Yesterday I laid out a hypothetical prayer situation:
You have a friend that is sick. You would like to see your friend healed. He or she desires to be healed. You pray for the situation asking God to heal the friend. God responds and supernaturally heals.
Is there anything missing or incorrect here? Obviously we discussed the various ways that God answers prayer so the part that says “God responds and supernaturally heals” may be a little presumptive. He may have a different plan altogether! We’ve dealt with that, but there is still something there that is missing…I’m thinking of a couple different scriptures right now:
From John 5:19 (NIV) Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.… ”
Jesus says that He can “only do” what He sees the Father doing. I’m seeing this as – there is a preliminary step in praying for this healing and in any prayer situation. It seems to say that I need to understand Gods will before I pray and expect a particular outcome.
Matthew 6 (NIV)
9) “This, then, is how you should pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name,
10) your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
Not trying to be flippant here, but it looks like if we pray “according to His will”, then we might have a far better chance of our prayer(s) being answered. Maybe it would get rid of the “No” answer or even the “Different answer” in the case of our hypothetical prayer for healing? Another whole subject here – “knowing Gods will for any situation.” It definitely identifies who is in charge / who’s the master and who’s the servant. Let’s just leave it at the idea that if we knew His will our prayer life would be much more productive. I’ll try to remember to ruminate on the “Knowing His Will” a little latter…
In the case of healing, I have also heard people say “that God desires everyone to be healthy and well.” I believe that He does, but He also abides by His own Laws. Sickness can be caused by our own actions can’t they? We eat too much, we gain too much weight, and we begin to suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure and heart disease, etc.
In our prayer counseling we call this the Law of reaping and sowing.
Galatians 6 (NIV)
8 ) The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction;
the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
I submit therefore that there may be need to be some “Transformation” in the person before a prayer for the above mentioned maladies (overweight example) will be effective.
Ro 12:2 (NIV) Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.
I believe that God can and does heal sickness, even those that are a product of Reaping and Sowing, but it is his Divine Mercy that comes into play. We can and should pray for any situation like this. It’s what praying people do! But as we learn to discern His will for prayer requests, we will be able to pray far more effectively.
So if we know His will in a prayer situation we may well be more effective prayers, right? How is that accomplished? As I said above, I would like to reserve that for another posting. I can say that – One way is being filled with the Holy Spirit and using the Gifts of the Spirit such as Word of Wisdom and Word of Knowledge. Or it might even need the Discerning of spirits if this is a spiritual battle. In any case we “Pray before we Pray!” Lord what is Your will in this… This then expands on my prayer model. Going back to our original situation:
You have a friend that is sick. You would like to see your friend healed. He or she desires to be healed... You pray and seek the Fathers will in this situation. (It doesn’t have to be long – just an arrow prayer). You receive wisdom for the situation.
You pray according to His will for the situation asking Him to heal the friend. God responds and supernaturally heals. Not the “If it be Thy Will” words, but just pray what you hear Him telling you to pray. Then God responds to your prayer and does exactly what needs to be done in the situation!”
I think this model might work better. If we pray according to His will we have greater assurance of the outcome. Our prayer is more effective, God is glorified and people get set free!
Back to my original problem of my prayer that seems to be “hard and doing so little good”
Am I not asking for that Divine guidance before I pray? If not, then God is not a part of the plan. I am just praying my will to be done and not His. I have prayed as I have written this and I believe that I may be skipping this step occasionally. A little pride can make us think that we have this down pat and that we can just do it. I don’t think this is the core issue, so I will look further tomorrow…
Serving Him the best I know how…