Answers to Prayer
The Epistles of John ~ Part 66 ~ 1 John
Verse 22: The benefit that comes from confidence in the Lord is that we are able to ask whatever we desire, and He will give it to us. Will God provide whatever we ask? Isn't that what this passage teaches? This is not an unconditional promise. The fulfillment is a product of the believer's obedience to God's commands - and a desire to please Him.
The answers to prayer, then, are a product of our prayers being consistent with our desire to be obedient and to please the Father. This means that we have the right to pray for healing, for an example. But our primary concern shouldn't be the healing, but to live in our circumstances in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. We want the Lord to be glorified by His answer to our prayer, whether it is yes, no, or wait.
The heartbroken spouse certainly can pray that God will intervene in the life of the other. But the primary concern should be to be the kind of husband or wife the Lord desires, in spite of the behavior of the other.
It seems that along with the message that how one lives isn't a factor of faith, the false prophets were proclaiming a "Name It and Claim It" gospel. This is a message of magic. If the right formula is used, God must answer the requests, actually demands, of the one who is praying.
There is nothing in Scripture that promises God desires for our happiness, prosperity or comfortable circumstances. Remember that Paul said;
" I have learned to be content, whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything - through Him who gives me strength" (Philippians 4:11-13).
To be continued.