Growing up one of the “pillar verses” I relied on was Matthew 11:24. It reads “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” As a kid, I saw this verse more as the fulfillment of a wish to a genie. I had this mystical perception that God would fulfill all my wishes no matter what I asked. I had the faith of a child but that faith was misplaced. I needed guidance, direction and a major adjustment. The good thing is that I did believe that anything could happen. The problem was that my wishes were not always in line with God’s will. I wanted too many things that were bad for me. After a while I gave up on asking God for what I wanted. Not getting what I asked harmed my spirit a little bit and it created some confusion in my mind. My belief system was wounded and I needed help. I found the answer to my dilemma when I understood that I had to ask in line with the Word of God. Getting familiar with the Word of God was where everything had to start. I embarked on a journey of exploring the Word and of trying to comprehend it. Whatever we ask in prayer, when it is in agreement with God’s Word, we can expect to get it.
What are we to ask in prayer then? I think we can ask many different things but I see my requests primarily falling under the umbrella of getting closer to God and knowing Him better. Under that umbrella you can find the desires to be more like the Lord, to love more, to help more, to bless more and to have more faith. These desires sum up the bulk of my prayers. God can give us anything. He is not limited but He knows that everything is not good for us. Can you imagine if we could get absolutely anything we asked in prayer? The world would be filled with chaos and self-righteousness would be rampant. People would ask for relationships and for riches. God won’t manipulate anyone and force anyone into a relationship. That is not our God. If man had whatever he wanted, God would be left out of the equation in many cases because there is a battle between the flesh and the spirit and the flesh wins easily. Do you think that people would ask for spiritual blessings over material goods? It is not likely. Many would but even more people wouldn’t. The Word of God and His will offer some powerful checks and balances. God’s Word is the moderator and the Lord is the executor. Let’s pray according to the moderator and the executor will bless our prayers.
Where should we start ? I would say we should start by asking the Lord to bless others. Our initial prayers should be for others. We should have a strong sense of wanting to see others blessed. God honors those prayers. Prayers to see people saved, to see people know the love of God and to receive His peace and His joy. Not everyone will be saved but praying for others will never hurt. It will always be the will of God for us. Praying for spiritual enlightenment for others and for ourselves is also a great request. Prayer for healing. Prayer for peace. Prayer for deliverance. Prayer for freedom. Prayer for joy. Prayer for more communion with God. Prayer for guidance. They are all amazing prayers that should be sustained. Now, the key is to ask according to God’s will and to have faith that what we ask will come to pass. A prayer fueled by faith is a powerful prayer. When it is founded on solid ground, that prayer produces miracles. Today I encourage you to pray according to God’s will and to have the blessed assurance that He hears you. Develop your faith in His ability to bless your prayers. Expect His hand to move in your favor and in other people’s favor. Expect great things. Expect God’s things! Nothing is impossible to the Lord and your prayers of faith can make amazing things come to pass. You shall have whatever you ask in prayer if you believe and you are grounded in God’s will!
Suggested reading: Matthew 21:22; Mark 5:36; Romans 10:10