Why Do YOU Pray?

To start with, I want to thank God for His blessings on me, my family, my Church and on my blog.  He has been doing things that I couldn’t even imagine.  To some it might be just what happens every day, but to me, I see God’s hands in it all.

Lately, I’ve been seeing a lot of people talking about the subject of prayer and how God will do anything you want Him to do if you just ask Him to.  I see a problem with this way of thought…  Where, God is here for us to call upon, He isn’t our “slave” or genie that will do anything that we ask Him to do just because we want Him to do it.

If I were to call on God to, “Please, give me a million dollars”; do you really think He is likely to do it?  No!  Why not?  Because it is not something that is going to further His plan for our life, it is not something that He has planned (willed) to happen to further His plan for our world  (immediate or distant future).

Oh, we might say, “Well, I plan to give most of it to my church so that they can build a new wing or to go to our missions program.”  Where both of these things might be good, they probably aren’t what God wants to happen.

He might want your church to get a new wing, but He wants to be able to meet the need in a more personal way so that it is more obvious that He is the one doing it. He might want your church to meet the needs of your missionaries but not in that manner.

Why? It is more likely that, by you giving your church $500,000, it would draw more attention to you than to Him (even if you try to give it anonymously). That is not His will. His will is to draw the attention to Himself and not to us.

We, as Christians, have to understand that we are living in the days right before Christ’s return for His Church, or, as some would call it, the “Rapture” or the “Taking Away of the Church”. We can see this by studying the Bible and lining up the prophecies of the Bible and realizing that we are very close to Christ’s return.

Due to that fact, we are admonished to be on the lookout for His return and, as such, it is even more important for us to carry out the Great Commission and make more disciples and try to further His kingdom (not ours).

While God does promise to meet our needs, He only promises to meet our NEEDS – not our wants!  We have to remember that God is in the business of furthering HIS gospel and He wants us as well as everyone else to see Him – NOT US!  Why do I keep saying this?  Because too many people think that because we want something, God will give it to us because it is a “desire of our heart” and God promises to give us the desires of our hearts.

Psalm 37: 4 — Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.”

This is a verse that many people also draw out of proportion.  They say, “Well, I love the Lord and he didn’t give me a new car”, or, “I go to church every time the doors are opened and I give in the offering plate when it is passed and when I had this business opportunity and needed some money to get it going, He didn’t give me the desire of my heart there!”

The main thing to consider here is the Delighting part of the whole statement.  When was the last time that you DELIGHTED in the Lord? When was the last time that you just couldn’t wait to get to church or even open your Bible at home to see what God has in store for you in it?  When was the last time that you were so excited about what God has been doing in your life that you just couldn’t wait to tell someone?  Or, when was the last time that you were so thankful for your salvation that you wanted to tell your friend or the teller at the bank or the cashier at the grocery store so that they could also be able to share your joy and be able to go to Heaven when they die?

The point here is that the Delighting is thinking of ourselves last.  We are supposed to Love one another — the second greatest commandment! When was the last time that you expressed love or for that matter, care for someone outside your family or even outside of your church family?   This is what the Bible is talking about.  But it doesn’t mean just doing it once or one day a week.  It means doing it on a continual basis.  So much so that after doing it for a while, we notice that it becomes second nature to do it.  That is when God automatically comes first in our lives.  That is when God wants to use us. That is when He is finally able to use us.

When we are totally subjected to His will, and we are doing the things that He has commanded us to do, that is when God will finally say, “Well done My good and faithful servant” and then and only then will our new desires be the same as the desires of God’s.

At that point, ask yourself if the things that you were going to ask Him for before would be the same as they are when you are in the center of the will of God.  I would venture to say that they would be very different.

That new car that you managed to do without, but rather got a used car that cost half as much, might enable you to use the money that you would have spent, to increase your missions giving at the church.   Which would God bless more?  If you know the nature of God, you already know the answer to this.

So, why is it that YOU pray?  Is it just to ask God for things that you think you need where you could really do with less or totally without?  Or do you pray to THANK God for the things that He has already given you?  If you don’t thank Him for what you already have and the things that you continually receive, He might be less likely to recognize that you need something else in the future.

I heard a saying once, “If you woke up tomorrow morning with everything that you gave God thanks for today, how much would you have?”

Remember your priorities when you pray.  Make sure that YOUR desires are GOD’S desires.  Make sure that you are praying for needs that can and will glorify God if He grants them to you and not just personal wants that you could do without.  Make sure that you are continually giving God thanks for everything that He has given you and especially those things that He gives you as a result of a prayer that has just been answered.

Remember too:  God has 3 answers to prayers that He might give to you:

1.     Yes

2.     No

3.     I have something better planned for you/Wait.

© 2013 Mark Davis

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