Productive Prayers

Luke 7:6-7 Then Jesus went with them. And when he was now not far from the house, the centurion sent friends to him, saying unto him, Lord, trouble not thyself: for I am not worthy that thou shouldest enter under my roof: Wherefore neither thought I myself worthy to come unto thee: but say in a word, and my servant shall be healed.”

There have been times when I have felt that my prayers reached no higher than the room’s ceiling. Other times, I felt as if my loving Heavenly Father was right there in the room with me.

I have answers to prayers that have bolstered my faith with the evidence that my God is real. I have prayed prayers that have yet to be answered and wonder if I have missed something. 

The centurion who made the request of Jesus that day knew what element faith had to the command of the One with power. One had to believe that once commanded, it will be carried out. His experience taught him that.

This example is lost on many today because we say to have such authority as the Roman Empire is totalitarian, dictatorial, and oppressive.

Yet, in the courts of a Sovereign God, the commands are pure, correct, and holy.

It is our faith that lacks. We question whether or not it is God’s will for Him to do such a thing. We doubt, fear, and worry. 

Samuel Chadwick wrote a book, “The Path of Prayer.” In it, he writes,

“All true prayer, the prayer that prevails, is personal, intimate, and original.”

He also states, 

“Prayers are measured neither by time nor by number, but by intensity. There is no way to learn to pray but by praying.”

“Prayer touches infinite extremes. It is so simple that a little child can pray, and it is so profound that none but the child-heart can pray.”

It is faith that becomes the defining line. The faith of the centurion caused Jesus to marvel.

In Simon, the Pharisee’s house, a woman who came to Jesus and washed His feet with her tears wiped them with her hair. She anointed His feet with oil. Simon thought in his heart, “How incredulous!”

Jesus answered the thought in Simon’s heart with an illustration. In the end, Jesus showed Simon that her faith compelled her to action to show her gratitude. Then, Jesus said something to all present,

Luke 7:47-48 Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little. And he said unto her, Thy sins are forgiven.”

The power of forgiveness can change and transform us. The woman realized whose feet she washed and humbly gave what she could. In so doing, she not only was forgiven but saved.

Luke 7:50 And he said to the woman, Thy faith hath saved thee; go in peace.”

The element of faith in our prayer life is something we desperately need. If we do not believe that God can and will do what we ask, why are we surprised when no answer comes?

We have so many prayer promises to bolster our faith.

John 16:23-24 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.”

Luke 11:9-10 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”

Matthew 21:21-22 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”

These are but a few. Yet, what will it take before we begin to believe enough to ask for that which, to us, is impossible?

Mark 10:27 And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”

Today, more than ever, we need to have a vibrant faith that must be lived out before an ungodly world. Prayer and answers to those prayers are irrefutable evidence as to the reality of God. 

Do we trust we can receive as God promised He would provide?

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