God’s Channel of Blessings

There is an incident in Luke 5:12-15 that I think people should pay more attention to because it answers some basic questions for us concerning our needs being met by the Lord and our relationship to Him. This event is not a parable. It is an actual event which reveals something wonderful for us.

Prayer is our way of communicating with God. In scripture, He assures us that He hears our attempts to talk to him and request those things that we need and for Him to deal with situations that only He has the power to solve. The scripture sets some parameters on prayer. James 4:1-3 reveals some things that will keep one’s prayers from being answered. We are told “Ye have not because ye ask not.” The following verse, v.3, adds to our information when scripture says, ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” These verses tell us that asking is necessary for a prayer to be answered.

The great preacher of yesteryear, John Haddon Spurgeon, related a dream he had one time. In the dream there was an angel which took him to a great room filled with innumerable filing cabinets. Each one had many drawers in them. And each drawer was crammed with documents. Spurgeon asked the angel what was the meaning of all these filing cabinets and all those documents filling the drawers? The angel responded that all the cabinets filled with documents are the prayers that God had answered for him in his life. The angelic being then showed him a much larger room with many more cabinets filled with a many, many more documents. Spurgeon again inquired as to what this all meant as well. The angel said, “these are the prayers God wanted to answer for you but you never asked Him for them.” Here in v.2, we learn that we must ask or request something of God before He will grant us our desired petition. So, we must ASK.

Verse three tells us why we don’t get an answer. It is because we are asking for a selfish reason and if we do that we are “asking amiss.” It is something for us. The object of the prayer is focused on the wrong thing. If the prayer were answered there would be no glory for God in the answering. When we pray we should remember that, if in answering our prayer, God will bring glory to Himself, He is more likely to answer it. If the answer brings glory to us or if it is asked in a selfish way, it is more likely not to be answered. But we must remember also that God answers prayer on His timetable at the proper time. We have no idea when that is but we do know that if a prayer is for the proper reason with the proper focus, it will be answered. But remember also that nothing can be answered unless something is first asked. Also, we must not use prayer to ask God to get us out of some jam that we got ourselves into out of sinfulness or stupidity. I know a man who had tremendous credit card debt. There was no way he could pray and ask God to get out of his debt that was acquired by foolishness. So, if he prays and asks God to save him from his creditors, he should not be surprised when he does not get the result he desired. But, then he should not blame God for his own foolishness and stupidity.

In Luke 15:12-15 there is a perfect example of what we want to look at. Here is this poor man covered with leprosy. He was a despised person with the most serious condition of his day. There was no way to be healed from leprosy unless his healing was divine and this is a case of a divine healing of leprosy. We don’t know the number of years this man had leprosy but it must have been for a long time because he was covered with it. The Bible says he was “full” of it. He had no hope. No one wanted to be near him. No one could or would touch him. He was isolated. But, then Jesus happened by and hope abounded. He humbled himself falling on his face and imploring Jesus. This desperate man said: “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me whole.” He showed submission, faith and helplessness and at the same time he expressed confidence in Jesus and His ability to heal him. This was not a rote prayer like most people pray today. He expressed confidence and appealed to Jesus showing Him and others that Jesus was the only hope. Then, Jesus said “I am willing, be cleansed.” He put out His hand and did what no other person would do: He touched the man. Scripture says immediately the leprosy left the man. He was healed of this dreaded disease.

This man did not simply say, “heal me.” He said “Lord, if you are willing you can make me clean.” He had simple faith in the ability of Jesus to heal him. He made a request, not a wish or a demand. It was a request based on the ability of Jesus to do what he said he could do. It was also based on the fact that the man was hopeless but he knew Jesus was his hope. His faith was strong.

Prayer is not an open channel through which God gives us gifts and that only. It is God’s channel through which He can have a conversation with His own creation. It should not only involve supplication (asking for something) but it is a time of praise and worship. Just think, a lowly human is able to have conversation with the creator of the universe. God created us for fellowship with Him but most people use this thing called prayer for asking him for more things with which to make our live lives more like we want them. When you pray, thank God for His love for you and for all his blessings. Ask Him to help you to be a blessing to Him. We are always asking for blessings but do we ever think of being a blessing to God. What a concept! We can be a blessing to the creator who put everything in place! Millions of constellations filled with trillions of stars all shout His Glory. We are but a small microbe in the vastness of all of creation, but God wants to talk with us and fellowship with us. Amazing! Don’t let the opportunity pass you by. Exercise this great privilege of prayer! It will become a necessity to you the more you put it into practice. Paul says to pray all the time, pray earnestly, pray in every situation. Don’t ever give up the privilege of fellowshipping with the Father through prayer.

I must also say that there are times when God blesses us by not answering some of our prayers because we are very adept at asking for things that God would say “no” to. In fact, if He answered some of our prayers we would not like what we would get ourselves into if God gave us our request. His wisdom is so great that He knows what is best for us all the time. Some unanswered prayers are a great blessing to us and we might understand that later in life.

Remember, when you pray, pray boldly. God can do anything but most of the time we don’t do what the Bible says we must do and that is to ask the Lord to display his power and glory to the Glory of the Father. Sometimes, God answers immediately as with this man with leprosy and sometimes we have to wait for our answer but He will answer when He sees the time is right.

William F. Harrell

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