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Seven Footsteps to Answered Prayer

Desire

We now are going to look at step one of the footsteps to answered prayer, desire. First we must realize that we all have needs while walking through on our journey in this world to the next. There has never been a time in my life, and I would assume in yours, that we do not need something. To make the point, if we had the time, I would give you my list. So we will begin this adventure with a statement that I believe is correct. God does not respond to our needs, or our desires, but to our faith that He can and will supply them.

We can spend a lot of our prayer time asking God for this, that and the other only to find ourselves wondering why a God who answers prayer has not answered ours. To answer this we look to the words of our Lord in the Gospel of Mark. “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you.” (Mark 11:24) The key here is believe that you have received that which you have asked and then with faith live as if you have. The writer of Hebrews makes this point in the eleventh chapter. If we believe that we have received what we have asked for then we should live as if we have it already. Believing that God is true to His word our faith demands that we live as we have it because we do. “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1) To quote the words of Jesus spoken to Martha “Do you believe this?” (John 11:26) Faith is first, we must prove that we believe God will answer our prayer by our faith that He has. As Abraham, who was well advanced in years believed that he would be the father of a multitude and the nations would be blessed by him in faith lived as if it had already happened. (Genesis 17:3-9) Which it did in God’s time.

All of our praying will be plain chatter if we are lacking in a true desire for what we are praying for. If there is no strong desire in our heart, then faith will not function. Desire is when we chose to have something and will not rest until we do. Desire causes a tug on our emotions to become fully engaged in that which we want. Desire is a strong motive in our heart to not stop our pursuit until we have accomplished that which we have set out to do. This is the atmosphere in which faith can act. When we pray the desires of our heart to our Almighty Loving Father then we are ready to engage in a partnership to receive that we have asked for. If I desired a million dollars then I would have to do a lot of asking, seeking and knocking to get it. God works with us and meets the measure we cannot achieve. God is not just going to mail a check postmarked Zion on it.

A sad truth in all of our lives is that we are only as holy as we desire to be. We are accomplishing only that which we desire to accomplish. I know this is true for me as at the end of the day there is a feeling of disappointment when I think of all I should have done and been. One answer to this problem is that we have a weak desire to fulfill all our goals. Desire is not just a wish upon a star. A ho hum it would be nice if things worked out the way I want. Desire is a passion that grabs ahold of our heart and does not let us go until we have accomplished that desire we have for our life. The difference between me and great men is not their time and talents but their willingness to achieve great things because of their great desire. Great passionate desire brings a vision that men can see and a faith that causes the work to bring that vision into reality.

The Scriptures have a lot to say about desire:

“Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalm 37:4) When we delight in the Lord we put Him ahead of everything else. We seek Him first. (Matthew 6:33) Jesus said this is the greatest commandment. “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 33:37) When we delight in the Lord we are in close fellowship with Him. We are communing with each other and the relationship grows stronger each day. This is true with our earthly relationships and it is a certain truth in growing closer to God.

“What the wicked fears will come upon him, But the desire of the righteous will be granted.” (Proverbs 10:24) if we are living a right life in the eyes of the Lord, then He is a rewarder of those who do well. “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.” (Hebrews 11:6)

“The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath.” (Proverbs 11:23) If we are living a righteous life, then we are doing the best we can to avoid the pitfalls of the worldly way. We will be seeking the things that are pleasing to our God and avoiding the things that would bring His displeasure. Likewise, the desires of our heart will be for the good things that He will freely give according the plan and purpose He has for our life.

“He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.” (Psalm 145:19) “This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him.” (1 John 5:14-15)

Across the world today Churches are in dire need of revival. The Church is the house of God that the Holy Spirit works out of. With a world that is seemingly falling apart can we as members of the Church be content to blame our political leaders? Can we really blame Satan for the ills of the world when men have been given free will? Well we could and only be partially right. I think the greater responsibility falls upon the Church for not fulfilling its duty to the society of the world. We have been called to be a Holy Priesthood separated from this world and leading those who will follow to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ the Savior of the world. Outside of the Church I find few Church members that are different from the world they walk in. The Church of Jesus Christ needs a revival.

Revival will come when the members of the Church, God’s called people, desire a revival. Many a Church sign says come to the revival meeting, yet the pews are unfilled. All Churches are looking for workers but few are found. 70% percent in America profess to believe in God and on Sunday morning can be found 10% of America attending. Until the people who are called by God’s name have the desire to become fully committed to the Kingdom of God then all we have is the evidence of little desire for revival. Weak desire brings no vision and a lack of faith. “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Proverbs 29:18)

When I was slivering through grade school it was a place I did not want to be. If I was considered a marginal student that would have been an exaggeration. When I graduated from High school it was a joke about the compass that I was graduated a degree because they were afraid I was about to ask the teachers out for dates. Later on I did attend a technical school and made some very good grades. If fact I graduated with honors. The difference was desire. I wanted what the tech school had to offer and I desired to know everything they could cram into my little pea brain. Because of my desire to learn I was willing to work for it and in turn the instructors were willing to work with me. In grade school I didn’t care and therefore the teachers didn’t care much about me either. God loves us each and every one, but if we are not desiring enough to work for what we want then I don’t think He is just going to give it to us. We would have no appreciation for it. I have so many times in my later years given my best at my projects. Lacking as I am in talent and ability I give it all that I have and God has been faithful to complete the measure. The key then in my perspective is desire and the faith to work for that which we desire trusting God to insure our success.

A strong passionate desire and faith go hand in hand with each other. The result of our desire and our faith working in tandem not only benefits us but also is an inspiration for those around us. If we want our world to be better, then we need to bring the world around us up along by our actions. This is the call that we have been given by our Lord and Master. “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Faith requires a strong passionate desire. Zacchaeus was an undesirable tax collector. He was small in stature and generally overlooked and not well liked in his community. He probably was never picked to be on the team, invited to the party or asked to be a part of any function. But when Jesus came to His town he had a desire to meet Him. Because of his size he could not see Him, because the masses blocked his view it also blocked the sound of Jesus’ voice. But Zacchaeus had the faith that through his desire he could overcome the obstacles and be with Jesus. Zacchaeus’ faith and desire brought Jesus into his home and Zacchaeus into the Kingdom of Heaven. (Luke 19:1-10)

Thomas N Kirkpatrick

First Baptist Church of Durant, February 28, 2015

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