Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pre-requisites to Answered Prayers

The pre-requisites to getting your prayers answered can be found in Matt 7:1-6. It says, ‘Judge not that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brothers eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brothers eye. Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

A prerequisite is defined as, ‘something that is necessary for another thing to be done or cause to happen’. What this means is that if you are not seeing the manifestation of your requests to God, you should check to see if you have fulfilled the conditions for it. You should go back to the checklist and make sure you’ve fulfilled these pre-requisites.

Several believers use discernment as a guise for their critical and judgmental attitude. However, there is a difference between discernment and criticism. It is true that we all have the latent gift of discernment.

This means that all believers potentially have the ability to recognise the misdeeds of those around them. The Bible supports this in 1 Jn 5:16 ‘If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death.’ This verse of Scripture verifies the fact that believers have the ability to recognise their neighbour’s misdeeds.

This gift of discernment helps keep us on the right track because it helps us distinguish between good and evil. However, when we discern other people’s mistakes, we are not to judge or criticise them. Rather, we are to intercede on their behalf. We are to ask that life be imparted unto them in that area of their lives (1 Jn 5:16). We should take up the responsibility of intercession, rather than criticism. The reason for this is because there are two major forces involved in the battle for the soul.

The first is the force of love (through intercession) and the other is the force of accusation (through judgment and criticism). If you permit the accuser of the brethren (Satan) to gain a foothold in your life, it will play out in the spiritual realm. You will partake of its fruits when you offer your prayers to God.

However, if you allow intercession to go up from your heart (i.e. if you pray for people and release them), you open up your life to the flow of God’s blessings. You will cause God to open the floodgates of mercy and favour to you.

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