This morning I was reading Matthew 21:22 "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer."
So, I have a really hard time with this verse. I know it's God's Word, I know it's Jesus speaking. So it has to be true. It just sounds so "genie in a bottleish". And people pray for people to be healed and they die. And they pray for marriages to be put back together and they divorce. And they pray for relatives to accept Christ and they never believe.
So, back to what I know is true. I know it is God's Word, I know it is Jesus speaking, and I know that everything he says is truer than anything I think or anything this world says. Even if I don't understand it. So there must be more to it.
Some of the notes at the bottom of my bible say:
-"To be fulfilled, our requests must be in harmony with the principles of God's kingdom." Yes, I would agree.
-"The stronger our belief, the more likely our prayers will be in line with God's will..." Sounds too basic at first, but not if you think about. The stronger my belief in God (that He is who He says He is, that He can do what He says He can do, that I am who He says I am, that I can do all things through Him who gives me strength, and that God's Word is alive and active in me (thank you Beth Moore)) the more likely our prayers will be in line with God's will. Totally agree.
-"...and then God will be happy to grant them." Doesn't that sound like my idea of "genie in a bottle"? But then the following were my thoughts I had wrote somewhere else this morning.
"The LORD, I am sure answers more often in the affirmative than I notice. Most likely I am just not paying enough attention to see, or my prayers are trivial that a yes or no doesn't really matter, or (unknowingly) I don't really expect him to answer. So if he does, great. If he doesn't, I probably wouldn't notice anyhow. But when I do look back and think of certain prayers: contentment in my house, taking away the house hunt that was consuming me, helping us pay off our mortgage, making it financially without my job, insecurity issues, a protected and calm mind with baby #2,...also wisdom and guidance on teaching my little ones his ways. All those requests were in line with His Word, His principles, His ways, His desires. Not that I am perfect or even close to it at that, but from being scared because I had no idea how to teach Luke an Chloe your Word Lord, to sometimes being amazed at your goodness in how yo have hidden your word in little Lukey's heart. How he knows some of your Word already. How he knows many, many of your stories. How he loves them. How he sings praises to you. How his little high voice says his prayers, and he suggests praying for people and for things to happen. Lord, what a blessing from you. What an answer to prayer. Help me be patient and persistent when I don't see answers right away, like answers to...(big things)...Help me to see that these are big things. And, I am sure Lord, you are working in them. Behind the scenes. Preparing, training, softening hearts. Big things like this take time and work and details. Help me see that you didn't just ignore these prayers, but that you are working on answering them in the positive. But they do involve people, and people do have free will and people do choose their own ways. Oh, Lord, help me understand all this more..."