WITH JESUS, PRAY WITH A POSITIVE EXPECTATION OF GOOD

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WITH JESUS, WE CAN PRAY WITH A POSITIVE EXPECTATION OF GOOD

“Pray, too, that we may not be embroiled with bigoted and wicked men; for all men, alas, have not faith. Yet the Lord is utterly to be depended upon by all who have faith in him, and he will give you stability and protection against all that is evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:2-3 [PHILLIPS]

When we pray, sometimes we are filled with doubt, wondering if God heard, if He will answer, if He even cares. And if we have been praying for something, especially if it is for the same thing, day in day out, without seeing any iota of an answer, the doubt gets stronger. But beloved, the apostle Paul sets for us a good example of how we should approach prayer and the mental attitude we should have toward our Father when we pray.

In his second letter to the Thessalonians, Paul asked for prayer because he and his team had been facing persecution and obstruction from certain sections of the community. This is a common problem and we can relate to it, because we too sometimes find ourselves surrounded by evil, by people who are bigoted and wicked, who have not and are not of the faith. But what is interesting, and what we should model after, is the attitude in the very next line that proceeds after His request.

“Yet the Lord is utterly to be depended upon by all who have faith in him, and he will give you stability and protection against all that is evil.” 2 Thessalonians 3:3 [PHILLIPS]

He had no doubt in his heart that as long as he asked, as long as there was a request made, that our Father “is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”. Ephesians 3:20

And not only is He able, He will “…make all grace (every favor and earthly blessing) come to you in abundance, so that you may always and under all circumstances and whatever the need be self-sufficient [possessing enough to require no aid or support and furnished in abundance for every good work and charitable donation].” 2 Corinthians 9:8 [AMPC]

In fact, so confident was Paul in the ability and willingness of our Father to work for our good, that to the Corinthians, he made this claim.

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20

But why was he able to have such confidence? Did Paul have a revelation of our Father which we don’t? Well beloved, it would be conjecture to discuss if or not Paul had additional revelation and this ministry does not like to deal in conjecture. But because Paul was only changed from persecutor of Christians to preacher for Christ after Christ ascended, it is not far-fetched to assume that Jesus’ actions whilst on earth gave Paul much of the confidence He needed in Him. And because the works of Jesus have been faithfully recorded for us, they should be as fresh to us as it was for Him. So when we look at the works of Jesus, can we have the same confidence that Paul had?

Well beloved, we certainly can because when Jesus was walking this earth, He healed the lepers (Matthew 8 and Luke 17), He healed the lady with the flow of blood (Mark 5), He raised Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5) and Lazarus (John 11) from the dead, He turned water into wine (John 2), He healed Peter’s mother from her fever, He did distance healing on the Centurion’s servant (Matthew 8), He made the blind to see (John 9) and the lame to walk (John 5) and forgave sins. Not only that, Jesus made it His deliberate effort to reach out to the social outcasts. Never once did He ever turn anyone away, not even the Gentile lady who asked for her daughter to be healed (Matthew 15).

In fact, Jesus Himself said,

“All whom My Father gives (entrusts) to Me will come to Me; and the one who comes to Me I will most certainly not cast out [I will never, no never, reject one of them who comes to Me].” John 6:37 [AMPC]

That is why Paul had the confidence to say,

“Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whom Silvanus, Timothy and I have preached to you, is himself no doubtful quantity, he is the divine “yes”. Every promise of God finds its affirmative in him, and through him can be said the final amen, to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:19-20 [PHILLIPS]

And this is why,

“...For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 1:20 [AMPC]

Because when we say ‘Amen’, we are repeating the very words Mary used in response to the angel Gabriel when she was told that she would be with blessed with Christ,

“Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” Luke 1:38

When we say ‘Amen’, we are saying that we agree to, we believe in and most importantly, we expect our Father and Jesus to keep to every promise that they made because Their words are founded upon “…two unchangeable things [His promise and His oath] in which it is impossible for God ever to prove false or deceive us, we who have fled [to Him] for refuge might have mighty indwelling strength and strong encouragement to grasp and hold fast the hope appointed for us and set before [us].
[Now] we have this [hope] as a sure and steadfast anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whoever steps out upon it—a hope] that reaches farther and enters into [the very certainty of the Presence] within the veil,
Where Jesus has entered in for us [in advance], a Forerunner having become a High Priest forever after the order (with the rank) of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:17-20 [AMPC]

So what are these promises of our Father that we can have confidence in?

“For this is like the waters of Noah to Me;
For as I have sworn
That the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth,
So have I sworn
That I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.” Isaiah 54:9

So therefore, “Their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.” Hebrews 10:17
Our Father will never be angry with us because Jesus has given us who believe full remission of all our sins. And because we are now and always, in right standing with our Father, we are eligible for these,

“And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God:
Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country.
Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds; the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks.
Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl.
Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.
The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways.
The Lord will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.
The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways.
Then all the peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you.
And the Lord will grant you plenty of goods, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your ground, in the land of which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you.
The Lord will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand.
You shall lend to many nations and not borrow.” Deuteronomy 28:1-12

Any need that you have, our Father will meet. Any protection you need, our Father will stand with you. And if you think that our omnipotent, omniscient Father needs any help with managing the multitude of requests that He gets every hour of everyday, Jesus said,

“And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” John 14:13-14

So beloved, remember that Jesus has promised,

“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:24

So when you pray, know that our Father hears and He will answer because all the promises of our Jesus and our Father are ‘yes’, so say ‘Amen’.

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