25 “I have spoken of these matters in figures of speech, but soon I will stop speaking figuratively and will tell you plainly all about the Father. – John 16:25 NLT
When Jesus said that He had been speaking in figures of speech,, He was referring to the parables He had used to explain things to the disciples and His followers.
13 “Therefore I speak to them in parables; because while seeing they do not see, and while hearing they do not hear, nor do they understand—Matt. 13:13 (NASB)
For the rest of His time on earth before the Crucifixion, He would only be teaching His disciples so He could now speak plainly to them. Jesus is starting here with an explanation that from now on, they (and now we) have to do the praying (led by and assisted by the Holy Spirit which He is sending). This is all based on the love of God for His children. God’s children are those who believe and love His Son, Jesus Christ. If we are in tune with the Holy Spirit, God will give us whatever we ask in the name of Jesus. Now, we know that Jesus is in heaven interceding for us and the Holy Spirit prays through us and for us. This isn’t “pie in the sky” or “get rich quick” praying, this is agreeing with what God Himself (after all, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are God) is praying for us. This is down on our knees, heartfelt, fervent “get me through today” prayer. We just need to get plugged into the current and access the power that God has made available to us.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
12 But to all who believed him and accepted him, he gave the right to become children of God. — John 1:12 NLT
Anytime of any day is a good time to bring our requests before the Lord, He is always awake and waiting to hear from us. No, more than waiting, He is waiting expectantly wanting to hear from each of His children. We have such a great honor bestowed upon us to be called “the children of God”. We should never be hesitant to talk with Him about any subject that is on our mind. After all, He already knows what we are thinking, but He created us for companionship and worship. We should talk with Him daily. Morning is the best time to talk with God because our minds are not yet cluttered with all the worldly stuff. It is truly amazing how smooth a day goes when we start it with directions from our Father, our King, and our Friend. We have plans, but they might not be the same plans He has for us. His will be much higher and better than ours. Before you leave home today, spend some time with our best Friend.
Psalm 5:1-3 NLT
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire.
He set my feet on solid ground
and steadied me as I walked along. — Psalm 40:2 NLT
When we hit those rough patches and we all do at some point along the way, we need to remember passages like the one above. There are times when friends can’t comfort us. There are times in our lives when from all outward observations things are going fine, but inside we are in turmoil. There are times when what we feel is inexplicable because we don’t quite understand it ourselves. How do we pray about things that we can’t even put into words? How do we turn to the One who has lifted us out of the pit of despair when we don’t know what to say? What do we do or say when being still and knowing the He is God is not enough. How do we move from here back to solid ground and continue on our journey with Him? God has made a way for that to happen. We bow before Him and tell Him that we are unable to pray. He doesn’t get angry or upset, instead, as we wait before Him, He prays for us. Just imagine God the Holy Spirit praying for us and through us, God the Son, Jesus, is at the right hand of God the Father interceding for us! God is listening to the 2nd and 3rd persons of the Trinity praying for us and He sees His own righteousness in Jesus Christ! What more assurance do we need that whatever happens will truly be for our best?
20 “I am praying not only for these disciples but also for all who will ever believe in me through their message. — John 17:20 NLT
John 17:20-26 NLT
What an encouraging thought it is to know that almost two thousand years ago, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ was praying for us. He prayed for us then and even now, He is at the right hand of the Father interceding for us. He is still praying the same prayer. He wants us to “all be one, just as you and I are one—as you are in me, Father, and I am in you.” Not only is Jesus interceding on our behalf, but the Holy Spirit is praying for us. When we reach that point in prayer where words can’t express what we feel in our hearts, the Holy Spirit prays for us with “groanings that cannot be expressed”.
Romans 8:26-28 NLT
God, our Father, is waiting to hear from us and to answer us, knowing our weakness, He planned for His Son and HIs Spirit to do for us what we could not do for ourselves. The Triune God, the Trinity, works as One to be sure that our prayers are heard and answered. There is no Friend so faithful in assuring that His plans for each of us will be successful. He plans our lives, He prays for our lives and He always completes His plan. He causes everything to work together.
Why do we doubt and worry? Repent and rejoice!
50 Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit. 51 At that moment the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, rocks split apart, 52 and tombs opened. The bodies of many godly men and women who had died were raised from the dead. 53 They left the cemetery after Jesus’ resurrection, went into the holy city of Jerusalem, and appeared to many people. — Matt. 27:50-53 NLT (Read The Whole Story)
After the Lord’s Supper was completed, Jesus and the disciples went to Gethsemane. Jesus took His three closest friends and went a little further into the Garden. Leaving them there, He went a stone’s throw further and began to pray. In our darkest hours, we are sometimes separated from those who love us, left alone with just us and our Father. It is then that we can pray effectively and fervently. Jesus prayed so fervently that He sweat great drops of blood. Then Judas came with the religious leaders and soldiers. He came to betray Jesus with a kiss. A kiss, not of affection but of deceit and deception. What had begun as a farewell celebration for Jesus ended in a long night and day of sorrows for Jesus.
A night and day of being denied by His friends, a night and day of being persecuted and falsely accused, a night and day of being mocked, beaten and spat upon. The culmination was HIs being hanged on a cross until He gave up His spirit. Nothing short of God’s love could cause a person to submit to such indignation and punishment. Especially when that person was innocent of any sin. So, why would He do it? He did it for you and for me. We weren’t there physically, but every sin we ever committed or ever will commit was there separating Jesus from HIs Father for that short space of time. Unthinkable! Unimaginable! That anyone could love others so much that they would agree to suffer a death that was so horrible it defies imagination.
Yet, that is exactly what Jesus did for us.
23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. — Mark 11:23, 24 NLT
These are two well-known and often quoted verses from the Bible. Of course, we know the basic principle of God answering prayer is true. But, can we just randomly pick a mountain, ask God to cast it into the sea and watch it immediately happen? Of course not. We might not like the mountain where it is but there might be a million other people who love it and perhaps even God Himself might like the mountain where it is. If God has told us to pray that prayer about a specific problem, then that mountain will be moved. But the important thing for us to notice and remember with these two verses is the fact that they are the meat between two slices of bread.
We can’t just have the meat, we have to eat the whole sandwich. Look at the principle in verse 22:
22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.”
There is a requirement that God has laid out for us before we ask Him to move the mountain. And then verse 24 gives us another requirement that we must fulfill before we ask God for anything:
25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.
And there are some veggies that need to be eaten as well, Have we determined that what we are asking for aligns with all the Scriptures, not just our favorite ones? If we have met the requirements for God to answer our prayer — believing (being completely convinced that it will happen), forgiveness and alignment with His will, then the mountain will move.
1 I want you to know how hard I am contending for you and for those at Laodicea, and for all who have not met me personally. 2 My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ, 3 in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. 4 I tell you this so that no one may deceive you by fine-sounding arguments — Col. 2:1-4 NIV
Paul continually intercedes with God for the churches that he has planted and for those churches that his coworkers have planted. He realizes that when there are only a few believers present, it is easy for them to become discouraged and start to drop out. He wants them to be encouraged and united in love. All Christians, particularly new Christians need to be encouraged and taught the riches of the Gospel. We do new converts a disservice when we fail to mentor them in their walk with Christ. The world, satan and his gang are going to immediately start a concentrated effort to make the new converts doubt that there has been a change in their lives. We must strive to get them rooted and established in the depth of the riches of the word of God. If we or they are not consistent in our study and our walk with God, it is easy for satan to separate us and make our lives to be miserable and ineffective for God. We must understand and teach others that regardless of our own feelings and the exterior circumstances, there is great wisdom and greater joy in serving Jesus and living a lifestyle that follows His example. Just a glimpse of the vast expanse and depth of His love and power should be sufficient reason for us to carry on.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. — Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV
1 Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. 2 Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it. 3 Continue to remember those in prison as if you were together with them in prison, and those who are mistreated as if you yourselves were suffering. — Hebrews 13:1-3 NIV
Keep on loving each other! Some of us have a real problem expressing our affections in words and actions. We may have to overcome some hurts from the past before we are willing to open up to other people. It helps if we realize that all of us need love. If God had not loved us enough to send His Son to die for us, we would never have been able to experience the joy of loving others. So, let us show others the love and kindness of our God by showing our concern for them. We can do this by praying for others, starting at home and praying for our families Then for our brothers and sisters in Christ,especially those who are being persecuted daily and imprisoned. Then we need to pray for those that are persecuting and killing our brothers and sisters. Though we sometimes forget it, Jesus died for them as well. Being able to pray for our enemies is hard to do, but we must, if we are going to be obedient to Jesus. Above all, we must continue to love one another.
12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.—- Colossians 3:12-14 NIV
13 And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. — 1 Cor.13:13
God is waiting to show you the way.
7 Make no mistake about this: You can never make a fool out of God. Whatever you plant is what you’ll harvest.8 If you plant in the soil of your corrupt nature, you will harvest destruction. But if you plant in the soil of your spiritual nature, you will harvest everlasting life. 9 We can’t allow ourselves to get tired of living the right way. Certainly, each of us will receive everlasting life at the proper time, if we don’t give up. 10 Whenever we have the opportunity, we have to do what is good for everyone, especially for the family of believers.–Galatians 6:7-10 (NLT)
Jesus went about doing good deeds and spreading the good news that the Kingdom of God was at hand. He is our example to follow. With all the bad news we hear each day, we need to be diligent in spreading the good news. God gives us abundant opportunities each day to plant good seed in good soil. The majority of people that you come into contact each day are looking for something to believe in and hold onto. They are looking for something solid and secure that is not going to change. We have the answer in the good news of Jesus and His free gift of salvation. People are drowning in the sea of uncertainty and doubt. We are holding the life rope they need. Take the time to throw it out and bring them to the shore to meet Jesus.
If we focus on Jesus and spreading the Good News, He will continue to strengthen us and fill us with joy. Again, we need to follow the example Jesus set by taking time to be alone with God, meditating on the Word and praying. These times of refreshing will keep us from growing weary of doing good. We will reap what we sow. So, let us be diligent in our journey here on earth and lay up our rewards in heaven.
7 “Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. 8 For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. 9 Is there anyone among you who, if your child asks for bread, will give a stone? 10 Or if the child asks for a fish, will give a snake? 11 If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! Matthew 7:7-10 (NRSV)
God is waiting to show you the way.
We hear a lot of opinions on how we should pray. Some say you should only ask once and God will answer when and if He wants to. Some say you should only ask for certain things. What does God say about it? In the original text of the Bible, the Greek verbs were verbs that indicated this was a continuing action. Jesus concurs with this in the parable of the woman who kept bothering the unjust judge until he gave her what she wanted. In James, we are told that “all good gifts come down from the Father above”. Furthermore, God has said that He is our provider and that means more than spiritual salvation. When Jesus healed people, He used the term “made whole”. That means physical as well as spiritual. The simple truth is that we can ask God for any and every thing that doesn’t violate His Word and we can keep on asking Him. Think about what He said to Paul. Paul had asked Jesus 3 times for healing and God said “my grace is sufficient”. That was God’s answer to Paul’s prayer. Unless God has answered your prayer (and that doesn’t always mean that He gives us what we want, but He does give us what we need) keep on asking. Look again at verse 8 above: “For everyone who asks receives……