Jan 3-4, 2009
Discouragement—What Is It?

Joshua 1:7

John 14:14 reads, "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." People sometimes interpret this to mean that any request ending with the words "in Jesus' name, amen" will automatically be fulfilled.

Yet basing our entire concept of prayer on one isolated verse would lead to a skewed perspective. It is also important to consider . . .

Our Fellowship With God. For God to hear and answer prayers, we must first be saved from our sin through the redeeming blood of Jesus. Once we have trusted Christ as Savior, God will hear us only when we walk in righteousness before Him. Of course, He understands our weakness and doesn't expect perfection. But if we knowingly continue in sin and fail to repent, He will not listen.

Our Request. For some people, ending prayers with "In Jesus' name, amen" can seem like a magic charm, but nothing can force God's hand. This saying did originate from a good motive, though: the desire to ask only for what is consistent with Jesus' character. When we ask, we should pray with faith, believing that God is able and will do whatever is in His will. And we should willingly submit our desires to Him.

Our Motive. The Lord won't say yes to prayer that will hurt us or His purpose. When we bring supplications before Him, it is important to check our motive. Is our goal to glorify God and let others see Him in us? Or is our motive selfish, greedy, or impure?

Our heavenly Father tells us to pray. And He will answer when our hearts are pure. 

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