When We Give God Permission To Do Something

That sounds backwards, doesn’t it? We give God permission? Isn’t it the other way around? 

For most things, it is the other way around. God is the Boss, the Almighty, the One and Only. He tells us what to do, and we do it: that is how it is.


However, there is (at least) one exception that I know of, and that is found in the Gospels. Let’s look at its appearance in Mattitayu (Matthew), Chapter 6, verse 12:

“…and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us.”

This is usually thought of as us asking God for forgiveness, but that is not really what we are doing. What we are doing, in truth, is telling God what He should do- we are giving God permission to treat us exactly as we treat others. We are not asking for forgiveness, we are authorizing God to overcome His mercy, to ignore His desire to forgive us as He wants to, and to only forgive us as we have forgiven others. 

Think about that for a minute, and let it sink in. It should be frightening to you; I can tell you this- it scares the ‘H-E-double hockey sticks’  out of me!

Throughout the Tanakh and New Covenant writings (B’rit Chadashah) we are told of God’s mercy, His desire and willingness to forgive, and His unfailing love for us. All of that, of course, is true and (on top of that) is the (usual) Christian teaching that once under the blood of Christ, you are OK, forever. No problems, no worries, no obedience other than to just be a “good person” and you are set for eternity. 

That isn’t the way it is, Folks! I can say that because Yeshua (Jesus) is the one who tells us how it is, and that isn’t what He says. 

To see what Yeshua says, let’s look a little further down the line, at verses 14 and 15:

“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.”

OUCH!! So, not only am I asking God to treat me the way I treat others, but Yeshua is telling me that, whether I ask to be treated this way or not, I WILL be treated the same way I treat others! Like it or not, that is what Messiah is telling us about how God will treat us- if we are unforgiving of others, we will not be forgiven. And, to top it off, if we pray as Yeshua told us to pray (Lord’s Prayer, remember?) then we are also giving God our permission to treat us this way. It’s a double-edge sword that has both edges against us….IF we are unforgiving. 

On the other hand, if we ARE forgiving, then we are forgiven anything when we ask for it, in Yeshua’s name (of course.) So, here the double-edged sword is cutting a path for us to eternal joy, instead of cutting against us in both directions. 

Now can you see why I say we give God permission to do something? 

If you have been struggling with forgiveness, another thing to remember that might help you be more forgiving, is that the forgiveness you give has nothing to do with the other person- it is all about you and God. The other person has to make himself (or herself) right with God- you can’t do that!  Your forgiveness makes YOU right with God, and it also is the only way for the pain to go away. That’s also important for you to remember. 

So, nu? got it now? When you pray as Yeshua said you should, you are telling God to forgive you, not as He would want to do, but as you do to others.  

If that isn’t motivation enough to forgive everyone any offence, I don’t know what is! 

Prayer is Not Powerful

You heard me right. Prayer is NOT powerful.  The One we pray to, is!

That’s why prayer seems to be so powerful, but it is really not the power that gets things done, it is the catalyst that gets the One who is powerful and can do all things to start doing those things you ask for.

Yeshua says that when we pray in His name His Father in heaven will hear us, and what we ask for (and faithfully expect) we shall receive.

NOTE: Yeshua said to pray in His name- not to pray to Him directly. Anything that comes between us and the one true God, the Y-H-V-H, the Holy One of Israel, the Father, El Elyon, the….well, you know who I mean….anything that comes between us and Him is an idol. Yeshua never made Himself out to be an idol, and He always gave all glory to the Father, so there is no way He would ever even suggest we pray to Him instead of to His Father. If you pray to Yeshua, stop it! Pray to God and do so invoking the name of Yeshua. He is our prayer intercessor, not our prayer interceptor!

I always like to say to people when I can demonstrate the goodness and blessings that God has granted to me that prayer is a powerful thing, but that is not accurate. I say it that way because for people who don’t know the Lord, or how He works in our lives, it is easier for them to understand. As Shaul (Paul) once said, he would be whatever he needed to be and say whatever he needed to say to anyone in order to get the Good News about the Kingdom of God out there to people. You can see in his writings that he wrote to the (previously pagan) people using their understanding, instead of telling them the truth about God, Yeshua and eternity in strictly Jewish terms.

If you try to minister to a Jewish person and you talk about the New Covenant alone, and you try to fill them up with “Christianese”, you will never be successful. If you talk to them in terms they understand, and are familiar with, and are comfortable with, then you have a really good chance of making some headway. But…this is getting off topic.

Prayer is the means to an end, and it must be presented to the One who can make those ends happen. Saints are people that have received their “sainthood” not from God, but from people. They are not the ones to pray to, and Yeshua, Himself, told us that what we ask of the Father in the name of the Son will be granted. So, DUH?!? Why pray to anyone other than God? And why even think anyone else can intercede better than Yeshua?

As I like to ask, “Why pray retail when you can pray wholesale?”

Prayer is powerful because of the One who hears the prayers, so make your prayers to the One who can give you what you request. Pray to God and ask in Yeshua’s name. You can even remind God that Yeshua told us His Father would give us what we ask for when we ask in Yeshua’s name. That’s right- God is big enough you can give Him a respectful reminder about Yeshua’s promise without worrying about fire and brimstone raining down on your head.

Make your prayers worthy of being presented to God, make them often, make them sincere, make them for the good of others and when asking for yourself ask only what you need for today. Yeshua gave us the template for prayer in the Gospels (Matthew 6:9-13) so follow that whenever you pray and for whatever you ask.

God is the creator of, and power behind, all things. Yeshua is our intercessor, our representative to the Holy One, and when we send our prayers to God it is Yeshua who carries them to His throne and lays them at His feet. And the most important part is that because we pray in Yeshua’s name, when Yeshua presents our prayers to God it is with His endorsement.

That’s how prayer works. Praying to a saint is not right. How can I say that with such assurance? Because Yeshua tells us that’s how it works! The Son of God said to pray to “Our Father, who are in heaven”, and that whatever we ask for in His (Yeshua’s) name we will receive. It’s that simple, so why does “religion” have to screw it up so much?

Well, that’s mankind for you- give us a chance to screw something up and we won’t disappoint you; we will screw it up! Every time.

Make your prayers effective by praying the most effective way- to the absolute power in the universe, to the power behind all creation, to the One and only God. The Holy One of Israel, El Elyon, Adonai, our Abba B’Shamayim (Father in Heaven) and make those prayers directly to God using Yeshua’s name so that He can carry your prayers to God with His request to answer them.

Prayer is not powerful, and misdirected prayer is a waste of breath. But when you pray directly to God and ask Yeshua to present your prayers for you (by invoking His name), then they become the most powerful thing in the universe.