Wednesday, November 11, 2009

NTC Day 52: John 13-14, James 4-5

The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops. – James 5:16-18

The most neglected weapon we have in our arsenal is the least used. When we look at the incredible statements that the New Testament makes about prayer, it is unbelievable that our lives are so prayer-less.

You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. – James 4:2

The major cause of fighting in our lives is the fact that we don’t get what we want. James says that the main reason we don’t get what we want is not “their” fault, but ours. We didn’t ask God for it.

Some will say, “I did ask God and I didn’t get it!” To counter this argument, James offers one clarification. If we do ask for something that is simply a selfish request to feed our own desires or to make us look good, we shouldn’t expect to receive what we’ve asked for. Prayer doesn’t mean that God is a genie in a lamp. He isn’t a shortcut to worldly wealth, comfort, and success. In fact, embracing those things makes us God’s enemy (James 4:4). We’ll pursue this question more tomorrow (Re-read John 14:12-14 to get a head start).

Today, I want to ask you the question, “Are you praying?” It’s very clear that at times, God doesn’t answer if we haven’t asked. He also may not answer if it’s my desire and not His, but I’m willing to let Him sort that out. Too many people are simply not asking God. It doesn’t require being a “super-saint”. God answers ordinary men who take the time to pray.

Are you asking God? If you aren’t asking, He isn’t answering.

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