“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
The MAGA drumbeat that characterized the forty-fifth President’s term in the United States of America enveloped a sizeable number of practicing Christians. No questions asked; there was a significant rollback of many of the policies and practices which inconvenienced Christianity per se – this being the trademark of the forty-fourth President!
There were more than sufficient grounds for praising and thanking the Lord for this reprieve. But the appropriate approach was overshadowed by grandiose visions of a glorious era for the nation in terms of power, prestige and economic strength. All this rested on another consecutive term for Donald Trump.
On the heels of this bandwagon, there was little emphasis on the winning of souls to Christ. The same could be said about adhering to 2 Chronicles 7:14 – the need for turning from wicked ways and spiritual healing of the country.
Everything was earthly, and the focus was on the material. Whatever prayers uttered were to this tune. The end result, as most of the world knows, was a heap of unanswered prayers. Totally the opposite of what was asked for!
Did they take the Living Word seriously when they uttered these prayers? Did they seek the Lord’s counsel on this matter? Did they have a very good look at James 4:8?
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.”
It is indeed pointless to utter prayers for something that is of the flesh. When this happens, there is a gulf separating the Creator from the creation. People just want their ways, and this is in direct conflict with the ways of the Lord!
If these individuals got what they prayed for, would they lead Godly lives? Not the case! These folks would be so engrossed with everything on the earthly platter – there would be hardly any focus on things above. All this worldliness would be enough to make these people forget the infinite grace and mercy of the Heavenly Father!
The Lord has a purpose for not answering certain prayers. He, in his true Fatherly goodness, rules out frivolous and ludicrous requests. These things do more harm than good. Winning the big one on the Powerball might generate instantaneous wealth, but there are a host of bugbears that go with this.
“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matthew 6:7-8).
There are people who resort to prayer while in a state of desperation, yet they still have that cloud of unbelief in their minds. Call these individuals the fair-weather ones, choosing only to seek the Lord for the purpose of a bailout when all other options run dry.
So they make their case known to the Lord by way of lengthy and repetitive utterances. In their earthly mindsets, they see this as a formula that would get them somewhere.
More likely than not, they would be going nowhere with this frame of mind. It is impossible to fool God. He knows a lot about these individuals, what is in their hearts and what is on their minds.
Even in trying moments, God can turn things around so long as we seek His ways – first and foremost. There is no room for all the confusing thoughts that stem from the fallen nature. All this could only make matters worse. To get around whatever mess that is troubling us, we have to approach our Heavenly Father with a humble heart. One that seeks the Lord and not the world! He will get you through, provided there is one hundred percent belief in His promises. He makes them but never breaks them.
“A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps” (Proverbs 16:9).
People may not get what they set their minds on. Nevertheless, the Lord has an alternative in store, and at the end of the day, it turns out to be much better than what was on the drawing board. Our Heavenly Father knows best! Only to those that believe in His Word.
Reverence for our Heavenly Father is the key to having a productive prayer life. Impulsive screaming and yelling for something that is not according to His will is out of the question. We have to seek His will when engaging in meaningful prayer. His intent for anyone who walks in a spirit of belief can never go into a tailspin. There could be trying moments, but sustained prayer with firm belief will reap a bountiful harvest. It could take quite a while in some instances, but there is a guaranteed sweetness associated with a fruitful conclusion.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).
We live in increasingly trying times. There is definitely no place for prayers that yield next to nothing. There has to be a focus on prayer that can move mountains. With this in mind, the genuine power of purposeful prayer will be for all eyes to see and all ears to hear. This will translate into first-rate encouragement – the very thing that mainstream sources are incapable of giving to the masses. All this is undoubtedly an integral aspect of looking up as the hour of redemption is around the corner!
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