"Whatsoever We Ask" — Finding the Answer to Prayer

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"Whatsoever We Ask" — Finding the Answer to Prayer

Postby Paul » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:44 pm

John 15:7 — If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

I John 3:22 — And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

I John 5:14,15 — And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

How does the Christian receive whatsoever he desires from God? By having the Word of God abide in him/her, by keeping God's commandments and doing what pleases God, by asking for things according to his will.

Are your prayers being answered? No? Does God's Word abide in you, and do you seek not just to refrain from sin in keeping God's commandments but to do what pleases God in all your circumstances of life? Do you seek to discern God's will and make requests accordingly?

Why does God want his Word to abide in us? So that we become very close to him and know his will and his pleasure for everything we do in life. We have to study the bible very seriously and every day to draw near to God and to truly know him, his will, his pleasure.

Let's look at the above passages in greater context.

John 15:1-15 —
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.
As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is my commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you. These things I command you, that ye love one another.

By studying the bible intensely, we are made clean. We bear fruit. We abide in Christ. By obeying God's commandments we live in Christ's love and our joy is made full. The main commandment we must focus on is to love each other, just as Christ laid down his life for us. Then we can have whatever we ask of God.

I John 3:22-24 —
And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.

Again, we receive what we want from God when we keep his commandments, and when we do what is pleasing in his sight. How do we know the commandments to keep and how to please God in what we do? We have to study the bible very seriously and every day. Then, we will dwell in him and he in us. And again, the commandment to focus on is to love each other.

I John 5:13-15 —
He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life. These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God. And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

And we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ. It is like John 14:13,14 — And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

We must pray in faith that Christ is who he claims to be — and that we will receive not because we deserve to receive, but because Christ has given us the right to draw near to God and to ask for whatsoever we desire. It is Christ's work that merits our prayers to be answered, not our own. Mark 11:24 — Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. We must say the prayer of faith, James 5:15. John 1:12 — But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Galatians 5:6 — For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.

Christians so easily give up on prayer. They just do not receive and stop expecting. For some it is because they want to do things by their own efforts, so that they can get the credit for what they have done. However, for most, it is because they do not study the bible seriously, intensely. Studying the bible brings us near to God, and then we know his will and pleasure. We must study until his Word abides in us. I cannot emphasize enough — study the Word of God, and then you will know its power and it will transform your life, and then, you will find the answer to your prayers. It worked for Joshua in crossing into the Promised Land. Joshua 1:8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

I will continue on prayer in this thread later.

M. Paul Webb
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Re: "Whatsoever We Ask" — Finding the Answer to Prayer

Postby Paul » Wed Jun 20, 2012 4:43 pm

Jesus taught his followers to be persistent in prayer.

Luke 18:1-8
And he spoke a parable to them to this end, that men ought always to pray, and not to faint; Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man: And there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, Avenge me of my adversary. And he would not for a while: but afterward he said within himself, Though I fear not God, nor regard man; Yet because this widow troubles me, I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me. And the Lord said, Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall not God avenge his own elect, which cry day and night to him, though he bear long with them? I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?

Luke 11:5-13
And he said to them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go to him at midnight, and say to him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of my in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give you. I say to you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needs.

And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened. If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

The apostle Paul also emphasized the importance of persistence in prayer.

Ephesians 6:12,17,18
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places... And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

The Old Testament Scriptures also emphasize persistence.

Jeremiah 29:13
And you shall seek me, and find me, when you shall search for me with all your heart.

Isaiah 40:31
But they that wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

The success of the early church depended in large part on persistent prayer.

Acts 2:42,43,47
And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came on every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles... And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

However, being constant in prayer over a matter actually is a form of being fervent in prayer.

Acts 12:5-8
Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church to God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And, behold, the angel of the Lord came on him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him, Gird yourself, and bind on your sandals. And so he did. And he said to him, Cast your garment about you, and follow me.

In this passage, the KJV translators, (who focused on language equivalents in translation, rather than meaning equivalents as determined by scholars), render the Greek ektenos according to the sense of the word in context, without ceasing, rather than its strict dictionary definition, intense, earnest, fervent

Christ was fervent in prayer.

Luke 22:42-44
Saying, Father, if you be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but yours, be done. And there appeared an angel to him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

And Christ's repeated himself in prayer as part of his intensity.

Matthew 26:36-44
Then comes Jesus with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, Sit you here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then said he to them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even to death: tarry you here, and watch with me. And he went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as you will. And he comes to the disciples, and finds them asleep, and said to Peter, What, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that you enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. He went away again the second time, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, your will be done. And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy. And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.

The Holy Spirit is intense in prayer.

Romans 8:26,27
Likewise the Spirit also helps our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. . And he that searches the hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because he makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

The apostle Paul actually agonized in prayer. Like Christ, he considered prayer a struggle.

Romans 15:30
Now I beseech you, brothers, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me; Note the Greek word strive together with, synagonisasthai, comes from the stem agonizo, or in English agonize.

Paul commended fervent prayer.

Colossians 4:12,13
Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he has a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapolis.

The apostle James taught the significance of repeated and fervent prayer.

James 5:16-18
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. nd he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

And Christ upheld bold prayer as a form of great faith.

Matthew 15:21-28
Then Jesus went there, and departed into the coasts of Tyre and Sidon. And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried to him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, you son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil. But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and sought him, saying, Send her away; for she cries after us. But he answered and said, I am not sent but to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me. But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs. And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table. Then Jesus answered and said to her, O woman, great is your faith: be it to you even as you will. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
Matthew 26:36-44

From these passages on fervent and constant prayer, we may conclude that we never should stop praying for something until received, or until we discern it is clearly outside the will of God. From my personal experience, I can testify, at times I have waited many years for a prayer to be answered, but then, I rejoiced for not having given up, and for what I learned on the way in being patient.

More to come.

M. Paul Webb
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Re: "Whatsoever We Ask" — Finding the Answer to Prayer

Postby Paul » Wed Sep 05, 2012 5:07 pm

In making petitions to God, we want to be certain that we are not involved in something which the Bible sets out as a hindrance to prayer.

Isaiah 59:1,2
Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

Ezekiel 14:1-3
Then came certain of the elders of Israel to me, and sat before me. And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumblingblock of their iniquity before their face: should I be inquired of at all by them?

Mark 11:25
And when you stand praying, forgive, if you have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Proverbs 21:13
Whoever stops his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

I Peter 3:7
Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered.

James 4:3,4
Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts. Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

James 4:6
...Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Being stingy robs us of spiritual power.
Luke 6:38 —
Give, and it shall be given to you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.
Philippians 4:15-19
Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only. For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again to my necessity. Not because I desire a gift: but I desire fruit that may abound to your account. But I have all, and abound: I am full, having received of Epaphroditus the things which were sent from you, an odor of a sweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, wellpleasing to God. But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
II Corinthians 9:6-8
But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:

However, for the new Christian or one who has not really developed a prayer relationship with God, even not having to consider a possible hindrance to prayer as set out in Scripture, at times it may seem God simply is not present, is not listening. Then, the believer has to rely on Scripture and faith, that because of the work of Christ, we should enter boldly into the presence of God.

Hebrews 10:10-23 — Entering the holiest in this passage refers to the inner most sanctuary in heaven, where is situated the throne of God.
...we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all... after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God... For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified... Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus... Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

Ephesians 1:4-6
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

Ephesians 2:18
For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

By the Word of God, we can be certain he hears our prayers. What a magnificent privilege granted to us as believers, that through Jesus and by the Holy Spirit, we can go to God with boldness and have complete confidence that he is listening when we pray.
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Re: "Whatsoever We Ask" — Finding the Answer to Prayer

Postby Paul » Fri Sep 28, 2012 7:00 pm

Reference: R. A. Torrey, The Power of Prayer, Witaker House, New Kensington, 2000, updated edition for readability.
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