Much is said about prayer in the scriptures. And almost all persons of faith would say that prayer is an important element of their faith- at some level. Even people who don’t prescribe to a particular religion or faith will admit to praying on occasion.
So why is it so complicated?
Well, only God knows. We should just go ahead and say that at the outset. Because that is the inevitable conclusion we will come to when all of the various (and sometimes competing) ideas on prayer; as outlined in the Bible, are placed on the table.
Pray in Jesus name.
Ask, seek and knock (and you will get what you are asking for; seeking; and knocking (on)?).
Whatever you ask for, if you believe, you will have.
If you tell a mountain to jump in the ocean and believe it in your heart, it will happen.
Pray without ceasing.
Pray in the spirit.
When you pray, don’t babble a lot like the religious leaders.
and so on…
So what are we to think when the prayer is not answered?
“Oh, God always answers; it’s just that sometimes the answer is NO…”
Yeah, I have heard that one too.
God, my child has cancer, can you make her better please? Cause I don’t want her to die before she has a chance to live a full life and get married and have babies, and…
ok, um….sorry to bother you, God…
Even if you allow that God can do what He wants and heal some and not heal others, and that there is sin in this fallen world and sometimes things happen that we don’t understand and we’ll understand on “the other side”, and God teaches us SO MUCH in our suffering and pain and God knows things that we don’t…
The what do we do with those darn verses? Like:
Matthew 7:7 ”Ask, and it will be given to you seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”
Mark 11:24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it
Are they true or not? Jesus said all of those things; and it was pretty straightforward. Are they that hard to understand? Did Jesus mean it when he said you will have whatever you ask for? Guess you didn’t have enough faith. How much does it take? It’s my daughter…can you give me enough faith? Please God…please…
There must be more to the puzzle than meets the eye. It must be too complicated for most of us to understand- this prayer mystery.