A man who had lost his son in Iraq said: "Where was God when my son was dying?" His pastor gently asked: "Where was God when his own son was dying?" We need to understand that God can do anything, but not without consequences.
Millions believe that if we pray with faith, God must answer our prayers. They quote 41 verses from the gosple like: (Mat 17:20 NIV) "He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
The word Faith is mentioned 245 Times in the New Testament in similar verses like this one. Wonderful! Now we can pray and God will work miracles for us as we do anything we please.
The "gospel of Faith" is used by thousands of Preachers to generate millions for their support. They promise "miracles and blessing" if the suffering saints will send them very large offerings. All of the gimics, silly cheap tricks they use to keep their banks accounts overflowing and their corporate jets flying will one day be judged by God.
Desperate people who know very little about Jesus and his ministry are willing to gamble anything in the hopes of being healed, blessed or lifted out of poverty. It's a "very sad religious lottery" as they send in money they can't afford to loose.
HERE'S A TEST! Take anything you want from God and pray this prayer. "Lord, this is what I want and I don't care what you think about it. I want what I want even if it is contrary to your will."
If you feel a little uncomfortable with that it may be because you read the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane. Luke 22:44 describes his agony by saying "And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.
Jesus is praying about his coming crucifixion. "(Mat 26:39 NIV) "Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
Jesus used the phrase 41 times... "He that sent me..." Often Jesus talked about the "Father who sent me". Nothing was more important to Jesus than to do the will of his heavenly Father. Here's just one of them.
(John 5:30 NIV) "By myself I can do nothing; I judge only as I hear, and my judgment is just, for I seek not to please myself but him who sent me." (John 6:38 NIV) "For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me."Our Heavenly father can see the consequences of everything we ask of him. He can see the future and know exactly what will bless us or bring pain and sorrow into our lives. Prayer is not weak. The real prayer of faith is powerful. So God decides which prayers to answer and which to delay or reject.
It's interesting that as the agony of the Cross was about to end Jesus quoted this passage from the Psalms. (Mat 27:46 NIV) "About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
No, it wasn't the 23rd Psalms. Most people quote that when they are in trouble. It was (Psa 22:1 NIV) "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" If we read this entire Psalm we see that it describes exactly what Jesus was enduring on the cross for us.
For many years I've prayed like this: "Father, this is what I want. But you can see the future and I can't. So I want your will to be done in my life". God listens to our prayers and we need to keep praying.
There much more to this subject. I'm going to continue it on my Bible Study Blog. I'm going to explain the Bible concept of good and evil. (Go up to the link on the left side of this page and click on (Ken's Bible Study)
Keep praying with a sincere heart. God does answer prayer.