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GRACEVINE DEVOTIONAL
Thursday, August 24, 2017

James 1:6-7 KJV
But let him ASK in faith, NOTHING WAVERING. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. [7] For let not that man think that he shall RECEIVE any thing of the Lord.

Prayer becomes very frustrating when there seems to be no answer. After a while, most people give up and stop praying altogether. Though there are many types of prayer, the most common is the prayer of petition. This prayer focuses on asking God for intervention and need supply.

The key to this prayer is ASKING. The Greek word used here connects asking with your desire or crave. This means that heartfelt commitment to what you truly need must be involved. According to Apostle James in our text above, you cannot be wavering in what you truly want. This means that your desire must be clear and certain as you pray.

Most people pray but eventually end up not asking even when they have a need. How do I know? Because Jesus confirms that IF anyone asks, they shall RECEIVE what they asked for.

“For EVERY ONE that asketh receiveth”.  What do you receive? WHATEVER you ask for in prayer.!

Most people’s prayers have been shaped by wrong religious beliefs that hinder their receiving. Here are a few examples.

#1. WE MUST NOT PRAY FOR OUR MATERIAL NEEDS SINCE GOD KNOWS ABOUT THEM.

Jesus NEVER taught that we shouldn’t pray for needs. In Matthew 6, He was merely speaking against worrying over needs thus becoming preoccupied with them.  He taught that unbelieving gentiles are the ones who live like this because they have no confidence in their gods but for us, it’s different.  Factually, our Father can feed birds and cloth grasses, we therefore shouldn’t worry over those things. All we need do is ASK, then believe we receive.

Matthew 21:22 KJV
And ALL THINGS, whatsoever ye shall ASK in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.

If you notice from the text above, what you ask for is all THINGS. Things include material needs. Just know what you want, ask in Faith, believe you’ve been heard and leave it to God.

#2. GOD WILL ONLY GIVE YOU WHAT HE THINKS YOU DESERVE.
Nothing can be farther from the truth than this. God gives you exactly what you desire and pray about, otherwise it is NOT a prayer answered.

“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, HOW MUCH MORE shall your Father which is in heaven GIVE GOOD THINGS to them THAT ASK HIM?” (Matthew 7:11)

If what you get is not what you prayed for, then that is NOT your answer. Wait, because God promises that EVERY ONE that asks, receives. If you ask for a shirt and you receive a tie, that cannot be the answer to your prayer. Thank God for the tie but wait for your REAL answer.

#3.  GOD WILL ONLY ANSWER IF WHAT YOU PRAYED FOR IS HIS WILL.

This again is a wrong attitude and approach to prayer. Religion teaches this and God’s people believe it. If God only answers prayers that are in accordance with His Will, then why should I bother to pray? In that case, I’ll simply pray “Let your will be done” and wait. But Jesus it was who said ” Ask and ye shall receive that your joy may be full” (John 16:24).  This means that full joy is associated with receiving exactly what I ask for in prayer.
No normal child will ask his Dad for something that will hurt him, except of course babies.  In the same way, I believe no Christian will be praying for help to indulge in sin.
That been said, praying for legitimate needs cannot be said to be sinful.  The following Bible text is often cited and interpreted erroneously to support the belief that you only get what God wills.

1 John 5:14-15 KJV
And this is the CONFIDENCE that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing ACCORDING TO HIS WILL, he heareth us: [15] And if we know that he hear us whatsoever we ask, we know THAT WE HAVE the petitions that we DESIRED of him.

Based on the promises we’ve examined and scores of others that confirm that WHAT you ask for is what you’ll receive, these Bible verses in 1 John seem contradictory. This is because if we go by their traditional interpretation, our answers only come when they tally with God’s will in prayer. But God never contradicts His Word. The problem is with the interpretation based on the wrong insertion of the commas and full stop.

When read as written below, the true meaning of that verse will become clearer and harmonize with other texts on prayer answer.

“....if we ask any thing, according to His will, He heareth us”. (1 John 5:14)

This simply means that it is GOD’S WILL TO HEAR PRAYERS. He therefore hears our prayers because it is His character to hear prayers.

Even the Old Testament folks knew that God is a prayer hearing God.

Psalm 65:2 KJV
O thou that HEAREST PRAYER, unto thee shall all flesh come.

Therefore 1 John 5:14 is NOT a condition but simply encouragement for us to pray because it is God’s will to hear and answer.

In 1 John 5:14, the “confidence” that we have in Him is translated in the Greek as “Freedom of speech”. This means we can ask boldly and without restraint believing God hears and answers. Hallelujah!!!

Please go ahead and ask God for your desire now. Do not be afraid, God will hear you. His love for you is more than your mistakes.

Shalom Beloved.
Ken Okotcha.

I am an expression of the Divine!

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