DEVOTION:THE QUESTION THAT MATTERS CONCERNING OUR PRAYERS!

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Chapter 8 of Matthew is saturated with miracle after miracle. But we must place this in context in order for us to understand what Jesus was doing and to get a better perspective of the audience’s response.

 

After Christ was baptized, the Holy Spirit led him to the wilderness where He was tempted three times by the devil. Then John the Baptist was arrested and immediately Jesus begun preaching in Galilee. After calling His first disciples, He went through Galilee preaching and healing the sick. As a result, a large crowd followed Him. When Jesus saw this crowd, He went to the Mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to Him and he began teaching them. This teaching is what is known as the Sermon on the Mount, which covers three chapters, Matthew 5-7. Our passage today, picks up from the end of the sermon on the mountain.

When Jesus came down from the mountainside, large crowds followed him. Matthew 8:1

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Then this happened:

A man with leprosy came and knelt before him and said, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Matthew 8:2

This is an interesting way of asking for healing, but notice Christ’s response:

Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” Immediately he was cleansed of his leprosy.Matthew 8:3

 

Christ then gave him these instructions:

Then Jesus said to him, “See that you don’t tell anyone. But go, show             yourself to the priest and offer the gift Moses commanded, as a             testimony to them. Matthew 8:4

The man with leprosy understood that Jesus had the power to heal him. That was not the question he struggled with in his mind. What he struggled with was whether Jesus was willing to heal him. He believed that if Jesus were willing, healing would take place. Now that is faith in Christ’s ability to heal. And because of his faith, Jesus healed him.

 

APPLICATION:

  1. I suspect the majority of Christians believe that God is able to do anything He wants to do because He says in His word that there is nothing impossible before Him.
  2. But many believers wonder why every prayer request they present to God is not answered. The question most ask is whether God heard their prayers. But the man with leprosy said, “If you are willing.”
    1. Can we say that if God does not answer our prayers that He is not willing?
    2. What does “If you are willing” really mean?
  3. There is a clue to understanding the above statement in the Lord’s prayer. Here is a statement that is very crucial in how our prayers are answered.

Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Matthew 6:9b-10

    1. Christ used this principle of prayer in His prayer at the garden of Gethsemane.

    He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. Luke 21:22

      1. In light of these, “If you are willing” means if this is according to your will.
      2. In other words if it pleases God, then He will do it.
    1. I do not want to boil down every unanswered prayer to the will of God because there are other things that can hinder our prayers. On the other hand, some prayers will still be answered but not according to our timing but God’s time.
    2. The point we must learn from the man with leprosy is faith in an all-powerful God. There should be no doubt in our minds concerning God’s ability to do anything.
    3. In conclusion, how do you pray? Do you ask God to answer your prayers according to His will? Or do you say, Lord I really need this? Please God! Give me this one!
    4. God is an all-powerful God, which means

      There is nothing impossible with Him.

      But why doesn’t He answer all our

      Prayers and daily petitions

      What could be the problem?

      The man with leprosy said

       If you are willing.

      The questions

      Is about

      God’s

      Will

      And this is

      THE QUESTION THAT MATTERS CONCERNING OUR PRAYERS!

      By Pastor Shadrack Ruto

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