Prayer Isn’t a Slot Machine, It’s a Garden!
Last time I showed you that the Bible teaches, Jesus taught, that God wants to answer our prayers, that God’s “Yes” to our prayers is guaranteed, that receiving a positive response from God is a sure thing. Here’s two, of the many scriptures, we looked at:
Matthew 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: 8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Ask and it shall be given you… for everyone that asketh receiveth. Jesus is letting us know what God’s attitude towards prayer is and His attitude towards our prayers is “Yes! Of course. Certainly.”
Here's how I like to think about what Jesus is saying. We have a rule in the Marquez house about school fund raisers. You know, kids come buy selling chocolate bars or raffle tickets or barbecue dinners or pies, to raise money for the 4th grade field trip, or the soccer team or the cheer squad. Our rule is that we always say, “Yes,” to any kid who comes fund raising. I imagine that some kid talking to his fellow fund raisers could tell them, “Go by the Marquez house they always buy.” and that’s just the rule in the Marquez house. Jesus is telling us what the rule is in God’s house, “…everyone that asketh receiveth.”
I Want To Change Your Picture of Prayer
Naturally, the question follows : “Well…then why doesn’t God answer my prayers?” First off, that’s the wrong way to phrase the question because that form of the question already assumes the answer. That question assumes answered prayer is totally God’s responsibility. The right way to ask the question is, “Well…then why don’t I receive what I ask for when I pray?” Assuming Jesus isn't lying when he says, "Everyone that asketh receiveth…" the only rational conclusion is that we must have a part to play in receiving the answer.