Since the red-letter words of Jesus found in the Bible declare that I should pray in Jesus’ name, why aren’t all prayers answered as prayed? The formula seems easy enough to me. I don’t get it. Where’s the missing link so Jesus’ll answer?
Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/Okasana Bratanova
My Sunday School teacher showed me those highlighted words in her bible as she read to us. I did exactly what she’d said. I knew I hadn’t misunderstood but—still no new two-wheel bike by the backyard tree.
According to Jesus’ own words, whatever we ask for will be done for us. So, why don’t I see that happening in my life? Studying the familiar verse in the Gospel of John helped me understand the Two Keys that guarantee answered prayer.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7 NASB)
When Christians feel discouraged, we often refer to this passage, lamenting the absence of the Lord’s response. As I studied the verse, dissecting out each phrase, I discovered these two keys that guarantee answered prayer.
Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/James Steidl
Countless millions of us throughout the centuries have believed that the third of the Ten Commandments meant we shouldn’t swear, but that’s wrong. Uh, what I mean is that, while using God’s name in such an irreverent way is wrong, it has nothing at all to do with the Third Commandment. So, what does “Don’t take the Lord’s name in vain,” really mean then?
As with all verses in the Bible, we need to understand the context of the culture and time in which the commandments had been written. The people in the land where God directed Israel to live had been sacrificing to false gods.
Their offerings included more than the material possessions demanded by the priests of Baal. Those serving Moloch said god required the sacrifice of their first-born child in his fires.
God forbids the use of His name to force people to submit to unrighteous practices, acquire unearned wealth, or gain power over others. We don’t much like it when someone uses our name to make promises for us to keep either, do we?
Courtesy of 123RF Stock Photo/Steve Collender
If you’ve ever cried out to God for help or direction, you’ve likely experienced the challenge of waiting. Often, we’ve already wrestled with the problem for a long time before asking for God’s help. From our viewpoint, anything but an immediate answer is counterproductive, isn’t it? Apparently God didn’t see things that way, inspiring the Prophet Isaiah to record the Lord’s four guarantees re: waiting.
The vivid imagery of the passage in Isaiah 40:31 is not just beautifully written poetry, but God’s promises. If we let God teach us, we’ll see these four guarantees re: waiting bring perfect peace to our lives.
Rainbow over Bull River (Photo by Margie Collin)
Knuckles aching, I squeezed the armrests tighter. The blizzard tossed the Boeing 707 like a kite in the wind. Is this really a safer route home for Christmas 1967? Driving the snow-packed, icy Montana roads seemed less dangerous to me than my first-ever flight. That’s when I glanced through the tiny window and saw the powerful reminder, a rainbow–not just a logo–the sign of God’s covenant.
A brilliant rainbow completely encircled the jet-black silhouette of the aircraft. An immense peace flooded my anxious heart. The smile stayed glued to my face as I watched the incredible sight for the remainder of the harried flight.
I knew from Scripture, that while I looked out at that gorgeous circle of colors from Planet Earth, God looked down at the same from Heaven. Could He see me sitting inside that silhouette?