“If we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us; and if we know that he hear us, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him. I John 5:14-15 (KJV).
This thing of “ask and you shall receive”, a biblical promise, has always concerned me and may need sufficient context for the average petitioner to practice and produce “effective and fervent” prayers.
My wife of late has been reading Joseph Prince and is convinced that God has ordained and in fact through Jesus Christ, has purchased our blessings spiritually, physically and financially. The good news for me is that our belief in the full work of Christ has proven to be the truth in our lives, howbeit, we know of grace. So what is my concern? The rest of the world, whom I am told, God loves as much as me!
Is there an economic bias for believers in America, I believe so. Is that bias actually affording perceived blessings individually, while we are being robbed of a generation spiritually? It would seem easy for a pastor of a large church with many tithers who love their pastor, to preach prosperity, even model it, with a nice car, a large home; many now even live outside the community to whom they are called to minister, while in those same congregations others find tithing difficult?
Do I begrudge that pastor, given the many hours required of today’s pulpit, absolutely not?
However, if God is our perfect Father then there are no step children, so why does this formula (I John 5:14-15) seem not to work across the board. Is our difficulty a spiritual disparity between clergy and laity (possibly a fitting reversal for the days when pastors “worked for food”, while congregations left the “parsonage family” in the “weeds”)?
Maybe some have moved so far from a free economy that an entitlement mentality has infected their prayers, becoming demanding and self serving? If that were the case, then wealthy businessmen, who even give God praise for their prosperity, might also be found praying in vain as their brothers in the middle class disappear, with now 1 in 7 Americans living in poverty!
I just know that I have a lot of questions about the gaps in quality of life among beleivers, as well as the distance between the power of God promised through prayer and what the church now manifests in America, both in the pulpit and in the pew.
This morning as I read from Oswald Chambers, and in fact opened a daily devotional from David Prince, the word “will” seemed to be a focal point in my spirit. Could faith and will have significant parallels?
I know I have a will, a strong will and in some areas it appears to me downright lustful. As well, I know that in my heart at least, my life is about His Will. So, why the gap still, between my own will and my personal belief system? In fact, I truly believe that God became flesh, in the man Christ Jesus, to demonstrate the will of God: that being, that the very works of God might be possible in a man fully submitted to the Spirit of God. The very prayer of the God-man and His reason for being was “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.”
Is there a place where my will could become His own? My prayers are thus His own, releashing the power of God and the promised provision that follows, regardless of where I live on this globe or the state of the economy. If so, how do I go about willing that, if not, how do I escape a prosperity gospel that seems to bless so many and at the same time, miss so many?
Can faith be more than a mindset, a parroting of scripture text, or a spiritual hope so? Is there a place in my heart, in the core of who I am, where I will His will? Could it be that at that place, His will becomes so mine, that whatsoever I ask (even speaking to trees and mountains) is according to His will, and thus done, because of the Spirit of God that lives in me? Is this the place of true sonship? “And because we are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying Abba, Father. Wherefore, thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.” Gal. 4:6-7 KJV.
Could His will, through the presence of His Son, so over ride my thoughts, that whatsoever I ask is in fact His own thought, and thus is done on this earth? Wow, now I can understand the promotion implied in verse six above: I am no longer a servant, simply doing church, but rather a Son… being Christ, the Anointed, the Ecclesia, the true Church!
Might I then expect to do “even greater things than these”, the actual promise of the Son, Jesus Christ? Would my prayers change drastically, with more groanings than flippant petitions? “…for we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered. And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” Rom. 8:26-27 (KJV).
Is there a place where I will to His will, and thus the Spirit prays through me prayers that are both heard and answered when prayed? Could this release the Word of God back to the whole of creation, described by Paul as “travailing in pain together until now.”
If so, my prayer is “thy will be done” in this earth, in this clay pot called John.