Sunday, August 23, 2015

Valid Request

Valid Request
August 24, 2015
John 17:15  "My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one."

Praying is something that we do, most often when we want or need something.  The more a person is in need, it seems his prayers are more numerous.  The more faith a person has, also the more it seems he prays.  The converse is true, too.  The less faith a person has, the less he is willing or likely to pray.  Maybe he had a few unanswered prayers and decided to give up on prayer.  Maybe they weren't valid prayer requests.  While prayer is not just for asking things from our Heavenly Father, but for communication with Him, let us for a moment discuss the things we ask of Him.  After all, Jesus asked things from the Lord up in Heaven.

Consider for a moment where the Lord resides.  Sure, He resides in our hearts but not physically.  The Lord resides in another realm; call it a spiritual realm, whatever you'd like.  Wherever that realm is, that is the place our prayers must travel to be received by the Lord of Hosts.  Our prayers end up in another realm.  The word "realm", its derivation, does not come from the word "reality" but from the word for regime.  The word "realm" means Kingdom.  The Lord resides in another Kingdom and our prayers go to Him in that realm, that kingdom.

This was the same for Jesus; He had to pray as a human to the Heavenly Father who was in another Kingdom.  His prayer requests went to the Father for consideration, out of this world, into another realm.  Jesus had some specific prayers recorded in the Bible, many of which were not just conversations with the Lord but specific lists of requests.  In fact, of the recorded prayers of Jesus, they ALL contained requests, petitions to the Heavenly Father.  While none of this is that revelatory, it does convince me of several things.  Jesus prayed and could not command the Lord to do as He required; He had to ask with a sense of requesting permission that may possibly by denied.  It also proves that you truly have to ask the Lord, not just assume He will grant what is in your heart without a request.  If Jesus had to ask, then we have to ask.

Jesus prayed for the protection of His disciples, protection from the enemy (the devil) and He used words like "want" and "may I" and His tone was one of "please, Father". He specifically prayed for the safety of His disciples yet all of them were eventually killed, martyred.  If you look at His prayer for His disciples in John 17, it wasn't for physical safety that He was praying; it was for the spiritual guarantee of their souls, being delivered into Heaven.  Jesus was asking that the disciples would be protected from the devil's temptations to turn from their faith.  Judas had turned from that faith, being tempted away, and consequently ended up in hell.  The real prayer of Jesus was that those He brought to the knowledge of the Heavenly Father would be protected in that knowledge, that safety from the devils temptations for a guarantee to be in that other realm someday, the realm where the prayers go.

If you lack the faith to ask things from the Lord, thinking He won't give them to you, consider reading all the prayers of Jesus and at least making those prayers your own.  If Jesus had to request them, and was able to request them, then so should you.  Since your prayers end up in another kingdom, make them Kingdom prayers.  You cannot make your prayers Kingdom prayers unless you make it your goal to understand that Kingdom.  Kingdom prayers are the ones that are valid requests.  Figure out what the Kingdom wants and make your requests line up with it.  Jesus did not request anything that wasn't in line with accomplishing the kingdom's goal, but He still had to ask.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:  Matt 6:9-13, Matt 14:23, Luke 22:32, Luke 22:41-44, John 16:6-26

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