Praying in vain

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Judith, Jan 22, 2015.

  1. Judith

    Judith
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    In this I am speaking of believers, not the lost.
    I have been pondering some issues about prayers. Week after week I set in church and hear prayer requests that have raised a question. The question is does God answer prayers that are crop failure type prayers? First let me clarify some of what those are. They would be prayers asking for healing or relief from the possible results of our own actions. In other words we willfully disobey a command or precept and are now facing the results, and we want God to supernaturally clean up our mess.

    In looking through the bible I cannot find a single time where God answered a prayer to overcome the results of a persons disobedience. I am reminded of the warning in Proverbs 1:20-30 and of David's son (baby) who was taken by the Lord.

    Let me give some examples of what I am talking about. First let me say when I use the term healing I mean supernatural instant healing with no outside medial treatment. A person smokes for years and gets some form of cancer and then asks for prayer. I have NEVER seen a healing for such. Yes they can go to the Doctor and get treatment but the result is no different than a lost person who has had no prayer. Some recover and some die.

    Or someone who played around with sex. Can they ask God for crop failure and have any expectation of it happening? I don't think so.

    There are many others but I think you get the drift of this. So is there any scripture that suggests God will answer prayers as asked if we disobey His commands or precepts? One ast thing. I am not speaking about times like Jonah or the Hebrews when they were under judgement or a call. Are we many times praying in vain?
     
    #1 Judith, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2015
  2. The Biblicist

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    An excellent point. Another instance where God will not answer prayer for healing is in regard to his appointed time and way for your life to terminate. You can pray to you are blue in the face but if it is your time to go, then no amount of praying will change that time. Hence, it is time to prepare to travel not to stay. My wife has alzhiemers and I have been praying for her healing for several years every single day and several times every single day and her case has not improved but only gotten worse. However, as Solomon said, there is always hope for a living dog more than a dead lion, and so like David I will not stop praying in hope that it may not be her appointed time, but at the same time prepare her for a journey. I think it is important that we "prepare to meet thy God" mentally, so that we can look at death through the lenses of God's Word. Proper Biblical preparation can prepare one to actually anticipate death as Paul had a "desire" to depart and be with Christ rather than staying behind.

    The Bible also speaks about the "sin unto death" and that we are not to pray for a brother who has committed that sin. I think that your scenario may refer to that sin. Willful sin by a brother who does not respond to chastening and so chastening terminates in physical death. This sin is a manifested known sin or else John could not instruct them not to pray for such a brother in regard to that sin. I have known brethren who erred knowingly and at that point of error things started going wrong in their life (chastening) and yet they persisted on and sickness or some other calamity eventually took their physical life. It is a fearful thing to fall INTO the hands of the living God in regard to chastening especially if unheeded.
     
  3. HAMel

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    Judith..., I am of the opinion that the only prayer(s) that count are those prayers of praise. Nothing wrong with asking for what we need but He already knows what we need. Prayer is all about Him. If someone is dying from cancer then they are dying. They might get a few extra weeks or months the result of prayer (how do we know) but they are still dying. Miracle healing? Like on TV? ...there will be a special place for these folks after the smoke clears.
     
  4. Crabtownboy

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    Our model is the Lord's prayer. It is not all praise, not is it all asking for something.

    All prayers are answered, but not all prayers are answered in the way we would like. Paul prayed for the removal of the 'thorn in the flesh' and received the answer 'No', not the answer he would have most liked.
     
  5. JamesL

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    From what I've seen, most people spend their prayer time asking for relief rather than grace.

    God til Paul "My grace is sufficient for you" and Job said "Though He may slay me, yet I will trust Him"

    We are to do all things to the glory of God, even praying. Too many times, people seek relief for the sake of relief, not for God's glory.

    If we don't desire to see God glorified in answered prayer, then it is a vain prayer from the start - even if our "need" isn't a result of sin.

    But this goodness of God we seek.... I think Americans have it backward most of the time. God wants us to draw near to Him and trust Him. Our difficulties bring that about. When we are at the end of ourselves.

    Additionally, this incessant seeking of relief on this earth denies a most fundamental aspect of our faith. This body is sin-wrecked. It's getting weaker, and it will eventually die. But we're supposed to have a hope of resurrection. A renewal of all things when Christ returns.

    Where is this hope found in the constant begging for this life? Is God glorified when we neglect the hope found in His promises?
     
  6. plain_n_simple

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    When we pray in the Spirit, we pray the correct thing every time. When we pray with the mind, it's a crap shoot.
     
  7. Zaac

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    If we are listening and responding, can prayer ever be in vain?

    Scripture tells us to In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Prov. 3:6

    I believe this is a very tenuous line ( the way the OP is framed) that we perhaps should never approach. Part of discipling people is to train them to take everything to the Cross of Jesus Christ.

    No prayer is too small.
    No prayer is too big.
    The God Who is the Alpha and the Omega is big enough to handle them all.:thumbsup:

    Prayer is connecting with God. It doesn't matter for what we're asking for God is going to answer how He answers. What matters is that we ARE asking.
     
  8. Judith

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    Yes but some prayer (requests) are sinful and satan hates to have sin pointed out.
     
    #8 Judith, Jan 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 22, 2015
  9. plain_n_simple

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    That is why we pray in the Spirit. You cannot go wrong when you do.
     
  10. Judith

    Judith
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    Prove that with scripture.
     
  11. plain_n_simple

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    Ephesians 6
    16 Above all, take the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

    17 And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God,

    18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints.
     
  12. plain_n_simple

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    Jude 1
    20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
     
  13. plain_n_simple

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    Romans 8
    26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

    27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
     
  14. Judith

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    If you read my post you would have seen I was actually saying, even though I never used those words, that praying in the spirit was the only way to pray correctly. I did not use those words because of several reasons. One is that some people try and make it mean praying in tongues. Those people are seriously deceived and I did not want to get into that discussion. Also I was trying to point out certain errors in praying. For those who want to know and learn what it means to pray in the Spirit look here.
    http://www.gotquestions.org/praying-Spirit.html
     
  15. plain_n_simple

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    Praying in the Spirit is praying in the power of the Spirit. You can pray with your mind, or thoughts, and presume it is the Spirit, but it is not the Spirit.
     
  16. Judith

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    You have said nothing.
     
  17. plain_n_simple

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    It is tongues. But pray as you feel led to.
     
  18. Judith

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    Anyone who prays in a tongue prays in sin because they do not know wat they are saying and Paul makes it clear that is wrong.
     
  19. plain_n_simple

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    By all means if that's what you believe do not attempt it!
     
  20. Judith

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    I seek to never attempt anything from satan.
     

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