When my prayers are not answered, I need to ask why. Is there a timing issue? Delay is not necessarily denial. Am I asking amiss? Praying in line with God’s will begins with surrendering mine and being guided by the Holy Spirit to avoid asking amiss.
Many can testify of incidents when people have cried out to the Lord in desperation, or sudden danger, and God has instantly undertaken mercifully. However, what do we do with our unanswered prayers?
Consider this, and let the Holy Spirit witness to your spirit if it is truth. Test it. Matthew 9:28-31 records Jesus healing 2 blind men. Matthew 8: 1-4 records Jesus healing a leper. In both instances Jesus instructed the men to “tell no man” regarding their healing. If you or I were miraculously healed, would we not want to shout it to the world? Of course!
Here is the issue. Initially the healing would bring such joy in the deliverance and manifest in an overflow of words in testimony of thankfulness to the Lord. Afterwards that insidious thing called pride can creep in deceitfully, changing the motive of my testimony, “See how God is blessing me”, promoting my spiritual image. The only image that God wants to bless is the image of His Son in us. A heart that seeks it’s own glory in any form, spiritual or otherwise, is an abomination to the Lord because the glory, (credit due to HIS holy name), belongs to God alone. “Thine is the glory”.
Jesus taught us how to pray, (Matthew 6: 9-13). We call this the Lord’s Prayer. Jesus ended the prayer with these words, speaking to His Father, “For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen”. God’s power is for the extension of HIS kingdom, for HIS glory, not any man’s. Many a man has attempted to wrestle that power to promote his own little kingdom and his own glory and suffered a fall from grace as the consequence. God will not give His glory to another, it belongs to God alone.
Isaiah 42:8 declares: “I am the Lord, that is my name, and my glory will I not give to another…….”. Here the scripture speaks of the credit due to God alone and His holy name.
In John 17 we find Jesus praying for His disciples, and for those who will believe in Jesus following their testimony. Verse 22 Jesus says: “And the glory which you gave me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one”. The glory Jesus is speaking of here is a different word, “shekinah glory”, meaning the manifest presence of God indwelling. We should be carriers of the Lord’s presence, taking it into our relationships and situations to leave something of heaven there to make a difference…….and all the credit goes to the Lord – Thine is the glory. Jesus in me – Thine is the glory!
The glory spoken about in the Old Testament, (the credit due to God’s holy name), is inextricably linked to the glory Jesus spoke of in John 17, the manifest presence. If we do not honour God with the credit due to Him alone, then we will not be carriers of His presence.
The Holy Spirit examines our motives. Many prayers go unanswered. If I am not experiencing the fullness of my birthright in Christ, why is God withholding? Under the Holy Spirit’s guidance, I need to seek God’s answer to that. If I am unable to bear to the glory of God, He will not impart.
Many, but not all, testimonies in the Body of Christ are given with wrong motives. Men wanting to be seen as more spiritual, more blessed than others, wanting to promote a spiritual image – all this is displeasing to the Lord, self serving, self promoting, all wood, hay and stubble to be burned up!
God is taking us all on a journey. We are all at different levels but the same work is being done individually to learn to live our lives to the glory of God, instead of living to please men and gain their acceptance and praise. Covet that place where everything we do is to the glory of God. That includes every part of my life circumstance and relationships, thoughts and actions, where my feet take me, what I put my hand to and what is the motive of my heart in everything I do. God looks at the heart and is not interested in what I do, but why I do it. Do I want to look good in men’s eyes, or God’s?
Get in the closet with God and tune in to what He is saying. When the divine exchange takes place, our lives will declare His beauty and testimony, and the ashes of our wood, hay and stubble will be buried beneath the Cross. We become living epistles (letters), known and read of all men.
1 Corinthians 10: 31 “Whether you eat or drink, or WHATEVER you do, do ALL to the glory of God”. Our journey continues, pressing onwards to our high calling, Christ in me, the hope of glory!
Photo by Samuel Martins on Unsplash