Remember when we were kids and we wanted a treat? The adult holding the treat always teased, “–and what’s the magic word?” And we’d all jump up and down and yell, “PLEASE!”
We have all had situations in our lives where we have prayed for change in a circumstance. Sometimes, In spite of all of our prayers, the circumstance does not change; even when we say please with tears on our face.
Does this mean that God has not heard our prayers? Have we been bad and God has decided to not answer our prayers in order to punish us? Is there a specific prayer, a “magic word” or an act of benevolence we can perform to have our prayer answered? If so, what is it?
The scripture does say that whatever we ask in Jesus’ name, we receive. This does not mean we can use the name of our Lord to have whatever we want. No matter how noble our cause is; God is sovereign.
Actually, it is more like we have a power of attorney in the name of our Lord. We can ask only for those things that Jesus, himself would ask for. Asking in “Jesus’ name;” representing Christ in His knowledge and plan for our lives. Ending our prayers “in the name of Jesus” means we pray in recognition of God’s sovereignty.
We are not able to understand what it is that God does or why. But, through the Holy Spirit, we have the mind of Christ (Romans 8:27 and I Corinthians 2:14-16). This doesn’t mean that God wants us sick or poor; God wants good things for us. But, God’s idea of how to work things out for our good may be different than our idea. God sees our life plan through the eyes of eternity as well as minute by minute.
Romans 8:28 is commonly quoted, “all things work to our good.” The scripture doesn’t say all things feel good or all things turn out the way we think they should. The last words in the verse are very important, “for those that are called according to His purpose and plan.”
God sometimes doesn’t answer our prayers exactly the way we think He should. Rather, so that our lives accomplish whatever it is that God has planned for us to do both with us and through us. (Romans 8:29)
Instead of writing my plans down and asking God to please put His signature on what I want; I should take a blank sheet of paper, put my signature on it then say, “Lord, you fill in the plan.” Only when I’m willing to make God sovereign over everything can I pray in Jesus’ name.
John 14:13-14 And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.
Prayer: Father, help me to yield my life, all of it, thoughts, self will and plans, to your sovereignty. Direct my path so your ways are my ways, focus my thoughts so that your plans are my plans. Lead me by your Holy Spirit. I love you. Amen.
Romans 8:27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
I Corinthians 2:14-16 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?”
But we have the mind of Christ.
Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.