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Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

If and only if… part 3

There’s a third Biblical condition to answered prayer. Jesus lays down amazing promises about the power of asking things from God. He promises to answer. You can check out Thursday’s post if you’d like to see a few of those commitments. Bottom line: God puts himself on the line to deliver what we pray for!

 

Yet as bold as these promises are, they come with specific conditions: “If and only if…” God honor his promises to answer prayer when conditions he’s set are met. Here’s another one of those conditions:

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Agreement: “If two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven” (Matthew 18:19).  While prayer is a gift that God gives to every individual, Jesus adds a kind of check and balance to what can easily become a very subjective process.  In this conditional promise Jesus makes prayer a corporate matter.  Effective requests come to God as petitions with more than one signature attached.  Why? Perhaps God is as concerned with our human-to-human relationships as he is with our God-to-human relationship.  Six of the ten commands in Exodus 20 direct us how to relate with other people. Human beings are not made for isolation.  In fact Paul suggests at several points in his letters to early Christians that individual people cannot find their true identity outside of healthy relationships with other people who have connected their own lives to Jesus.

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According to Jesus, God has built into the prayer-response process a requirement of human cooperation. Prayer like everything else in human experience must be a social experience.  Beyond this there is a simple practical concern answered by this stipulation: when two or more people jointly submit a request there is at least some protection against unchecked self-interest. The requirement of agreement is a simple accountability tool. 

 

Do you have anyone to pray with, to agree with on the things you are bringing to God. A prayer partner is one of the most powerful relationships you can cultivate. People in this prayer blog community can become a kind of agreement team. And if you can find someone face to face, that’s great too. Either way, get someone to agree with you, and ask, together.

Previous Posts

A Prayer for Grace and Peace
May God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ give you grace and peace.   (1 Corinthians 1:3) Seventeen times in Scripture, the writers of the epistles bless their readers with these two virtues:  Grace and Peace. When we look at the deeper ...

posted 10:14:35am Jul. 30, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for an Obedient Heart
If you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully keep all his commands that I am giving you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the world.You will experience all these blessings if you obey the Lord your ...

posted 12:56:59pm Jul. 29, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer to Grow Old Gracefully, Fruitfully, and Strong
Even in old age they will still produce fruit;     they will remain vital and green. (Psalm 92:14) I will be your God throughout your lifetime— until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you ...

posted 1:47:16pm Jul. 28, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Hospitality
And everyone who has given up houses...for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. (Mark 19:29) Cheerfully share your home with those who need a meal or a place to stay. (1 Peter 4:9) "Anyone who ...

posted 3:11:45pm Jul. 24, 2015 | read full post »

A Prayer for Blind and Deaf and Dumb Church-Goers
Who is as blind as my own people, my servant?     Who is as deaf as my messenger? Who is as blind as my chosen people,     the servant of the Lord? You see and recognize what is right     but refuse to act on it. You hear with ...

posted 11:29:07am Jul. 23, 2015 | read full post »

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