I hope you are really taking this fast seriously and praying diligently. I am believing for some great breakthrough and hearing some great testimonies of what God is doing in people’s lives. Today, I wanted to write just a bit about prayer. Many times, we categorize prayer as simply asking God for what we want, but this is a horrible characterization. Prayer is a request from the Lord to release His power to do His work in the lives of people. When we really grasp hold of the true definition, we begin to understand why so much of our prayers go unanswered and so many of our needs go unmet.
You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (NIV)
Too many of us enter into prayer with a mindset of getting from God what will make our life easier, more pleasurable. But prayer is standing in the gap for others asking the Lord to do His work in them and in you that you might be a more influential ambassador for Christ. Jesus said, “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do it” (John 14:13). The key is ‘in my name;’ in the name of Christ. But what is a name. A name represents who we are. My name becomes synonymous with my character, my values, my humor, my personality, my goals, my life. Right now, when you think of the names of people in your life, you quickly know who they are and what they are striving for in this life. Jesus said that He came to this world not to condemn it, but to save it; not to judge it, but to bring abundant life. His name represents unconditional love for all. It represents justice and righteousness. The very nature of His love and righteousness puts others above Himself. He left the comfort of Heaven to die nailed to a piece of wood. Why did He do it? The Bible says for the joy set before Him, He endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2). What joy could there be hanging lifeless on a cross? His joy was knowing that His death would make a way for all who would believe to be released from eternal punishment for their sin.
When we pray and fast, we must check our motives. Our prayer should not be for things that make our life easier. Our prayer should be in line with the name of Jesus whose primary concern was the well-being of others. When He prayed for Himself, it was that He would be strengthened by the Holy Spirit to do the work of the Lord–which was about others, not Himself.
So as you pray for peace and healing and financial help, check your motive. If your motive is just for you that your life might not be so difficult, you will not receive. If you ask these things that you might be able to do more work for the Lord without being so hindered by the strongholds of this earthly life, then you are on the right track and His promise will be true.
The process of prayer is not only a list of petition, but opportunity to align our desires with the desires of Christ; to align our values to the values of Christ; to align our priorities to His. This process prepares us to be a conduit of His power.
Personal Note: Some have asked about my book “Prepare For Greater Things.” You can check it out and get a copy if you like using the links below: