When in church or some such Christian gathering it is customary to open and close the meeting in prayer. We as believers often say grace before we eat. And we teach our children to say prayers at bedtime. When some catastrophic accident occurs and is posted on social media the responses from many is “prayers for all involved.” I guess from that template one could say we are a praying people. When the need arrises we also pray for healing when ill or injured, for jobs when unemployed, and safety when taking long trips. Is that about it?
In the book of James 4.2-3 we are told, ” You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask with wrong motives.” Often this passage is misused to promote prosperity theology, but the context here is people are desiring what others have and quarreling with each other and fighting amongst themselves concerning what John describes in I John 2.16 as, ” lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes, and the boastful pride of life,” it is not of God or the spiritual realm but is worldly. So our asking of God seems here to be limited to spiritual, righteous qualities of the heart. Are we so tied up in the physical realm that it over rides our spirit, our heart, our soul, our relationship with YHWH ? Matthew 6.33 says, ” seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness: and all these things will be added unto you.”
Having worked with the 30 or so churches in these past few weeks on the crusade wasn’t all roses and spiritual highs, but sometimes troubling, getting to see behind the scenes of some theologies that people have either developed on their own or been taught. To invoke the presence of the Holy Spirit and yet display none of the fruit of the Spirit, as described in Gal. 5.22, seems a little off base to me. People get turned around in this world today, mixed up as to what is truly important, which is our relationship to God the Father through Jesus Christ, and not how much stuff we have.
Ephesians 3.20, ” Now to Him who is able to do exceeding abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us,…” I wonder if sometimes we don’t have even a clue as to what to ask God for, so therefore we don’t pray. We don’t have because we don’t know what to ask for. Does it depend on how closely we are walking with God that would then open our minds as to our requests? Should we ask for blessings for ourselves so that we could then give to others? Do we dare ask for physical things or only spiritual qualities like love or patience?
Don’t be afraid to pray, God loves you first and foremost, as He does the rest of the world, He gives good gifts to His children, but we need to ask. He is not as much concerned with the physical as the spiritual, so let’s address our souls first and then He will supply the rest. I believe we, as a world, are headed at breakneck speed into the end times and need more than ever to be prepared spiritually, walking close to our creator and our savior.