“Worthless Prayers”

Posted: August 5, 2018 in Prayer

Most people have the mistaken idea that Prayer changes things.” No, it doesn’t! God changes things in response to proper prayers. One of our Lord’s half brothers wrote “You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you to not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:2, 3). While there are eight ways to communicate with God, let’s consider three of them.

Supplication. This involves our making a request to God when the need or object is unknown. It is a cry for help. (See Ephesians 6:18) More often than not, we don’t know what would be best for us. When a drowning man cries for help to be rescued, he doesn’t have the right to dictate to the lifeguard the method by which he wants him to save him. As a former water safety instructor, I used to teach life guards about rowing, throwing, or going. Sometimes a life boat was necessary. On other occasions throwing a life preserver might be all that was necessary. Or a lifeguard might choose to swim out to the drowning person to rescue him. This is often the most dangerous way. Once the Christian has called upon God for His help, the believer must rely on God to answer his request in a way that God chooses to answer his prayer. He knows what we need and when we need it. He might answer with a yes, no, or wait.  Whatever the answer, we should be thankful to God (Ephesians 5:20; 1 Timothy 2:1).

Intercession. As surprising as it may be to some people, this form of communication with God involves making requests to God for or against known objects or needs (1 Timothy 2:1; Romans 11:2). Vengeance belongs to God (Romans 12:19). Don’t take it into your own hands. Evil doers will be judged by God someday (Hebrews 9:27; Revelation 20:11-15). God also uses human governments to protect its citizens from evil doers (Romans 13:1-7). Sadly, some rulers oppress their own people. Those who rule over others will be held accountable to God for the roles they played in life (Daniel 4:17, 25). They should humble themselves before God and ask Him for wisdom as King Solomon did (1 Kings 3:9; Psalm 2; Proverbs 3:5, 6).

Asking. “Asking in Jesus’ name” doesn’t mean tacking these magic words to the end of our requests. God is not pleased when we leave Him out of our plans and then ask Him to “rubber stamp” what we want instead of what He wants us to have or do. When we ask as if Christ were asking for us, we get exactly what we requested (John 14:13).

Name It And Claim It. Many false teachers are giving people the idea that they can demand things from God. At the heart of the Word of Faith movement is the belief in the ‘force of faith.’ It is believed words can be used to manipulate the faith-force, and thus actually create what they believe Scripture promises (health and wealth). Laws supposedly governing the faith-force are said to operate independently of God’s sovereign will and that God Himself is subject to these laws. This is nothing short of idolatry, turning our faith—and by extension ourselves—into god.” [1]

Useless. Sometimes an individual or a nation goes too far into sin. God is the one who determines the means of punishment or chastening. God told Jeremiah the prophet that even though Moses and Samuel prayed for the rebellious, idol worshiping Jews that He would not hear their prayers (Jeremiah 15:1). They were destined for exile in Babylon for 70 years (Jeremiah 25:11, 12; 29:10). There are some Christians who commit the “sin leading to [a premature, physical] death” and it would be useless to pray for them too (1 John 5:16, 17; See Acts 5:1 ff). God chastens some believers like this so they won’t be condemned with the unbelievers of this world (1 Corinthians 11:30-32). A true Christian cannot lose his salvation (John 19:28, 29; Ephesians 4:30) but a carnal Christian won’t enjoy his life on earth that God gave to him (See John 10:10; 15:11).  He needs to confess his known sins to God and then claim God’s forgiveness  (1 John 1:9).  When we are filled with the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and walk by means of the Spirit (Galatians 5:16, 25) we won’t fulfill the lusts [strong desires] of the flesh (Galatians 5:16-25).

Questions. Are you a true believer in the Lord Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:2)? Are you absolutely sure you’ll have a place in heaven (1 John 5:13)? Are you enjoying the eternal life God has given to you (John 10:10)? Are you growing spiritually (2 Peter 3:18) and serving God and others faithfully (Galatians 5:13; 1 Peter 4:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58)?

Help. We’re here to assist you and other believers who are teachable and willing to change (2 Timothy 2:2, 15; 3:16, 17). We can be reached through our website: www.kelseypeach.com. To receive future articles as they come out, click on “Follow.” Join us on Facebook and Youtube for our Bible studies.

The Gospel In A Nutshell”

My friend, we’re all sinners.

But Christ died for our sins…and rose again bodily.

Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ alone and you will be saved.

Have you done this? If not, do it now!

[1] https://www.gotquestions.org/Word-Faith.html

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