Summary: Greed, and desire, confused with needs.
Gimmie Gimmie God
In this clip Bruce has been endowed with God’s powers for a little over a week. In that time he has used those powers to serve only one person, Himself. He got revenge on the gang that beat him up, he gave himself a hot new sports car. He has created great news stories that have made him “Mr. Exclusive”; everything from finding Jimmie Hoffa to a meteor crashing near a chili-cooking contest. The only person that Bruce is serving is Bruce.
Here we begin to see some of the consequences.
Movie Clip 5 minutes 5 seconds.
We see that Bruce takes the easy way out. There is no thought or reasoning behind the way he answers prayer, he simply wants it to be as easy as possible and therefore he grants every request.
What would happen if God answered all prayers the way we wanted? What would happen if God catered to our every whim and desire? In the movie people grow taller, the stock market soars, a man’s son pitches a no-hitter in little league, a woman loses 50 pounds on the Krispy Kreme diet, the worst team in hockey wins the Stanley Cup, and several thousand people all win the lottery where they all end up receiving $17.
What are the answers to prayer?
Yes, No, & In His Time
What prayers receive No’s?
18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; 19 but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer.
There are some prayers that easily receive No answers. They are the prayers that are filled with
Sin Selfishness Doubt Disobedience
9 When one will not listen to the law,
even one’s prayers are an abomination.
It never ceases to amaze me that people who never place their faith in God always want Him to do stuff for them, get upset when he doesn’t and blames Him when stuff doesn’t go their way.
As Christians we must remember that simply because we ask for something does not mean that we will receive it.
What prayers receive yes answers? Prayers that are:
Selfless Trusting Believing Submissive
3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures.
The easiest way to determine whether or not God will grant our prayer is to check our motives.
The scripture says that God knows what we need before we ever ask Him. But in order to have chance at having our prayer granted we must remove evil and selfish desires from our heart. Even if our prayer is granted we may still have to wait before we receive that answer. But this is not even a guarantee that your prayer will be answered the way you want. After all even the most selfless prayers get answered with a No. And some prayers are answered in ways that we never expected.
There is still one more issue to look at with our prayers.
Our prayers must be in line with God’s will. I always knew in my heart that this was true but it was only in preparation for this message that I found the passage that says it clearly.
14 This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us-- whatever we ask-- we know that we have what we asked of him.
I see and hear people all the time saying; “If you name your need and claim it from God you will receive what you ask.” This name it claim it theology dies right here with this verse. God’s will the determining factor in how our prayers are answered. Not our wants, or our desires no matter how selfless and loving our prayers may be, if they do not align with God’s will they will not be answered the way we would like. God is not our spiritual Santa Claus, he does not exist to serve us, we exist to serve Him.
If an employee asks his boss for something, who determines whether or not it is given, the employee or the boss?
We have this confidence in our prayers; that if our prayers in line with God’s will they will be answered.
Our response to God’s prayer should always be one of thanksgiving. No matter how that prayer is answered we must always be submissive to God and His ultimate will. We must be content with where he has placed us and with what He has given us.
Some may take this to mean that we shouldn’t ask God for anything. Far be it from me to say that. God wants our obedience, He wants us to come to Him with our prayers, but it is Him who determines the answer to our prayer not us.