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FIRST-PERSON: Getting ‘my way’ with God — Part 1

DORA, Ala. (BP)–Is there a formula for getting your way with God? Let’s look and see, shall we? At the Last Supper, Jesus includes this important teaching:

“I assure you: the one who believes in Me will also do the works that I do. And He will do even greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in My name, I will do it so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:12-14, HCSB).

Jesus says that “the one” –- in other words, ANY person –- “who believes in” Him would not only “do the works” that He has done, but “even greater works.”

“So what’s going on with me?” you ask. “It’s been 10 years since I asked Him for a Mercedes and a three-story mansion, and neither one have shown up.”

Was Jesus serious when He made such a promise to His disciples? Of course. Was this promise for them and them alone, and not for future believers? Certainly not. But let’s read a couple of other things Jesus had to say concerning prayer:

— “pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:44).

— “pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38).

These two passages give us a pretty good clue as to what Jesus expected His believers to be asking for in prayer. Note, too, in our John 14 passage that Jesus says that if we “believe in” Him, we “will also do the works” that He does.

It’s this girl’s opinion that our ability to receive what we ask for in prayer is directly proportionate to how much our works resemble our Savior’s. And that, my friends, means that what we ask for will also line up with the kinds of things that Jesus desires. No wonder so much of our prayers for worldly stuff get “no” for an answer.

James, Jesus’ half-brother, made a statement that clears up a lot of the misconception about the promise Jesus made: “You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure” (James 4:3).

Did you catch James’ words: “so that you may spend it”? Whether we’re asking for more time or more money, if we’re asking for selfish reasons, we aren’t asking in accordance with the will of the Lord Jesus. And remember: Even as He walked the earth, fully human yet fully God, He taught the disciples to pray as He prayed:

“Our Father in heaven … Your will be done …” (from Matthew 6:9-10).

We are to be seeking God’s will and not our own. MY way, YOUR way, must be HIS way. There’s even more we need to understand about prayer lives. We’ll look at this further tomorrow.
Judy Woodward Bates is an author, speaker and TV/radio personality. Visit her website at:www.bargainomics.com.

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