Derek Smith, Lead Pastor LHBC
12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. 13 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
Recently, my family and I visited a hotel and they had a large fountain inside. My children walked over to the fountain and said, “Daddy, there’s a bunch of money in the fountain!” They were obviously talking about all the change people had thrown in the fountain using it as a wishing well. My 5 year old asked if he could take the money out and keep it, to which I responded, “absolutely not!” My two older children proceeded to ask why people would throw money in the fountain. I shared with them how some people make a wish and then throw change into a fountain in hopes it will come true. Then I said, “we don’t need a wishing well. We bring our requests to the Lord in prayer.”
That situation got me thinking, how often do we come to God like some do a wishing well? How often do we cast up prayers to God in blind hope that somehow they will come true? God is not our good luck charm. He’s not the rabbit foot on our key chain. He’s not a wishing well. He is the fountain of life!
So, how do I know when I am treating prayer more as superstition than petition and communion: WHEN I PRAY WITHOUT EXPECTATION OF GOD’S ANSWER IS WHEN PRAYER IS MERELY SUPERSTITION.
Jesus said in Luke 11:13, “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?”
James writes in James 1:6 speaking of prayer, “But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.”
THE EFFECTIVENESS OF OUR PRAYERS IS MEASURED IN PART BY OUR ABILITY TO RECOGNIZE GOD’S ANSWER.
If I am not looking expectantly for God to answer the petitions I bring to Him then my prayers are merely a wish. We don’t walk up to God and toss coins in His well. He is the sovereign God of the Universe. We must humbly, reverently, and fervently bring the requests of our heart to Him. We must wait patiently and expectantly for His answer, and until I recognize the answer I continue to pray. This is fervent effective prayer, praying until we see the answer.
What or who are you praying for? Why are you making request of the God of Heaven for that person or petition? What can you look back and put your finger on that you know was directly an answer to prayer? Until we get to the place where you recognize and thank God for the answers we are not really praying, we are only tossing coins in the wishing well.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Father God, You can do all things. There is nothing outside of Your ability. You spoke the world into motion and made man in Your image. Whatever I ask in Your name according to Your will You say I will receive. Help me trust in Your promise today. In Jesus name, amen.
MEMORY VERSE OF THE WEEK:
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places