WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE PRAY?

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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WE PRAY?

Have you ever wondered just what happens when we pray? I am a geographer by training and a mechanic by trade, so systems, gears and chain reactions fascinate me. But you don’t really have to be either to wonder what really happens after we mouth our prayers, do you? Just like we have the option to request for a ‘read’ notification when we send emails, and we check to see how many ticks and what color the ticks are when we send WhatsApp messages, I confidently venture that many, if not most, of us have wondered, at one time or another, just what happens when we pray. Well, let’s see.

“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

“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

By now, if you have been following our messages, you would have realized that these are two of my favorite verses. Not just because it shows us our Father’s heart of love, but in their simplicity, is such richness, that each and every time we revisit them, we get a new revelation of just how much our Father loves us and wants to provide for us, so that we can rest.

Now, look at this verse.

“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

When we pray, we ask. And if this verse is anything to go by, after we ask, Jesus works. It is as simple as that. We ask, He does.

Now, of course you are sitting there thinking that this is all really rather simplistic. Surely I am just dumbing things down for the ‘immature’ Christian. Or perhaps, I myself am immature. Alright, for those who want things to be a little more complicated, we have this.

“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

One more thing is added. Believe. So as I have mentioned in previous messages, all we need to do is speak, and it will be done for us.

Ask + Believe = Receive

Now, for those of us who are thinking that this is nothing more than taking verses out of context and presenting half-truths, well, let’s take Mark 11 in context shall we?

“Now the next day, when they had come out from Bethany, He was hungry. And seeing from afar a fig tree having leaves, He went to see if perhaps He would find something on it. When He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. In response Jesus said to it, “Let no one eat fruit from you ever again.”
And His disciples heard it.” Mark 11:12-14

“Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” Mark 11:20-24

Makes things worse, doesn’t it?

Here we have Jesus setting for us an example. When we have a problem, all we need to do is speak to it, and the problem will sort itself out, the way we have spoken. But not only that, Jesus tells us that even though the example He sets for us is a tree, we can extend that example to a mountain if we wanted to, and it will still work. So, have you tried telling any mountains to go jump into the sea lately?

Now, for us, things are never that easy in the natural. We know that if we told a mountain to get up and go jump into the sea and it actually did, we would be on prime time news. But Jesus wasn’t literal when He said that to His disciples, was He? Instead, it is the pattern of His actions that hold meaning and significance for us.

Firstly, after He spoke to the fig tree, did Jesus stand around asking God why it hadn’t withered yet? Did He stick around to watch the proverbial kettle boil? No, He walked away. So what lesson can we learn from this? Yes, after we have spoken to the problem, after we have committed the problem to Jesus, we should just walk away. But why?

Well, beloved, have you ever watched a tree wither? Can you tell ‘withering’ from one moment to the next? If you don’t step away from the problem and then come back to it a little later on, you would be just like a frog that was immersed in room temperature water and then boiled. The changes will be so visually undetectable that you would not even realize something was happening. Then guess what would happen after that? That’s right, you would blame God for not doing anything. But if you stepped away, if you allowed Jesus to work in that situation till it had significantly changed, you would be able to perceptively see the difference and more importantly, know then that Jesus was at work in your situation. So walking away from the problem for a time is important.

But how is it that we can have the faith to know that Jesus is working on our problems? Here we come to the Christian circular reasoning. If you believe that Jesus loves you, and you believe that He came to die for you, then you will believe Him when He 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 if you believe Him at His word, if you hold Him to His promise, then you realize that there is nothing left to be done after you pray and commit the matter into His hands, except to believe and walk away. But if you don’t believe, then all this, my friend, is a moot point.

For when you pray, what you are really doing is telling Jesus that you believe in what He is saying, that you trust in His word and you are holding Him to His promise and holding on to the fact that

“God is not a man, that He should tell or act a lie, neither the son of man, that He should feel repentance or compunction [for what He has promised].” Numbers 23:19 [AMPC]

So what you are essentially doing is handing the problem off to Him.

Imagine this. You go to the service center with a faulty toaster. You describe the problem to the technician. You show the technician just what is wrong. And then you take the toaster back and try to fix it yourself. Can you blame the technician for not repairing the toaster? So in the same way, when we pray and then still worry about the problem, fret over it, try our best to solve it, we are really not handing our toaster over to our Father, are we? So can we blame Him that our problem is still, our problem?

No beloved, the minute we pray, we activate a promise from Jesus and from our Father, and we know that because

“When God wanted to guarantee his promises, he gave his word, a rock-solid guarantee—God can’t break his word. And because his word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable.” Hebrews 6:17-18 [MSG]

So therefore,

“We who have run for our very lives to God have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go. It’s an unbreakable spiritual lifeline, reaching past all appearances right to the very presence of God where Jesus, running on ahead of us, has taken up his permanent post as high priest for us, in the order of Melchizedek.” Hebrews 6:18-20 [MSG]

Once we have prayed, walk away from the problem knowing that Jesus is now at work, turning the situation around for us. Have faith in His love, for when His love is in you, you shall not fear for,

“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear” 1 John 4:18

And beloved, He loves you perfectly.

So, prayed for something lately, have you? Then what are you still doing holding on to that toaster? Leave it with Jesus and walk away from the service center. He will call you back once it is fixed.

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