That’s right. I know that whatever we pray for, when we pray in Yeshua’s Name, we will receive. That’s Yeshua’s promise to us and His Father will honor it.
That doesn’t mean we will get what we expect, or even what we want.
In my life, I have found that God answers prayer in one of three ways:
- God says,” OK. Here’s what you asked for, as you asked for it, when you asked for it.” This is rare, I mean, really rare.
- God answers the prayer, but not the way I expected, and (usually) not when I was hoping. This is the usual case, and although it normally isn’t what I asked for or when, it always seems to be exactly what I need and exactly when I need it.
- God just says, “No.” That’s right- God can do that; really, He can. He can just say “Not doing it” and that is it.
Wait a minute here! Yeshua said we would get whatever we ask for. How can God say no if I ask in Yeshua’s name? Wouldn’t that make Him a liar?
On the surface, it would seem so, wouldn’t it? Let me ask you this: if you asked for something that was against God’s will, and you asked in Yeshua’s name, would God have to acquiesce? Would the Almighty change His universal plan just because you or I want something?
One of the Big 10 (I’m not talking basketball, here) says do not use the Lord’s name in vain. That could mean more than just not screaming it out when you are angry, or using it when trying to make a point. It could mean, as I learned this past Shabbat from a Pastor I listen to and respect, not doing something representative of God and making a shambles of it, causing His name to be disrespected. For instance, asking in prayer for something that is not really keeping with His holiness. Asking God to do something that is not keeping with His holiness, and using Yeshua’s name, is taking the Name in vain.
Let’s say I pray for a new car. Is that really something we would expect to be in God’s plan? It might, but more likely wouldn’t God prepare a means for me to get where I need to instead of miraculously making a new Mustang (4 on the floor with a hemi, of course) just appear in the driveway? Or, what if I prayed to win the mega-millions lottery, and that no one else win so I get the whole prize? Is that really a Godly prayer? Do you really think if we prayed in Yeshua’s name to win the lottery and we didn’t, that would make Yeshua a liar and God a cheat? Puh-leeze!! We need to grow up.
Let’s get real- God wants only the best for us, but He is holy and won’t do as humans do. And when we pray we need to remember that prayer should rise as a fragrant aroma to the Lord. Selfish, ego-centric, and hateful prayers are not fragrant- they stink. They stink to high heaven.
God will answer prayer, but (I believe) only prayers that are worthy of His actions. I pray often for the salvation of, and reconciliation with, my children, who have cut me out of their lives. To pray for someone’s salvation is holy, right? I faithfully look forward to His answer, and I believe it will be as I am hoping for. However, He gave us free will and if my children reject Him, despite the fact that I faithfully and completely believe He will send His angels to talk with them and give them a spirit of desire to know Him (that is my prayer), if my prayer doesn’t come to fruition during my lifetime, it’s not God’s fault. My kids have free will, and they can reject Him. My prayer is a righteous one, and God will answer, but he won’t force the kids to act. That choice is up to them.
He will answer my prayer, but the result may not be what I prayed for because I am asking for something where humans have to make a decision.
I once prayed for God to teach me how to call upon His Ruach (Spirit) for peace when I am troubled. He answered almost immediately: the next day my workload doubled. I was forced to work harder and the stress was terrible. It wasn’t until a few days later, when I recovered enough to think, that I realized this tsuris (troubles) was God’s answer. He was teaching me to call on His Spirit for peace by giving me so much stress there was no human way to relax so I would have to call on Him.
Actually, Lord, that wasn’t what I was thinking.
God will always answer righteous prayer, and when we pray as He would want, His name will not be used in vain.
But you still never know what the answer will be, and sometimes you may not even recognize it as His answer.
So… be careful what you pray for.