Welcome to the P.J. (Pastor J) Sound Theology Blog

Friday, September 12, 2008

What God has for you is for you. Isn't it?

Earlier today a friend of mine texted me with a real and relevant question. They asked "If you prayed to God for something u wanted would he give it to you even if it was not for you?"

Well, lets look at this question theologically, (the only way we know how to right) we know that God answers prayers.
We know that God want's us to be happy, and that God loves us. So the immediate answer would be Yes! But the question included even if it was not for us.

Well that makes it a little rougher, some would say that anything you ask for in prayer and faith you will receive. “Ask and it will be given to you.” based on (Matthew 7:7).
But Jesus words are often taken out of context, you must look at the entire context of the passage to truly understand what Christ is saying. Let's look

7 “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.

9 “You parents—if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? 10 Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! 11 So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.

Here Christ is not talking about any prayer or asking for any gift, but about steadfast seeking and prayer for things that will increase your relationship with God (not detract from your relationship with God)
And the real key to the passage is about giving good gifts. looking at versus 11 we can see that Jesus references versus 7 with the example of a parents love for their children. that's how we are to God like children. So you give you children what they really want if it will not hurt or harm them potentially. (or at least you can't see any harm coming from the gift) God is like a good parent who gives their children GOOD GIFTS!

So when we look at the context of the text we see that all prayers are not granted and we understand that God is not our personal genie with unlimited wishes. But there is hope.

When we look to Isaiah 38 we see a different story:

1 About that time Hezekiah became deathly ill, and the prophet Isaiah son of Amoz went to visit him. He gave the king this message: “This is what the Lord says: ‘Set your affairs in order, for you are going to die. You will not recover from this illness.’”

2 When Hezekiah heard this, he turned his face to the wall and prayed to the Lord, 3 “Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.” Then he broke down and wept bitterly.

4 Then this message came to Isaiah from the Lord: 5 “Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life, 6 and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city.

7 “‘And this is the sign from the Lord to prove that he will do as he promised: 8 I will cause the sun’s shadow to move ten steps backward on the sundial of Ahaz!’” So the shadow on the sundial moved backward ten steps
Here King Hezekiah was surely going to die, but through prayer God blessed him with the gift of longevity 15 more years of life. Here God gave the King a good gift, I can't think of a better gift than life. So yes God does give us what we ask for, and I believe God gives what we want just like a good parent as long as what we want and ask for does not place us in harms way.
Cause Lord knows I want a new living room set... I can't get in any trouble from a living room set. Can I?
Let us just remember as Christians we need to live, pray, respond as such even in our thoughts and prayers. I know that's easier said than done, it is for me too. But we must work at it. So don't go asking to be a millionaire, or for someone else boyfriend or girlfriend because that may be more harmful than good. Don't be mad at me I'm just keeping it real.
Until tomorrow Love,
Pastor J

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