Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Thank God for another beautiful day in Daly City that, I can sit in my sun lighted kitchen to enjoy my meditation of God’s words and prayer. It is such a peaceful, lovely and re-charging moment that I really need. God is always here rain or shine. The problem is whether we are willing to spend time with Him or not.
"In that day you will ask in my name. I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf" (John 16:26). We are too much given to thinking of the Cross as something we have to get through; we get through it only in order to get into it. The Cross stands for one thing only for us - a complete and entire and absolute identification with the Lord Jesus Christ, and there is nothing in which this identification is realized more than in prayer.
"Your Father knows what you need before you ask Him." Then why ask? The idea of prayer is not in order to get answers from God; prayer is perfect and complete oneness with God. If we pray because we want answers, we will get huffed with God. The answers come every time, but not always in the way we expect, and our spiritual huff shows a refusal to identify ourselves with Our Lord in prayer. We are not here to prove God answers prayer; we are here to be living monuments of God's grace.
"I am not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. No, the Father himself loves you because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God" (v. 26-27) Have you reached such an intimacy with God that the Lord Jesus Christ's life of prayer is the only explanation of your life of prayer? Has Our Lord's vicarious life become your vital life? "In that day" you will be so identified with Jesus that there will be no distinction.
When prayer seems to be unanswered, beware of trying to fix the blame on someone else. That is always a snare of Satan. You will find there is a reason which is a deep instruction to you, not to anyone else.
Unanswered prayer is an answer from God. When we focus our prayers on a “getting” mode, we will miss the relation aspect of prayer. Prayer is to build intimate relationship with God. That’s why prayer has to be a two way street; we need to speak and listen as well. We don’t choose to listen to what we want to hear or like to hear. We listen with an open mind. And the purpose is not to get what we want, but to enter into a deeper relationship with our Heavenly Father, the Almighty God. There are issues and images that will surface in our mind as we pray. We need to discern whether those are from God or not. In my experience, I will ask the Holy Spirit to show me what He may want me to learn from them, or if they were really from God in the first place. If not, then I would surrender those issues to His care and move on to another conversation with Him.
Sometimes God would surface an issue in my life to remind me of His attributes. Sometimes He would use it to remind me of my hidden sins or blind spots. I would listen quietly before Him in prayer as He showed me what I need to learn. There are numerous times that God only reassured me of His love when I was encountering some pressing issues in ministry or in life. He did not give me specific answer or direction. He just wanted me to know that I was always His beloved because of our Lord Jesus Christ. And it generated enough strength for me to press on in life or in ministry. So takes time to pray and listen what God has to say to you today.
Love you in Christ,