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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

 

April 1, 2013 - "Aladdin" Prayers

By Scott Harrup

According to the fairy tale, a poor beggar named Aladdin frees a powerful genie imprisoned in a lamp and gets to wish for anything as his reward. Throw in a magic carpet, a beautiful princess, fabulous treasure, and a song or two, and you have a Disney cartoon.

Whimsical storyline aside, who doesn't identify with Aladdin? We all play a mental wishing game, piling on imaginary wealth and influence and eliminating all problems and responsibility.

It can be tempting to allow an Aladdin frame of mind to invade our times of prayer. A number of New Testament promises, when taken out of context, even appear to justify the practice.

Give some thought to how you approach statements like the following:

"You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it" (John 14:14, NIV).

"Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name" (John 15:16).

"I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name" (John 16:23).

As with any passage of Scripture, context here is everything. John 13-17 is a detailed record of Jesus' teaching at the Last Supper. Jesus was not promising His disciples unlimited wish-fulfillment through prayer. He was promising God's faithful presence and action in the disciples' lives after Jesus returned to heaven.

From the disciples' point of view, the pronouncement that Jesus was going to leave them was tragic. They couldn't imagine life without Him. Jesus wanted them to understand that life without His physical presence was really going to be better than anything they had experienced up to then.

Once the cross was behind Him and His resurrection became an eternal reality, Jesus would be present in a spiritual sense all the time. And, because of His sacrifice, the disciples and anyone else who accepted Him as Savior would enjoy total fellowship with God the Father and the Holy Spirit as well.

The end result? Guaranteed answers to any prayer offered "in Jesus' name" — in other words, prayers offered in the authority of Jesus himself. But we have to remember that Jesus always prayed in humble obedience and with God-honoring motivation.

Let your prayer life explode with possibilities beyond anything Aladdin might have wished for. Catch a vision of how God wants to use you to minister to people around you and see them come to Christ. A soul rescued for eternity is of greater value than any amount of treasure.

— Scott Harrup is managing editor of the Pentecostal Evangel and blogs at Out There (sharrup.agblogger.org).

 

 

 

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