During the month of November I am looking at some famous idioms. Last week’s title was “Absence makes the heart grow fonder?” reminding all of us the importance of spending time with God through prayer. This week I am looking at a famous idiom from science – “What goes up must come down?” This saying is normally attributed to Sir Isaac Newton related to his “discovery” of gravity.
But is what is true in science true with our prayers? Will what we pray up to God come back down to us? This is a tricky subject especially when we read verses like Matthew 7:7 (“Ask and it will be given to you”) or Matthew 21:22 (“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer”).
So is it true – can we ask for anything and it will be given to us? After all, these verses are from God’s word spoken by Jesus himself. We know in our hearts that God is not a cosmic vending machine but how does this prayer thing work? I’m not sure if we will ever fully know until we are in His presence, but here are a few points to consider:
- We need to read these verses (any verse for that matter) in context.
- God won’t give us anything that is not in our best interest.
- God answers prayers that are in accordance with His will.
Stating point 3 another way: The prayers that are answered are the prayers that originate in heaven – our desires that are answered are the desires God that places in our hearts. The apostle John writes this in 1 John 5:14 “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
So if God answers prayers that are “according to his will” then how do we know His will? Paul makes this clear in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”
So back to the original question: Will what we pray up to God come back down to us? The answer is yes, if they are in-line with His will. How do we know His will? By being transformed. How are we transformed? By renewing our minds. How do we renew our minds? By reading, meditating and hiding God’s words in our hearts.
Jesus summarized this in John 15:7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Are your prayers originating in heaven?
In His Service,