What is your understanding of prayer?  Some see it as nothing more than asking God for what they want.  They ask and God gives.  It’s as simple as that.  If and when God doesn’t respond, they give up on prayer.  “if it doesn’t work,” they say, “so what’s the use of praying?”

To Jesus the meaning of prayer was not that God would give Him whatever He asked.  This is evident from the prayer that He prayed in the Garden of Gethsemane.  Removing Himself from the disciples, with a soul sorrowful, even to death, Jesus fell on His face and prayed, “My Father, I is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)

Needless to say, the cup of suffering was not removed.  It couldn’t e I God were to accomplish His plan.  As in every circumstance, Jesus wanted God’s will to be done.  The petition for His own welfare was superseded by His overriding concern to do what God wanted Him to do.

Prayer, we think, is a way of getting God to do our will.  Jesus saw it differently.  He poured out His concerns, but accepted the will of God.

Selfishness, rather than submission, is often a hallmark o our praying.  That’s why, as Clean Lyles used to say, “Our prayers don’t have any suction.”  James reminds us, “You ask, and receive not, that you may consume it upon your lusts” (James 4:3)

he searching condition put on all our prayers is that they must be in Christ’s names (John 14:13, 14).  All prayers uttered in accordance with divine will are answered.  “Ask, and it will be given you” follows “seek you first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.”

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