“Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart.'” (John 7:38)
How big are your prayers?
Do they consider God’s infinite nature?
‘How we pray’ and ‘what we pray for’ reveal ‘what we know’ about God and ‘how much time’ we have spent in His Word. These are all tell-tale signs of the actual faith we have in Him. When He ‘says you have not because you ask not’, Jesus is expressing this truth.
Jehoash, king of Israel, went to Elisha on his death bed carrying his fears of being overrun by Aram. After illustrating that Israel would have victory over Aram by having Johoash fire on arrow from his bow, Elisha then said to him, “Now pick up the other arrows and strike them against the ground.” So, the king picked them up and struck the ground three times. But the man of God was angry with him. “You should have struck the ground five or six times!” he exclaimed. “Then you would have beaten Aram until it was entirely destroyed. Now you will be victorious only three times” (2 Kings 13:18-19). How limited was Johoash’s view of what our mighty God can do? He only saw what was in his hand and not what God would accomplish through what God had placed in his hand… if only he had ‘known’ and ‘trusted’ our God…
So… what is it you see? Do you see and focus on the moments of pain you suffered, or do you comprehend the thousands of days God has provided and cared for you? Do you see the empty seats around you, or do you see the seats God has prepared for those who He is bringing to a knowledge of His Salvation? Are you preparing to minister to those God is bringing into your area of influence, or are you focused on making yourself more comfortable…? Do you only see what is in your hand, or do you see God at work?
Some tough questions, but the answer to each reveal how impactful your prayer life will be, and whether or not you have a maturing faith that knows God’s heart as it is revealed in His Word.
The key to prayer is to pray as Christ would pray. This means that prayer is not bending God’s arm to give us what we want. Prayer is the means whereby the Christian aligns their will to the will of God. Prayer is not asking God to move towards us as much as it is asking God to move us towards Him. John tells us, “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” (1 John 5:14) When we ask in “Jesus’ name,” we are asking as His ambassador, who as Jesus’ representative speaks Jesus’ words… not our own! Why His words and not mine? Because His are the ‘perfect will of God’ and ours are driven by our weak desires and limited perspective. Which do you think is best?
God is at work! And He desires for us to share in the joys and blessings of His work. How much you participate in His work is depended upon how much you know of The One who gave His own Son so you could live! How many times are you prepared to tap what God has placed in your hand… 1 or 3 times? Or… will you strike the arrows until God has poured all He desires into your life… causing you to be His cup overflowing?
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church. He is the author of two devotional books, “From a Chair by the Window.” And “#PrayerWinsThe Day”.