Very truly I tell you, my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. John 16, 23b - 24
Part 2: Praying is simple. "Genuine praying moves the Father in heaven".
did you have desires as a child that were not granted? I still remember very well my daughter´s request when she was still a small child. She was dreaming of a real, big motor home. She wanted to spend her vacation in it. Unfortunately, her dad couldn't fulfill the dream back then. The money was just enough to carry for a living. But if I could have been in a position, I would have fulfilled her wish.
Does God, the Father in heaven, fulfill all the wishes we have? I don't think so. When I look back, I realize that I had quite some requests for God that remained unfulfilled. But it didn´t mean that God could not fulfill them. God is a “giver-father”. They remained unfulfilled because they were not in accordance with His will. And this is exactly what our Lord Jesus is concerned with.
In order to ask for something in the name of Jesus, I must first know what is important to Jesus. What matters for Jesus, can be learned in the Gospel. There I can find out what Jesus said to his disciples. I will illustrate this with two examples:
Jesus says in Mt. 6, 31 – 33: “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
What could I pray for? First of all, that I really learn to trust God! He will provide for me what I need for in life. Of course I want to work and provide for my family and myself. That is my responsibility. But I should not torment myself with worries. Unfulfilled desires should not determine my thinking, but God's will for our world. I can ask him to give me a merciful heart for people who are homeless and whom I could help instead of asking for a mobile home. I can ask God to help me work for justice in situations where fellow human beings are treated unjustly. Asking God for what is important to Him.
Or Jesus says in Mt. 20, 26-28: “Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave — just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
What else could I pray for? In order to learn to become a humble person. That I learn not to want to play “first violin”, but to serve others with my gifts and opportunities. I can ask God to give me a loving heart to tell other people the good news of Jesus Christ. I can ask God for ideas for me, to be able to do some of this today.
When we ask something like this in Jesus' name, our Heavenly Father will answer. Things that are in agreement with the Lord Jesus´ will, do please the Father in heaven. We may not experience the answer to our petitions right away or in a way as we like to imagine. But our petitions move God. He hears and will answer.
Casual prayers do not result into this close, trusting relationship with the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. We should make it a practice to always have Jesus in front of our eyes, always be with Him and seek agreement with Him. Then we grow into the filiation with God, increase in wisdom and abide in the truth. Genuine prayer changes us!
I am looking forward to our next meeting on May 15th. The topic then will be: Praying is easy, part 3 "Praying leads to joy".
Until then, may the Lord bless you and preserve you in your spirit, soul and your body.
I invite my German-speaking readers to hear my sermons.
You can find the audio files at https://www.nord-ost-gemeinde.de/predigten
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version), edited by R. Jordan
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