Is it How or What you Ask?

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James 4:3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

We have been told that “faith” is the key to a successful prayer life.  We have been told that it will unlock an abundant life of prosperity.  So we go out praying for any and everything.  They say go boldly before the Father because God “has to” release it.  They say you can have what you desire because God has given us the ability to create with our words, thus we are gods now.  If you don’t receive its because your faith isn’t strong enough.  The more you have to more godly you must be.  We then race to gain more things to point to our righteousness.  We call it a “gospel” none the less, as they proclaim that GOD doesn’t  want us poor.

Some would argue that I’m wrong for throwing stones at God’s priests but Jesus said that even he doesn’t come in his own name, yet these people constently come in their own name promoting themselves.  None of the discplines preached in their own names.

But is faith needed in prayer? yes, is it the sol key to having them answered, no.  Should you take any tips on prayer as a way to get what you “want” out of God, NO because He can’t be bought.  Prayer is about having relationship not having a lamp to rub.  We must not be more concern with your stomach than the things of God.  If you still don’t get read Matthew 6 real slow and don’t skip to the “power verse”.

Philippians 3:18-20

18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things. 20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Matthew 6:25-34 

Do Not Worry

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?   28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

The important thing to remember is that only believers can seek after God.  We are to be seeking a relatipnship that includes knowing God, self examination and conforming to the “image” of Christ.  Without a pursuit after Jesus and all that is invovled you cannot consider yourself one of His (Luke 9:23-26).  In order to follow you have to be in him(John 15).  When we die and Jesus lives we glorify the Son, being connected produces fruit which Glorify the Father.  We are now putting God’s purposes and will ahead of our own.  When he is first our prayers will align.  Our boldness comes from knowing that what we are seeking will glorify God and all of the bible is about His glory and not our own.

John 15:4-8

4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.   5 “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

This is how we approach things in life.  A company’s mission statement most align with job descriptions or the job is cut.  If our prayers must line up with the Father’s mission statement.  We treat God like a billionaire with money to burn on every idea or desire we have.  Praying in God’s will is so important to the Christian lifestyle.  God has given us the Holy Spirit so that we can pray in the spirit and so the spirit can help us to pray.  Not only do we have the Holy Spirit helping us in prayer but Christ himself is also interceding for us.  If being in the Father’s will isn’t important then why does the Holy Spirit play such a huge role prayer.  Romans 8: 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.

Because half the time we don’t know how or what to pray for.  The Lord’s prayer is framed in God’s glory,  Jesus high priestly prayer and the prayer in the garden of Gethsemane is also shaped with God’s glory in plain view.

If we are not bearing fruit we can’t ask for whatever.  Its not because we earn the right but that we have a birth right.  If you are not abiding in the Son  you have no birth right.  I know that is hard to shallow and the tells us to make our election sure.  If we are running through the things you do externally to claim a birth right, we are all in trouble.  Duty should be a pleasure that flows from the heart like rivers of water.  We should not be keeping score with God. We can’t hope to “win God over” with.  We are obsessed with achievements.  Only faith can please God but faith in who? Jesus Christ! This is why pursuing, following, abiding, seeking and imitating him is so key.  The only person that enter heaven based on a “to do list” is Christ.

Romans 8:9, 14-17

9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.

14 For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. 15 The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship.[f] And by him we cry, “Abba,[g] Father.” 16 The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. 17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.

The only person that has earned anything, is Jesus.  All that we have is a gift.  None of our blessings are based on our acts of righteousness.  If we are holy, if we are displaying righteousness its because of Christ living his life through us. This is all by the power of God the Holy Spirit, who notarizies our birth right. So for who’s glory are we praying for? For who’s purposes do we desire to see come to pass? The first person we mention in prayer is who has our heart at that time. Is our heavenly Father constantly first in our prayers like Jesus taught us? We must turn back to Jesus and we must learn to lean on the Holy Spirit.   How we approach the throne of grace and what we ask says a lot about our relationship with the Godhead.  Our prayer life will tell us if we are walking in the spirit, if we are pursuing Christ, abiding in Christ, if Christ is living in us and would be satisfied with God alone if we had nothing else.

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8 Responses to “Is it How or What you Ask?”
  1. Joseph says:

    amen. I think it is of great danger to someone’s faith and salvation if they are guided to ask God for the desires of their heart (fleshly heart). Then when they don’t receive, it can rock our faith in God Almighty. “Hmmph, I guess it doesn’t work..”

    A few scriptures popped out for me on this.. The comparisons of:
    John 15:7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you

    Ephesians 2:3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

    Galatians 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    We must be very careful on having discernment of asking for things that are of the flesh vs the things of the Word that is in us.. God’s will. I remember once when my car was making noise in the engine. It was getting louder and louder. Initially, the flesh wanted to pray for a new car. But the Spirit came in and revealed that this was MY desire that needs to be crucified. Then the TRUE desire came out… “Lord, I’m in need to have this thing fixed. I don’t need a new car.. I just need this car that you blessed me with.” I received the blessing because I was aligned with God’s will for me… not with my will for me.

    I think James 4 sums this up nicely –
    Jas 4:1 From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members?
    Jas 4:2 Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
    Jas 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
    Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.
    Jas 4:5 Do ye think that the scripture saith in vain, The spirit that dwelleth in us lusteth to envy?
    Jas 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
    Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
    Jas 4:8 Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.
    Jas 4:9 Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.
    Jas 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
    Jas 4:11 Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.
    Jas 4:12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?
    Jas 4:13 Go to now, ye that say, To day or to morrow we will go into such a city, and continue there a year, and buy and sell, and get gain:
    Jas 4:14 Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away.
    Jas 4:15 For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.
    Jas 4:16 But now ye rejoice in your boastings: all such rejoicing is evil.
    Jas 4:17 Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin.

    And, even when we ask in accordance to His will… We may look for the answer in our timing and in how we think the Lord will do this thing. I have done such a thing and watched the flesh guide me to look for God’s answer in my time, and in my way.. Once I released my own understandings, trusted in God, heard and obeyed, then I was blessed..

    I can deceive myself greatly… Walking slow and examining oneself helps tremendously.. to always question myself to see if I’m in His will or mine..

    Thanks for speaking the truth brother. I am so appreciative of God for giving us ministers of truth.. You are blessed.. Thanks for your obedience.

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