Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

Christian devotions in the Daily-Message

What do we really need?

''But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.''

Matthew 6:6-8

James gives us important information with regard to unanswered prayers: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” (James 4:3). Sometimes we don't know what to ask God, even when we do it sincerely. There is also honest boldness and bold honesty in our requests to God (Matthew 20:22). And then God must also say to us: “Ye know not what ye ask”! But, above and beyond we have assurances which our own limitations in understanding and acknowledging confine. We read in Ephesians 3:20-21 “ Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.” This is the awesomeness, God knows what we need and when we need it and He rewards sincerity. We should pray even though God already knows everything? The answer is crystal clear: YES! Prayer is the expression of our relationship with God. One can also work on this and question oneself, as well as examine the Bible to determine where one stands in one's relationship with God. When we examine the prayer life of Jesus, in human form, towards His Father in the Bible, we recognize this call for an intimate relationship. Jesus and God were and is One and a Unity (a Trinity) (John 10:30). The most perfect prayer, besides the well-known 'Our Father' (Matthew 6:9-13) is the high priestly prayer of Jesus (John 17:1-26). God hears prayers (Psalm 65:2 “ O thou that hearest prayer, unto Thee shall all flesh come).

God wants us to ask Him, because He loves His own and is our eternal Father. It is our responsibility to pray and Jesus' responsibility to meet our prayers with His blood purchased authority. There is no other premise for God to hear our prayers, apart from through Jesus Christ who died and rose for our sins (Isaiah 59:2). Unanswered prayer can thus be through selfish motives (James 4:3), unconfessed sin (Isaiah 59:2), disobedience (Proverbs 28:9), unbelief (James 1:6-7) and also conflicts with others (Mark 11:25). We may and must therefore, continuously examine our motives and search our hearts in order to remove any possible obstacles, to recognize and confess all our sins and to change. We have great promises in the Bible – we can receive and embrace these in faith – this makes God happy. Sincerity before God is prize-worthy – especially when we pray. William Mc Donald once said that prayer is not an endurance test or a marathon. The decisive factor is not how long we pray, but rather how meaningful our prayer is. We read in James 5:16 “ Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Unanswered prayer can also be shoddy prayers, which come from the mind, quickly spoken by the lips – and not from the heart. And many unheard or also unanswered prayers, can also contain something preserved for a later stage, which we don't immediately see.

(Translated by Linda Gates)


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