Written by Allison Sylvester-Conliffe
And Jesus said unto them, For verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Matthew 17:20
But Jesus beheld them, and said unto them, With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible. Matthew 19:26This is indeed truth and never to be refuted. However, how many of us can attest to the fact that we have been praying for a certain outcome to be manifested on our behalf, and yet heaven seems like brass concerning the matter. It would seem as if God is not hearing our prayers because absolutely nothing is happening to bring the change that we were expecting.
Now I know that all things are to be considered. Sometimes, or rather most times, we have to be persistent and prevailing in prayer before the breakthrough could come. Yes, I understand that God is also not obligated to answer the prayer of the unrighteous...though at times He does. These things are indeed factors to be considered when we examine why our prayers are not being answered. However, today we are going to look deeper than that. Look at what Jesus said in John 14:14...
If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.This is also the truth that is in God’s Word. Yet, many of us can subscribe to the fact that we have asked and asked again, but have not received. Christians get disenchanted by the fact that our prayers are not answered, especially if we believe the Scripture verse in John 14:14. We may even quote it in our appeal to the Lord, yet there is no manifestation of the answer we are expecting. Why is this so? Is it that we have missed something that is key?
Let us back up to verse 13 of John Chapter 14 – which reads –
And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.May I highlight part of that verse that I believe is a key which we may have overlooked - that the Father may be glorified ……... This would mean that the thing which we ask for in Jesus’ Name should glorify the Father!
The word glorify means to give praise to – to extol – to exalt – to worship – to revere – to reverence – to venerate – to pay homage or tribute to – to honour – to adore – to thank – to bless.
The purpose of what we ask for, according to the scripture in John 14:13, should in essence be to exalt, give praise to, bless....the Father.
Jesus was talking to them with Kingdom business in mind. In the verses prior to those we have just visited, Jesus was telling the disciples that He only spoke what the Father had spoken through Him. He told them that He did nothing of Himself but that it was the Father Who did the works through Him.
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works. John 14:10Then He encouraged the disciples to believe in Him – meaning that they ought to believe what He said to them – because if they believed Him then they would automatically believe in the Father. Only then would they be entrusted to continue the work that the Father had to accomplish through them on the earth.
Jesus represented God the Father on the earth, so remember that Jesus was speaking these words to the disciples with Kingdom business in mind. Therefore, He was saying to them that if they believed in Him, and they were busy on Kingdom business, then they could make a request on behalf of the Kingdom in Jesus’ Name and it shall be done unto them.
Most times we modern day disciples of Jesus Christ ask selfish requests which have nothing to do with the advancement of the Kingdom of God in mind – and we expect the results to be positive for us. We have to remember what Jesus said in Matthew 6:33 concerning our personal needs … and He is still saying today...
But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.As believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, our main thrust of prayer should be about the building up of the Kingdom of God while here on earth.
When Jesus was teaching His disciples in John 14, He taught them intimacy with Himself and with the Father. In verse 9 He said to them, but particularly to Philip who had a question about knowing the Father.
Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?The word “known” in this verse speaks to the disciples of their intimacy with the Father and with Jesus. It was important that the disciples come to know Jesus in intimacy, since He was the doorway to knowing God the Father intimately.
The same applies to us today if we are disciples of Jesus Christ. You would agree that when we are intimate with someone then we share personal details about one another. In the same way, if the disciples were intimate with the Father, especially in Jesus’ physical absence, the Father would readily share with them the intimate things that lie within His heart concerning His Kingdom. As a result the Father will entrust the disciples to pray those things He would have revealed to them, until its manifestation on the earth. In that vein, Jesus said to the disciples, “If ye shall ask anything in My Name, I will do it ….. so that the Father may be glorified in the Son!”
To get to the place of knowing God’s heart we must tap into Him by the Spirit. God is not flesh but He is Spirit. We must pray in the Holy Spirit in order to connect with Him … meaning that we must ascend to God in our spiritual language which is called the speaking in tongues. The Scriptures revealed that the Holy Spirit knows the mind and the heart of God, and knows exactly what and when to pray according to the Father’s will.
Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26
Maybe we have had it wrong all along in our thinking. Maybe we were busy praying selfish prayers concerning "me, myself and I," which had nothing to do with God’s Kingdom, and in so doing God was never glorified...and as a result no answer came to us.