Jesus seems to be saying we can in Mark 11:22-24:
22 “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23 “Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. 24 Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.
This is a good example of how we should not let any one passage stand alone because no matter how sincerely we pray, it can’t snow and not snow at the same time. Both teams can’t win the football game. Many other serious issues have God’s people praying in opposition to each other, so what does this mean about prayer? Jesus clarified this dilemma by giving his disciples a sample prayer in Matthew 6:9-13: 9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. 13 And do not lead us into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Jesus clearly tells us to pray for what we need according to His will. Does this mean we should only pray for our needs and not our wants? Do the outcomes of snow storms and football games on God’s people matter to God?
When I posed the dilemma of opposing snow prayers to an elder of our church, Becky said “I pray that He will help me receive whatever He sends”. God can answer opposing prayers for everyone in this way no matter what we are praying for. Maybe we can pray for what we want as long as we also pray that God will help us receive what he sends according to His will.
Rev. Susan Walker is the pastor of Emanuel Reformed Church www.emanuelreformedchurch.com
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