By Victor Ochieng
Many Christians believe that God grants everything they ask for, in Jesus name. In fact, some hold the belief so strongly that if they ask for something and fail to get it, they develop the feeling that they’re weak in faith or have done something wrong.
Is that in line with Bible teachings? Does the Bible say that all we ask for shall be given?
Well, that’s what Life.Church’s Craig Groeschel breaks down in a segment of “Twisted” series.
Groeschel starts by quoting a Bible verse, which many people invoke to justify their conviction that God grants all, as long as we ask in Jesus’ name. “I will do whatever you ask in My name, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:13-14).
“Obviously this verse is not true. Obviously this verse does not work. Obviously this is not what Jesus was saying, it’s not true,” Groeschel says. “Or, perhaps, we’re twisted in our understanding in our application of what Jesus was saying.”
To best understand a Bible, Groeschel says it’s important to understand the context and interpret it in connection with other related scriptures. He also underlines the importance of understanding the theme of that particularly Bible book.
For example, he says that the theme captured in the book of John is to prove that Jesus is the Son of God.
Now, let’s consider how Groeschel breaks it down.
He cites Bible scriptures that read with John 14:13-14. Some of these underline what’s important when we pray and why God accomplishes, or otherwise, what we ask of him.
The first thing is relationships. “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins” (Mark 11:23). This scripture says that you can’t go and ask for forgiveness from God when you’re holding a grudge against a brother.
The second thing is the motive of the prayer. If your motive is wrong, your prayer won’t be answered. Are you praying so that you prove a point to fellow humans for your own glory? Are you praying for God’s blessings so as to prove a point to your enemies? Are you someone who’s focused on prosperity gospel, believing in lavish lifestyle fully sanctioned by God? Without the right motive, you prayer won’t be answered.
The third and most important trait that our prayers should have is that it be done according to God’s will. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14). The bottom-line here is that God’s will must be done, and as his loyal servants, we have to be those ready to sacrifice for his will to be accomplished.
Realistically looking at it, if God does everything we ask of him, he becomes our servant instead of us being his.