“When the disciples saw it, they marveled greatly and asked, “How is it that the fig tree withered all at once”? And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done. And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and (really) believing you will receive. ” Matthew 21:20- 22 AMP
“Ask, and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and it will open. For everyone who asks, receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” Matthew 7:7-11
“If you live in Me [ abide vitally united in Me } and my words remain in you, and continue to live in your hearts, ask, whatever you will and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine”. John 15:7-8
The first recorded prayer teaching of Jesus was the Lord’s Prayer. Recently, I spent a great deal of time reading various books or chapters on the Lord’s Prayer. There is an almost dizzying amount of information. In case you need a reminder of the Lord’s Prayer, please read further:
vs 8″ Therefore, do not be like them. For your Father knows the things that you have need of before you ask Him. In this manner (boldface mine) therefore pray …….. ”
” Our Father Who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name, Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will be Done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, for thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory for ever and ever AMEN. ” Matthew 6:9-13
My emphasis on the word ‘manner’ above is to illustrate that the intention of the Lord’s Prayer was to be used as a guide or template on prayer, and not a substitute for one’s own personalized prayer while communing with God. The Lord’s Prayer, as a guide, begins with praise and honor to the Father, asking that things that are in heaven will also be available to us here on the earth. The prayer acknowledges that God is Holy – uncommon, set apart and separate from the world. “Give us this day our daily bread” acknowledges that provision comes from His hand, followed by a request of forgiveness from God as we forgive those who have sinned against us. We ask to be protected from being lead into temptation (Pls note: God will never lead us to be tempted – Jesus was lead into the wilderness to negotiate with Satan but that was prior to His death and resurrection) and we are to ask to be delivered from all evil.
I greatly admire the works of several theologians and have numerous books written by Andrew Murray in my personal library. Here is an short excerpt on what Andrew Murray says on the Lord’s Prayer:
Give us this day our daily bread – When the child has yielded himself to the Father in the care for His name, His kingdom, and His will he has full liberty to ask for his bread.
The Father in heaven will care for the child who has given himself up in prayer to His interests. Consecration to God and His will gives wonderful liberty in prayer for temporal things. The whole earthly life is given over to the Father’s care.
You may note that Andrew Murray believes that there are conditions to having your prayer needs met –
The following is another assessment of the Lord’s prayer – an excerpt from another Andrew, this time Andrew Wommack:
Notice that verse 11 is not a question, because there is no question mark. It’s not saying “Oh God, I know I don’t deserve it, but would you please give me a crumb so I won’t starve and perish today”? No. This is a demand. Its not an arrogant demand in the vein of “God I’m forcing you!” but more like a child who comes into the kitchen asking his mother for something to eat. Give us this day our daily bread –
God wants His will to be done here on earth as it is in Heaven – His desire is for no sickness, disease, poverty, despair. God does not cause bad things to come upon His people – we have an enemy, the devil, that is the root cause of evil. God wants His believers to be so bold that they just reach out and take their request by faith! He is a Father of love, a family man that seeks good for His family. When life does become challenging, we have His presence to walk us through it.
If I knew unequivocally how to have God answer all prayer, every one – I would be the most famous Christian leader of all time. I do not have that answer but I do know how to move the needle closer on the “acceptance” spectrum.
1) Change the focus of your prayer from primarily petitioning for your personal needs over to praise and loving God. He knows your needs. If you do incorporate personal petitions, do so confidently and declaratively, showing God that you understand that His Son has paid the ultimate price. You may be dying but praise God that He is healing you, because His Son has paid for it and thank Him.
2) You must have a Sonship perspective on prayer rather than a servant perspective. With Sonship, you are an Heir with Christ (Romans 8:17) and the Father has made spiritual promises that He will not deny. You approach the Father’s throne of grace surrounded by and clothed in Christ Jesus and His righteousness. The Holy Spirit is within so you are approaching the throne accompanied by two of the Deity; one surrounding, and one within. This should build faith and provide encouragement in your prayer time. You are not praying alone.
3) We must come boldly and bravely to God’s throne of grace (Hebrews 4:16) to obtain mercy and find grace during every time of need. A confident expectation at the throne of God is a major condition for answered prayer.
1 John 19 – 23 AMP
“By this we will know [without any doubt] that we are of the truth, and will assure our heart and quiet our conscience before Him 20 whenever our heart convicts us [in guilt]; for God is greater than our heart and He knows all things [nothing is hidden from Him because we are in His hands]. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not convict us [of guilt], we have confidence [complete assurance and boldness] before God; 22 and we receive from Him whatever we ask because we [carefully and consistently] keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight [habitually seeking to follow His plan for us].23 This is His commandment, that we believe [with personal faith and confident trust] in the name of His Son Jesus Christ, and [that we unselfishly] love and seek the best for one another, just as He commanded us. ”
We are not to be weighed down by guilt and shame and were never designed to carry these emotions. All guilt and iniquity (iniquity means to go your own way – and presumably in a direction that was out of the will of God) was taken on the body of Jesus while on the cross. Shame and guilt strike at our identity, keeping us from believing that God will answer our prayers. This is a performance-based perspective and not a grace based perspective. Jesus has paid for your sin. Your flaws and sin have been washed and cleansed by the blood of Jesus.
Isaiah 54:5 “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement needful to obtain peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes (that wounded) Him we are healed and made whole”
“For as many as the promises of God , they all find their Yes (answer) in Him (Christ). For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him (in His Person and by His agency) to the Glory of God. ” 2 Corinthians 1:20
All the promises that God has given us pertaining to healing, health, provision, peace, purpose and power are found in Christ. Our responsibility is to say AMEN to Him and walk boldly as Sons and Daughters that will declare with Him in Agreement that He has given us everything that we need. We are to rest and live in the knowledge that Jesus has paid for us to have what is needed in our lives.
At the end of His life Jesus cried, Tetelestai – ALL IS ACCOMPLISHED – Tetelestai means the account has been reconciled. The debt has been paid.
So if Christ has paid the way for your healing, your health, provision, peace, purpose and supplied the power – we now pray from a position of victory and never from a defeated, begging, pleading stance. We also must pray God’s Word, phrasing our petitions regarding our circumstances to align with His promise then allowing time for the manifestation of the promise.
After consuming volumes of information on this subject, I believe that God answers all prayer that is within His will. Why would God give us prayer to use if not to our full benefit? There are however times that our prayers are not in His will. When Jesus prayed in the garden to have “this cup pass from Me” – the cup did not pass from Jesus, as it was not the will of His Father to stop what was going to happen involving His scourging and the crucifixion. If anyone had the power to have any prayer answered, it would be Jesus Himself. He submitted to the will of His Father which was to allow the crucifixion process to continue. The fact that Jesus prayed and even asked His Father, rather than command a legion of angels down to rescue Him, speaks volumes about His heart attitude toward God.
In this dark hour, Jesus could not stride boldly to the throne of grace because there was no throne of grace as it did not exist without Him. Jesus is ALL truth and ALL grace. (John 1:17) There was no grace until Grace Himself gave Himself – Tetelestai!
Personal Testimony and excerpt from Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus
“I was in the living room of my friend’s condominium and simply walking across the room when suddenly and with no warning, an explosive impartation dropped into my spirit. I stopped in my tracks and watched as if a scene on a movie reel, a Technicolor Jesus, hanging from a cross, His head dropping. A saw His spirit leave His body. I somehow knew that He had released His spirit of His own will and that His life had not been taken from Him. No one person or culture of people had killed Jesus. It then began to be revealed to me by the Spirit that we had been given everything we all need in this life because it had been purchased for us at the Cross. This came to me like an impression in my spirit. God was unlocking His rich treasury and showing me a very great mystery on a divine movie screen.
The understanding that we already own our healing, our provision, our peace, and our sanctification, all through Him, that His body and His blood has paid for everything that we need was coming to me for the first time. I later learned how He became our righteousness and made us to be righteous in the sight of God (Romans 3:22-26). We need only walk with expectation in receiving these benefits. Our only requirement is to pray, be diligent, rest and have faith in Him. I could not believe what I was seeing in the spirit and had never heard this taught before nor thought that I had read this in the bible. I had never been reading the bible through the lens of grace!” (excerpt page 85 )
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Author: Doorways of Grace: My Uncommon Journey to Healing, Wholeness and Meeting Jesus (2015)
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