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FIRST-PERSON: Getting ‘my way’ with God — Part 2

DORA, Ala. (BP)–Moving from Part 1 — that it’s imperative for our way to be God’s way -– let’s continue our look at Jesus’ teaching on prayer, turning to what John 15:7 records Him saying:

“If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you” (HCSB).

Big “if,” huh? See that word “remain”? Twice John uses it. Twice he impresses us with the importance of sticking with Jesus, not just calling on Him in the hard times. His “words,” His promises, can only comfort us if we know what they are. And John states with certainty that our “remain[ing]” -– attending church, reading the Bible, praying and fellowshipping with other believers –- is imperative to receiving God’s blessings.

As I stated in Part 1, we must willfully choose to set aside our own wills for that of Jesus in order to position ourselves to receive His true blessings. There is nowhere in the Bible that even suggests that Jesus gave believers an open ticket to “name it and claim it,” yet so many people foolishly pull verses out of context and use them in absolute ignorance to support this line of thinking.

Let me assure you, though: God answers prayer. However, He isn’t our errand boy, nor is He obligated to do one thing for us. He says, “Yes”; He says, “No”; or He says, “Wait.” And whichever He does, He does so because He is God and He has the absolute right to do whatever He pleases.

Is it ever His desire for a person to be sick, even terminally ill? No, not in the big picture –- His desire has not and never will be for the evil that has temporary power in this world to have the victory. He does, however, want us to understand that this world is temporary, these bodies temporary, and therefore our problems or illnesses are temporary.

In other words, our healing may come in the eternal world rather than in this one. So if you’re battling an illness or any other adversity, trust Him no matter the answer you receive to your prayers. Why? Because both in and out of trouble, He wants us to bring Him glory. He wants us to choose to trust Him and praise Him even when the world around us thinks we’re nuts for doing so.

Having said that much, are there specific reasons why we don’t get a “yes” to our prayers? We’ve already looked at two of them:

— “You ask and don’t receive because you ask wrongly, so that you may spend it on your desires for pleasure” (James 4:3). In other words, we may ask out of self-centered motivation.

— “… our Father in heaven … Your will be done …” (from Matthew 6:9-10). We may ask for something that isn’t in His plan for our lives.

There are at least four other reasons why we don’t receive a “yes” from our Creator. We’ll look at those in Part 3. Meanwhile, though, may I ask you: Whether it’s a specific request you have in mind, or just your prayer life in general, are you praying for God’s will to be done or simply asking Him to fill your request list?
Judy Woodward Bates is an author, speaker and TV/radio personality. Visit her website at:www.bargainomics.com.

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  • Judy Woodward Bates