Monday, April 28, 2014

Thanking God for Answered Prayers

Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.  But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.” – John 12:9-11

The chief priests were acting not on God’s will but on the will of satan.  They wanted to crush the miracle Jesus had performed in raising Lazarus from the dead before more believers were made, and more glory was given to Jesus.  Can you imagine what would have happened if they had?  There would have been all sorts of rumors of how Jesus could not heal Lazarus, and how the sickness that had put him in the grave had come back.  There would have been those that believed it was a magic act, that there were two Lazarus’s and the real one was always in the grave.  There would have been doubts cast on Jesus’ power to overcome death and those doubts would have carried over to His own crucifixion.
Satan stands to lose everything when we become true believers in Jesus and the power He has over death, and the grave.  But he also loses when we understand the power of prayer.  For that purpose, he and his demons want to crush our belief in prayer when they are answered and miracles have been given.  Sadly, we often help to diminish the power of those answered prayers ourselves. 

We pray for healing, and when it comes we talk about the effectiveness of the medication the doctor gave us.  Or we talk about how wonderful the doctor was in finding the problem.   We forget that we prayed for healing, as if we never believed that the prayers were going to be heard anyway.  We pray and ask for a job and financial security, but when it comes, we are more grateful to the one that hired us than the one who heard and answered our prayers.  We pray for change in the lives of those we love, but when it comes, we praise them for the good decisions they have made, ignoring the power of God answering our prayers.
Friends, let us continually be mindful that ALL good things come from God (James 1:17).  Let us also be mindful that satan seeks out to destroy any effect answered prayers can have.  Our response is a simple one – an offering of praise.  Giving God the glory for the things He does, speaking our gratefulness to others, telling of the prayers that were answered, this is our response.  Just as Lazarus wasn’t raised from the dead solely to give him back life, the answers to our prayers are also to increase faith, create believers, and to bring God glory.  Give God the glory and honor for your answered prayers.  He is worthy of our praise, and not to be taken for granted.

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