January 30, 2015
And whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. John 14:13-14
This morning I got out of bed at 4:am and did my morning reading. I had to meet with a friend at the gym, so I couldn't read the content from my reading through the bible devotional and I completed the day 12 of an activity book I am currently working through when I got home from the gym. I didn't get to the devotional content until much later in the day.
While at work I decided to go ahead and give myself a break. I work in a very busy office, and there are many days when I have to eat at my desk. I eat and work, with very few breaks. For whatever reason, today, I really needed a break. So I decided to take 10 minutes for myself. I went to a small study room and shut the door.
Since I began working on this personal development activity book, I have been choosing one word each day to focus on. Today, my word is faith. I was praying on my way to the gym this morning about my littlest niece who was born 3 months premature and has been through many obstacles and had several surgeries. Today, she is scheduled for another surgery, which the doctors shared would be a very serious surgery. So I prayed to God asking Him to heal her, and praying for the surgery to go well. I said to God, "Lord, I do believe. Please help my unbelief." Mark 9:24.
I told God that although I want to increase my faith, right now, I have the faith of a mustard seed. And Jesus said, that's all I need in order to tell a mulberry tree to uproot itself and go replant itself in the sea (Luke 17:6). So, I was like, with this faith, I ask you these things regarding my niece. When I returned home from the gym, I continued writing about faith.
Although my word for the day was on faith, and I prayed to God about her and my faith, I was a bit uneasy and nervous about her and her surgery. I was scared. Scared for her outcome and scared for her parents, what they must be thinking, what they must be feeling. So I just kept praying. There were moments during the day, when I was in the middle of something, and then my mind would shift to her. My heart would start pounding, and I'd get that uneasy feeling in the pit of my stomach, would try to pray and the words would get caught in my throat. So I'd just say, "Heal her lord. In Jesus' name."
At some point during all this back and forth, I had a thought. How much faith do we need? I mean, in the bible, Jesus said that if we have faith as small as a mustard seed...But I wondered, is that enough? I mean, what if I ask God to heal 100 people, and I activate my mustard seed faith...will He do it? Will He heal all 100? Or will He only heal some of those people? And if He does only heal some of them, how does He choose who to heal and who not to heal?
This was the question I had for God today. Jesus said whatever we ask Him in His name, He will do in order for the Father to be glorified through Him (John 14:13-14). But Paul had a thorn in his side. He asked God to remove the thorn, and God did not. God told Paul that His grace was sufficient for Him. He told Paul that His strength was made perfect in Paul's weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9). So Lord, what is that? Are both these true?
Funny how God works, I actually received revelation from Him after reading the devotional contents from my read through the bible in a year devotional. The content and verses were related to answered prayers. The writers of the devotional referenced Cricket. There are two positions in this sport that rely on communication with each other throughout the game. In order to move, one says, Yes. In order to stay still, one says, No. And when they want see what happens before making a decision, one says, Wait. The writer referred to this as Yes.No.Wait.
Yes. God does answer prayers. All the time. When we pray according to God's will, the answer is usually yes. There are times, that we ask God for something, and though we may not deserve it, He will give it to us. Simply because He is God and He is good, and He gives good gifts (Matthew 7:11). Maybe He does it to increase our faith, or just to show how much He loves us. Or maybe it is not for us, but for someone else to believe. Luke 7:1-10. Jesus heals the Centurion's servant immediately because He had such incredible faith. Jesus was astonished by the amount of faith and understanding the Centurion had.
Wait. God's yes, may be a yes, but not now. (Job 42:10). After Job prayed for his friends, God restored all that he lost, and then some. There are times when God makes us wait because He is preparing us for what we have asked for. There are other times, He has us wait, because there is a lesson He wants us to learn that is far greater than getting what we want, when we want it.
No. There are times, though, when regardless of our faith, God says no. Most often when the intentions in our hearts do not line up with His heart in our request, His answer will be no (Matthew 20:20-22). In Matthew 20, we see that the Mother of the son's of Zebedee asked that Jesus allow them to be at His right and left hand in His kingdom. She wanted them to be second in command to Jesus. She wanted them to have great power. Ultimately, if we pray and make a request to God, and our faith is good, and hearts have the correct intentions, know that He may say no. Know that God does not answer no, because He does not love us, and not because He does not want to bless us. God gives us this answer because He has another plan for us that is far greater, and can accomplish far more than we ever could imagine.