Midnight Musings III

How many times do you have to pray in Jesus’ name for something?

I swear I’ve prayed, and prayed earnestly, in Jesus’ name for something, only to have God completely ignore me time and time again.

Well, let’s see.  Let’s try and survey possible Evangelical answers:

“The prayer of a righteous man availeth much!”

Yes, but search this wide world over and tell me how many men you’ll find willing to raise their hands and claim righteousness.  You wont find any, and if anyone does raise their hand, you know they’re liars and not righteous anyway.

Still, we might say that relatively speaking, some are more righteous than others.  I have a low opinion of my own righteousness, but I’m willing to grant that I’m better than some (even if I’m a whole lot worse than others).  So where does one have to fall on the “righteousness” scale to be worthy of an answered prayer?

I’d love to meet the man who claims he’s righteous enough to deserve one.  He’s liable to get struck by lightening.

“You’re being selfish by asking God for things.  You ought only pray with thanksgivings, praises, or if you do feel it necessary to ask God for something, you ought only ask for ambiguous, subjective things like comfort, or pray for things to go as God wills them.”

…as if they aren’t going to go as He wills despite my prayers.

I reject this point because the Bible teaches us to pray all the time, always asking God for what we need or want.  And I’m not saying I never offer prayers of praise or thanksgiving or that I always pray for things…but if I’m not allowed to pray that God actually impacts my life or helps me out of actual jams, then that seems close to a lack of faith.

It’s almost like the pious evengelicals who suggest this attitude towards prayer are trying to wrap their doubts about God up in flowery sounding language, and I don’t want any of that.  I believe in a God who cares about His people’s lives and wants to take an active part in them.

“You have to pray in God’s will”

…which basically means, you pray and pray, never knowing when something is God’s will or not, so when something favorable happens, you say, “HA!  God’s will!”  And if your prayer isn’t answered you say “oh, guess it wasn’t God’s will.”

But this amounts to little more than waiting for favorable coincidences.  Those who don’t even pray for anything, get that much.

Besides, Jesus says *whatever* you ask for in my name, my Father will grant.  He doesn’t say “I’ll only grant your prayer request on the outside chance it happens to coincide with what I was going to do anyway.”

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So, let’s examine that.

I’ve proven it false, numerous times.  I’ve prayed and prayed in Jesus’ name, only to be ignored.  Flatly ignored.

So either Jesus was lying (which is blasphemy and cannot be entertained), or He wasn’t talking to me when He said what He said.

I think that’s the best explanation.  He was talking to the Apostles.  Whatever *THEY* ask in His name, God would grant.  How else were they going to heal the sick and cause the blind to see?  It wasn’t them producing the miracles, it was simply God answering their prayers.  They’d walk up to a blind man, ask (or silently will-in-the-name-of-Christ) for the man’s healing, and hark!  He could see!

——————————

So in conclusion then … I’m not going to pray for things anymore.

What would be the point?  It seems like God has given us all He’s going to give us by way of Earthly forces and they may, from time to time, favor us, or more often, hurt us.  But either way, God’s given us our due and left us to fend for ourselves.

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4 Responses to Midnight Musings III

  1. Swiss Kinist says:

    I appreciate your honest thoughts, brother. I wrestle in my mind a lot concerning prayers our family has prayed and unanswered prayers; because in my mind, my prayers are prayers that are for the glory of God. We are not praying for riches and lands, etc. but just that God would be glorified (in our church for example). And yesterday was a very discouraging day at church for me and made me want to just give up on them. The preacher (a Reformed Baptist) tickles everyone’s hears with what they want to hear. The fruit of the members’ children is corrupt and nobody is willing to make the connection between the poor leadership and the bad fruit.

    Anyhow, regarding the fervent prayers of a righteous man, I think to be consistent with scripture we cannot conclude that there is no one righteous enough to have their prayers answered, otherwise the text in the scripture would be there in vain. In my opinion, this is saying that God answers the prayers of those who are wholehearted in their devotion to him. There is nothing that person is holding on to WILLINGLY that would hinder his prayers. He has forsaken all (Luke 14:33). But patience to wait on God’s timing, and have importunity in prayer (Luke 11) is very tough indeed and I tend to get frustrated with God’s timing to answer my prayers.

    • Shotgun says:

      Another option: Recall how Daniel’s prayers were delayed by powerful demonic forces.

      It could be that God answers our prayers through a series of angelic battles and the like? That’s what I think anyway. It’s not that God’s ignoring us – it’s that His will is being hindered by spiritual forces.

      • Swiss Kinist says:

        That is good insight, brother. Thank you for recalling those scriptures. You do not hear much about that in Bible teaching, but it is definitely something to meditate on.

  2. civil rights apostate says:

    Maybe he will answer them later.

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