January 21, 2023
“Your God is Too Small” was the title of an insightful book by J.B. Phillips years ago. If part of our task as believers is to give the world a right opinion of God, then our limited view of Him is aborting our purpose.
We must realize that our failure here is primarily a failure in prayer. God has ordained prayer as a means through which His kingdom can come, and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven. He wants the world to see the reality and vastness of His kingdom and its King. And there are NO limits in heaven. Jesus showed us that we bring heaven to earth in our praying.
A LIMITLESS PROMISE
Jesus seeks to expand our praying with His constant promises. And His promise in Matthew 21:22 is mind-boggling.
“And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” (Matthew 21:22)
We tend to read this seemingly outlandish promise and walk right on with no adjustment in our praying. The reason? It doesn’t make sense to our logical minds, and we don’t believe it. “In all things?” we ask. “But I can’t just ask for anything and receive it. I guess this promise is just not true.”
But it IS true. It came from the lips of the One-Who-Knows. It must, however, be taken in the context of the whole counsel of Scripture.
IN HIS NAME
Jesus makes the identical promise five times in John 14-16 but adds three words that qualify the promise: “In My name.” This means to come on the authority of His name (not your own) and according to His desires. That our praying is in sync with His heart. And He adds further explanation about the purpose of these big prayers: that your prayers will bear remaining fruit and glorify the Father.
“Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. (John 14:13)
If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (John 14:14)
“You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you. (John 16:16)
Truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. (John 16:23)
Until now, you have asked for nothing in My name; ask and you will receive so that your joy may be made full. (John 16:24)
BY HIS SPIRIT
Paul adds one more wonderful directive about this limitless prayer as he writes of spiritual warfare praying in Ephesians 6.
With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit (Ephesians 6:18)
Powerful prayer is God-initiated. It starts in heaven. God wants us to be filled with the Spirit, letting His Spirit lead and empower us at all times. This is true of our praying. The Spirit will guide our praying if we rely upon Him. Prayer becomes a loop—from God, through us, back to Him. And the Father will always answer prayers that He initiates.
WHAT ABORTS BIG, FRUIT-BEARING, GOD-GLORIFYING PRAYERS?
The limits on our prayers are two-fold: we just don’t pray (You have not because you ask not), and we do not pray in faith (“believing you may receive”). Don’t miss the first. Our greatest failure is usually that we don’t take time to simply pray. We need MORE prayer.
Recently the Lord asked me this question: “Do you believe in Me enough to believe that if you never preached or wrote again, your PRAYING could accomplish just as much for My glory?” It was a sobering thought, and a prayer-elevating thought. For prayer brings God into the equation and can do anything God can do.
Do you want your life to bear great, remaining fruit? Then come humbly to the throne in Jesus’ name, listen to the Father and let His Spirit lead your praying, and pray big, believing prayers! And see what God will do for His glory!
December 07, 2023
December 06, 2023
December 04, 2023