Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Believe 2.2 --- Matthew 21:22

When I saw the second verse for our month of BELIEVE in my Documented Faith group, I was a little disappointed. I thought, "Great! Now everyone will think praying is like a shopping list and you'll get whatever you want."

It brought to mind a Larry Bryant song - Shopping List - along with good memories from being in a choir where he directed us with his own music! Here's the chorus:
Give me this, I want that
Bless me, Lord, I pray
Grant me what I think I need
To make it through the day
Make me wealthy, keep me healthy
Fill in what I missed
On my never-ending shopping list
I took another look at Matthew 21:22 and my attention went to the end of the verse " prayer." It doesn't say we'll get anything and everything we ask for. First of all, we have to BELIEVE! Then, what we ask for is done in prayer. So I started looking at verses that talk about what prayer means.

For instance, God answered the prayers of those who trusted Him (I Chronicles 5:20). In Acts 1:14 the believers joined together constantly in prayer. We are told to be faithful in prayer (Romans 12:12), pray with thanksgiving (Philippians 4:6), and offer our prayers in faith (James 5:15). James goes on to say, "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."

Jesus explains in John 15:16 that He chose us to bear fruit in order to receive whatever we ask in His name.

We are also told our prayers should be without anger or disputing (I Timothy 2:8). And Peter warns husbands how to treat their wives so that nothing would hinder their prayers (I Peter 3:7).

When looking at other references to prayer, it's clear that Matthew 21:22 is NOT a license to give God our shopping lists.  If we go back to our first verse this year (Jeremiah 29:11), we know that God only wants to prosper us and not harm us, to give us hope and a future.

There's no better request than what Jesus taught in Matthew 6:10...Your will be done!

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