What do you believe about prayer?


How does God answer prayers? Is there a formula, a to-do list we have to follow? Well, a friend was speaking to me about prayer and this is what he had to say:

Throughout the Bible, God told His people to do something first before he answered their prayers. 

– God told Moses to strike the rock, and then water would come.

– The prophet told the widow to bake him a cake first. She believed God’s promise through the prophet and was kept alive through the famine.

– Before Jesus could raise Lazarus from the dead, He tested the their faith first, He told the mourners to first roll away the stone, then because of their obedience He brought Lazarus back to life. 

– Jesus told the blind man to go wash in the Pool of Siloam, then he would receive his sight.

– He told the ten lepers to go show themselves to the priests. When they showed their faith by obeying and heading in that direction, only then did God do the miracle. As they went, they were healed. 

 

I thought what he said was very interesting. You may not have an answer to prayer because He wants you to take the first step? As I read what he was sharing, things started popping up that I know God would want me to do first. Not that He is unable to perform a miracle because He is capable.

With that said, I don’t think God expects us to do everything. He wants to see our faith in Him in the first step we take! Do you trust Him, then step out? Have you prayed and not received an answer? Maybe you need to take the first step, in faith that He has heard you!

Rolain

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Do You Really Want To Get Well???


A lot of us know the story of the man who waited by the pool called Bethesda to be healed. He had a lingering disorder for 38 years!!! Apparently there was a story going around that a long time ago an angel stirred the pool and the first person to get in when it stirred would get healed! You can read the whole story in John 5:1-9.

But there are two main things I would like to highlight that stand out in this story.

1. This man had been sick for 38 years!!!! No wonder Jesus asked him if he really wanted to get well! As I thought about his situation I realized we are like that at times. We have been battling things for so long it’s crazy. I have no right to criticize the man because I realized I am in the same boat. There are some things I have been struggling with for ages….. There is a way of life that I have become used to that is not what Christ has planned for me. Are you in the same situation? Is there a mindset that is stopping you from progressing that you have had for years, or a habit you just can’t break??? What excuses have you memorized for people who would stop and ask? When Jesus approached him and asked him what was going on the man gave Jesus a reason. It sounded rehearsed. Listen to it:

The invalid answered, Sir, I have nobody when the water is moving to put me into the pool; but while I am trying to come [into it] myself, somebody else steps down ahead of me.   John 5:7

That’s it!!!! After 38 years that’s all he had to say!! Wow! That’s what I was thinking but I realized we have excuses that we have come to believe. They sound like this:

I don’t have this because I grew up like…..
I am never going to amount to anything because…….
People don’t like me because…..

The list goes on and on but we have these excuses. Not anymore. The excuses need to stop. They are stopping our growth. They are stealing our life and we don’t even know it. We are supposed to be enjoying life but we are burdened and weak and sick. The enemy has lied to us as well as our bad decisions!!!

2.This is the second thing that stands out in this story. There is hope for us. This man with all his wrong thinking and excuses received grace and mercy from God!!! Jesus didn’t leave him in his mess. Instead he helped him!!!! He healed him. This is how the man put it,

He answered them, The Man who healed me and gave me back my strength, He Himself said to me, Pick up your bed and walk! John 5:11

I like that. Jesus is the one who heals us and gives us back our strength!!! Do you believe that?? No matter how long you have been in your situation know that God is for you. He doesn’t want you to stay where you are. He is patient and merciful and kind and gracious. I hope that makes sense!!!

What excuses have you been making?? There are excuses I have been holding on to that need to go. I am tired of going round the same mountain. I am tired of fighting the same battles. It’s time for change. What do you want? God can do the same thing for you. Will you look to Him, will you trust Him??

Rolain.