God Wants to Do More For Us
God is able to do immeasurably more than we can ask, think, or imagine. – Ephesians 3:19-20
In our efforts to not manipulate God, we limit our prayers to things we feel are reasonable. We then create a lid to what God may be able to do. Our words don’t match up to God’s offer of immeasurably more.
We see this all the time when it comes to praying for the sick. The most common prayer in those times is for God to be with them in their time of need. What does this even mean? Do we assume God is not with before? Is that why they go sick? Did God take a sabbatical on their life?
What is Hindering My Prayers?
Why do we do this? I think we create prayers that we know God will answer or we can’t measure. We are afraid of giving people false hope or looking like the fool. What if we pray for healing and that person doesn’t get well. What will they think of God or me?
Fear is a terrible counselor. It will only keep you from having hope and faith. Sure, most of us are not at a point where we get everything we ask in prayer, but that should never stop us from asking.
I think many of us are actually believing God has better things to do than to answer our prayers. We try not to bother Him with anything but the necessary. For a close loved one, we may pray fervently for healing, but the person down the street just gets a prayer for God to be with him.
Let’s Examine Our Prayers
We really need to examine our prayers for they show us what we believe about God and how we think He sees us. Do the prayers you and I say line up with how God presents Himself in Scripture? Are our prayers equivalent to the prayers Jesus would have prayed?
When we were adopted as son and daughters of our Heavenly Father, we were given the same rights and authority as Jesus (Romans 8:15-17). For the Father loves us and shows us all He is doing… For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so we give life to whom we are pleased to give it (John 5:20-21). Do our prayer reflect this belief?
Try Out This Prayer Homework
For the next few weeks, write down the prayers you pray. Determine how many of them can be measured and would be a work of God if they were answered. If it is only 10% of our prayers that really ask God to move, let’s try to increase the number to 20%. If it is only 50% (which would still be good), let’s work on pushing it up to 60%.
If you have trouble pushing up the number, ask God if there are any lies you are believing about Him or about yourself.
- Do you believe God wants to answer your prayers? If no, why not?
- Do you think you can ask God specific requests? If no, why not? Write down what you think, then pray for God to show verses about these things.
- Do you feel there is only so much you can ask Him? If yes, why? Where is this limit?
- Do you think there are some prayers God doesn’t care about? If so, what are they?
What About These Verses?
Let me help you with a few of potential stumbling block verses:
1. I cherished sin in my heart therefore God will not hear my prayer (Psalm 66:18).
If you truly cherish sin in your heart, you would not go to God in the first place. There may be sin in your life, but God sent Jesus to remove every barrier of sin. The fact this worries you shows you don’t truly cherish it in your heart, even if you find it hard to get rid of.
2. I have not loved my wife in an understanding way, so my prayers will be hindered (1 Peter 5:7).
God answers the prayers of jerks all the time. You may have been a jerk to your spouse, but if you want to remove any hindrance, you have been given a way out. You may not change the past, but you can work on improving your relationship with your spouse. If she has already ended it with you and does not want to reconcile, then once you’ve confessed your mistakes to God, trust in His complete forgiveness.
3. I have committed the unpardonable sin, therefore I can never be forgiven (Matthew 12:31-32).
Paul tracked down Christians and put them to death, then became a great saint of the early church. I don’t know what specifically cannot be forgiven except those who die and never confessed Jesus as their savior. Again I will say if you want to come to God, He has made the way completely possible for you through Jesus. He wants to throw His arms around you every time you turn to come to Him.
4. I have been praying for the wrong reason, so God will not answer my prayers (James 4:3).
This could very well be true. However the way to correct your motives is not by stopping prayer. You open a dialogue in prayer. Express to God what you want to ask Him. Allow Him to guide your prayers to what He wants. For instance, you may want to pray for someone particular to become President. Go for it, but listen to see if God will direct you along another path. He could very well know what is coming ahead and aware of the right person to lead, and that person may not be who you originally would have thought. That same rationale can be made for the house you want to purchase or the job you want to get.
Let me know if there are other excuses you have heard that keep people from praying. Use the comments below to share in the conversation. Blessings.
Kevin Shorter is the founder of this prayer-coach site and have served for several years in ministry and churches teaching on a variety of Biblical topics. Go to the contact page to request him to speak at your conferences and seminars.