All faith is useless if we do not claim the things for which we have prayed.
Read 1 John 5:14-15. What is the reason that we can be confident that God hears us and that we receive what we have requested from Him?
The third aspect of Bible prayer is reception. After asking God and believing His promises, we need to claim what He has promised. We claim God’s promise and, in faith, we thank Him for it, even before we have received it. Thus the promises are applied to our heart. Ellen G. White said that “for any gift He has promised, we may ask; then we are to believe that we receive, and return thanks to God that we have received.” – Education, p. 258.
In Luke 8:11 Jesus compares the Word of God to a seed. In the same way that the whole apple tree is contained in an apple seed, the gift of God is contained in His promises. When we claim the promise and thank God for it, we already possess the gift He has promised. We receive the promised gift by faith even before we might feel or see it.
The example of the resurrection of Lazarus in John Chapter 11 illustrates that Jesus prayed in this way. Jesus knew exactly what God’s will in this situation was. John 11:11 tells us that He was willing to do God’s will and that He was obedient. In John 11:39-41, we read that Jesus thanked the Father in advance that He would resurrect Lazarus, even though Lazarus was still in the grave. When Jesus had thanked God, He did receive the fulfillment of His request. As God’s children we are to live on God’s promises, not on His explanations. Even though we can’t explain everything, we can trust His promises.
“The Lord says, ‘Call upon Me in the day of trouble.’ Ps. 50:15. He invites us to present to Him our perplexities and necessities, and our need of divine help. He bids us be instant in prayer. As soon as difficulties arise, we are to offer to Him our sincere, earnest petitions. By our importunate prayers we give evidence of our strong confidence in God. The sense of our need leads us to pray earnestly, and our heavenly Father is moved by our supplications.” – Ellen G. White, Christ’s Object Lessons, p. 172.
|Why is it so important to always bring everything to God in prayer?|