Pray like Joshua and Caleb

25 December 2020

Speaker: Apostle Ernie

In James 1:6-7, we read, “But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.”

In Matt 21:22, we read, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”

We often make the faulty assumption that as long as we have faith, we can pray about anything we want, and God is obligated to answer and give us what we ask. If we also read John 14:13, “And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son,” we take it as a guarantee that as long we pray with faith, and we say “in Jesus name” our prayers will always be heard and answered.

Of course, some will rightfully say this only applies if we pray in faith in Jesus’s name, asking for the will of God. in their opinion, every time we pray for something that is the will of God, with faith, in Jesus name, it will always happen. The problem is that we know, from 2.Pet 3:9, it is not God’s will for anyone to perish but for everyone to be saved. And we know from Isaiah 56 and Ex 15:26 it is God’s will for everyone to be healed. Then we should assume as long as we pray for healing and salvation, with faith in Jesus’s name, James 1:6-7, Matt 21:22, John 14:13 guarantees everyone will be healed and everyone saved all the time every time?

We all know that is not the case; not all people are healed, and not all people get saved even if we pray with faith in Jesus’s name. So it is obvious our understanding of these scriptures is wrong.

On the other hand, If our understanding of James 1:6-7, Matt 21:22, and John 14:33 are not wrong, how do we explain that some are not healed, and some are not saved? There are two solutions to this question; we can either listen to what the Bible says or come up with our own explanation.

If we assume we are correct in our understanding, it has to do with a lack of faith in us, a lack of faith in the person we are praying for, or spiritual warfare. Of course, we all know the devil does not want anyone to be healed or saved so that he will fight our prayers. But if he has the legal authority and power to stop our prayers when we are praying in faith, in Jesus’s name, then we believe he is just as influential or almost as powerful as God. Why? Because someone who has the legal authority and power to hinder and stop God’s promises is as powerful as God Himself. This becomes a problem because nowhere in the Bible does it say the devil can do anything of his own accord. So, according to the Bible, the devil can not decide on his own free will to hinder our prayers. Perhaps it has to do with our level of faith. Maybe we have too little faith, or the one we pray for lacks faith. But how can someone who is not saved and does not believe in God have faith for salvation? Trying to figure all of this out on our own gets us tangled up in legalism.

On the other hand, what if we assume our understanding of James 1:6-7, Matt 21:22, and John 14:33 are wrong? Then we would first have to ask the question, what is faith according to the Bible? First, we would have to ask the question, what is faith according to the Bible?

In Hebr 10:38-11, faith is explained as faithfulness, so those who have faith are faithful. We see this with all the examples of faith heroes in the Bible, people such as Abraham, Sara, Noah, David, Jetphah, Samson who were faithful to Yehovah, and because of their faithfulness, they were able to take the Gospel. Why were they faithful? Hebr 10:38 says faithfulness to Moses makes us righteous, so we know they were faithful to Moses and the law of Moses.

If faith in the Bible is the same as being faithful to Moses, it changes how we understand James 1:6-7, Matt 21:22, and John 14:33. Then we know praying with faith is the same as praying while being faithful to Moses, and only those who are faithful are righteous, so only the righteous ones will have their prayers heard and answered.

Am I saying all our prayers will be heard and answered, as long as we pray while being faithful to Moses? Because that might explain why the church today is so radically different from the church in the book of Acts.

Yes, the Bible says they will, but dont assume it means we get to dictate Yehovah how or when He should answer our prayers. In Hebrews 11, we see examples of some people who overcame everything because they were faithful, but we also see examples of people who died painful deaths and suffered while being faithful. And we have examples of people who first suffered, but because they remained faithful, they overcame.

We see this with Joshua and Caleb; they went for 40 years in the desert, but because they remained faithful no matter what happened, Yehovah cared for them and, in the end, gave them the Gospel. On the other end of the spectrum, we have all the other Israelites who left Egypt with Joshua and Caleb, they were only faithful for a little while, but because of their faithlessness, Yehovah killed them all in the desert.

Be like Joshua and Caleb, remain faithful to Moses, and so you can partake in the Gospel when you die and see Yehovahs help and blessings while you are still alive. (Matt 6:25-34)

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