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Prayer Isn’t Aladdin’s Lamp – Better Than We Can Ask

Prayer 10Key Bible Verse: “You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.”  – John 14:13

Bonus Reading: John 15:7, 16; 1 John 3:21-22

Verses such as John 14:13 aren’t blank checks. They’re something better: God’s assurance that when we seek Him first, He’ll answer to glorify His Son.

Jesus is most glorified when His wisdom, goodness, and greatness are most on display. So when we dare to “pray backwards,” heaven delights to answer.

But we live in a fallen world.  Biblical prayer doesn’t solve all our earthly problems, and God never promised that it would.  Jesus told His disciples, “Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows” (John 16:33).

But prayer does assure us that no difficulty comes without a purpose.  When we pray “in Jesus’ name,” we have God’s assurance that He’ll answer our prayer in a way that brings glory to Jesus and furthers His kingdom.

When the Lord said of the apostle Paul, “he must suffer for me” (Acts 9:16), the Savior was not ignoring the apostle’s prayers but promising to use them beyond Paul’s imagining.

The difficulties Paul would have been crazy to want, God used to glorify the name of Jesus throughout the world—precisely Paul’s deepest prayer whenever he petitioned “in Jesus’ name.”

—Bryan Chapell in Praying Backwards

My Response: It’s a relief to know God’s answers aren’t limited by my wisdom or faith because …

Thought to Apply: It is far more important to pray with a sense of the greatness of God than with a sense of the greatness of the problem.—Evangeline Blood (writer)

Adapted from Praying Backwards (Baker, 2005).

Prayer for the Week: Heavenly Father, focus my heart on seeking Christ’s purposes more than my own and on bringing Him glory.


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