We are given an unbelievable promise when Jesus says: "Whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it and it will be yours"
The difficult part is that we have all prayed for things and have not received them! How can this be?
There are only two solutions:
The Scripture is wrong or The Scripture is misunderstood
If we accept that the Scripture is correct then, if we can determine what it is that we misunderstand, perhaps we can avail ourselves of much more answered prayer. There are two areas of possible misunderstanding:
The meaning of the word prayer and The meaning of the word believe
It seems to me that when prayer goes unanswered we almost exclusively look to the latter saying that we (or others) did not have enough faith. But perhaps there is an alternative explanation ... that we may not know how to pray!
Now most of us would have learned something which would have been called prayer from an early age. These early "prayers" may have been adjusted with age and experience, but was that what Jesus meant by prayer? Perhaps not! Let's look at what Luke reports . . . "One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, 'Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples'" ( Lk 11:1 ). Now these disciples would certainly have known something called prayer as all Jews would. They would have heard prayers at home at the designated times and in the synagogues and temple. But despite this they came to the realization that they needed to learn how to pray and hence the request to Jesus. Jesus went on to teach them what has historically been called the Lord's Prayer. If Jesus' own disciples, having been with him in the flesh, needed to ask how to pray, then surely we may well be "praying amiss". If we are willing to open our minds to the possibility that we do not know how to pray then maybe we can be taught to "truly" pray.
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