The Answered Prayer
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14: 12-14
Do you see that? Right there in the Gospel of John, the Bible says you will receive anything you pray for! But I mean, really?
Even in the world of a believer, there’s a lot of skepticism about this promise. You hear people say, “Oh really, you’re telling me that if I just pray, ‘God, I want a Mercedes Benz,’ and believe I’m going to get it, then I’ll get it?” Or, “I can pray to win the lottery, and if I really believe I’m going to win, then I will?”
Those are good questions! Here’s mine. Why do you ask for those things? I think that’s the first part of any prayer. If you look at the context of that promise, you’ll realize that God will give you what you ask for because you are doing His will. If you’re going to do His will with that Mercedes or those lottery winnings, then yes, I believe you should pray for them.
I believe it is God’s will to prosper you. Last time I distinguished between abundance and financial prosperity. Prosperity doesn’t always mean finances. It could mean your family’s health or maybe peace at your job. There are a lot of different things involved in prosperity, but they all have one thing in common. It’s an issue of the heart.
God looks at the heart of all people. Men and women alike, He looks at your heart. And if you sit there and say, “God, I pray for a million dollars,” I’m going to guess that the first thing God’s going to ask is why you want a million dollars. If you want a million dollars so that you can gloat about being rich, then I don’t know if He’s going to give it to you. I pray for finances. I really do. I pray for them, and I believe I’m going to get them. I can’t necessarily tell you why God grants my prayers. But I can tell you the reasons in my heart for wanting finances. I see all the good I can do with them.
My wife and I tithe and offer because we know that the money is not ours. Any money that we’ve been given was given to us because God allowed us to have it. And I believe that He asks for some of that money back.
I think God looks at your heart when it comes to everything. If your prayer is birthed in sin, it will never happen. Why would God do that? But if your prayer is birthed in the understanding of bringing hope and grace and power, and the empowerment of people to believe in God, then yes, I can fully believe that you’re going to receive what you pray for.
But then there was that rich young man, the one Jesus told to sell all he had. Should you sell everything you have, and give it to the poor? More on this next time. See you Saturday.