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WEEK 9 – The Promise of Prayer.Key Verse: John 15:7
ďIf you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.Ē
God promises that if we believe, we will receive whatever we ask for in prayer (Mt 21:22). He promises that we may ask him for anything in his name, and he will do it (Jn 14:14). The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective, James 5:16 says. But in reality, we donít always experience the power of prayer. Yes, we have experienced Godís answers to our prayers. God granted us a Bible house! Our coworkers and Bible students remain healthy by Godís grace. All of us have food on the table and roof over our heads. But not all of our prayers seemed to be answered according to our wishes. Many of our coworkers are still praying to be disciple-makers. We still pray that God may raise up 12 disciples of Jesus from among SU students through our Bible studies and prayers.
So when our prayers go unanswered, does it mean God lied to us? No. The author says that the problem is not with the doctor (God) and his medicine (prayer) but with the patient (us). If the patient does not follow the doctorís instructions, of course, the medicine will not be effective. We often give up on our prayers prematurely.
So what must we do to experience the power of prayer on a consistent basis? Again the key word is ďrelationship.Ē We must have a heart-to-heart relationship with God to the point that our desires begin to reflect the desires of God. Our heart has to be transformed from a selfish and self-centered one to a pure heart that seeks Godís will.
The author reminds us that God does not give us power. He exercises his power through us when we pray according to his will. We are like a paper clip that becomes magnetic when it is attached to a magnet. The paper clip itself does not have the magnetic power apart from the magnet. We are like silver metal that conducts electricity. The metal does not have the power. But the refined and pure silver conducts electricity very well when it is connected to a power source. We are like a mirror that reflects light. The mirror is not a source of light. It only reflects light. The point is that God is the source of power. We are like a paper clip, silver metal, and a mirror. We can do nothing apart from God. But we can do great things when our hearts are aligned with his.
I personally learn two things from this lesson. First, I must deny my subconscious thinking that prayer works only sometimes and only for certain matters. Godís promise that he will do whatever we ask is the promise of the Almighty God who is not arbitrary. But God exercises his power through me who is like a paper clip, silver metal and a mirror. If my heart is tainted with impurities and disconnected from the power source, he cannot exercise his power through me. I must repent my pride and depend on him like a little child moment by moment. Second, I must continue to develop a personal relationship with God to the point that I can complete his unfinished sentences. I have been married to Msn. Deborah for more than 33 years now. We know what each other is thinking. I have been Godís child for longer than that. I should know what God is thinking. More importantly, I should do what he wants me to do. May God help me to continue to invest my time and energy to develop an intimate relationship with the Lord and know and do what he wants me! Amen!
Meditation by Daniel Y. Lee
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