How can we know that God hear our prayer?
Those who publish and sell books of prayers are looking to fill their own belly. From time to time I will get one of these in my email. They are so calculated and cunning that they could almost fool the elect of God. We read one of these that have us near tears we often make the assumption that all involved in the scenario meet the personal and general requirements set forth in the scriptures. Satan and his angles can so easily wring us out to dry. We get caught up in the moment and often never stop to think this is designed to make merchandise of us. Consider what the scribes and Pharisees had done with the Law of Moses when Jesus came. In Matthew 21:12-16 we read that Jesus went into the temple, which was to be the worship place under the Law of Moses. When we read the scripture we know what he found and we know what he did to correct the situation. When I read that section of scripture I often think of the many prayers and other material on television and radio and the Internet. Almost every one of them will at some point reveal what they are really after, a money donation. How is that different from what Jesus found? My intent is not to discourage prayer, but to examine myself and ensure that I am not practicing the forbidden thing. I consider myself a student of the Bible and I seek to rightly divide and correctly apply the truth of God's word.
In My examination I considered Psalms 66:18, of the Old Testament under the Law of Moses. The Psalmist wrote "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me". Then I ask what did he mean by that? The Hebrew Dictionary defines iniquity as to exert oneself, usually in vein. There are a lot of vain things mentioned in that definition. I next looked at heart 3820 In the Hebrew indicates self will and even the intellect. I think that the message is that a man must have a clean heart and his desires must be within the will of the Lord.
Examination of my motive for prayer leads me to review what Jesus had to say about the personal requirements of the person-seeking blessing through prayer. Matthew 21: beginning at verse 17. Jesus cursed a fig tree and that lead to a lesson to those with him on the power of faith and prayer. Let us not forget or overlook the fact that the Bible tells us that Jesus had just cleansed the Temple. Another man or woman will reason: this is the New Testament and they had a temple so it is all right for us to have worship Temples today. Let us remember that while Jesus walked on earth the Old Testament and the Law of Moses was still n effect. This is what the cleansing was all about. Men today like then have decided to help God by adding a lot or requirements and changes to the Law. Thus Jesus found a Temple where animals were sold for sacrifice and money was exchanged for the purpose of purchasing the sacrifice. We must read and under the requirements for a sacrifice to be acceptable to God. Then we will understand why Jesus was upset. Several places in the Bible the nation of Israel is figuratively spoken of as a fig tree. Careful reading of the passage indicates that the tree was in leaves before it was time for figs. This could be confusing until we realize that fig trees in that region produce figs first then comes the leaves. That is why Jesus expected fruit to be on the tree. Today if we expect our prayers to be answered we must have obeyed the Gospel.
Jesus went on to instruct the disciples with him on asking and having faith that God will deliver. Some take this to be a blanket statement that anyone can ask and God will grant the petition in his or her prayer. Let us not forget that the disciples were set-aside from the other Jews. We might say called out to the teachings of Jesus. They had been ordained by Jesus to lead the development of the church. The scriptures were written that we might believe that he was him who purchased the church with his blood. Somebody claiming to be a Christian said well I don't like what Christ taught, he was too harsh or people will not come to our church if his name is on the building. There are no Christians without Christ. I don't know what they are but I know that they are not Christians. Many people will read Mark 16:17 because they try and use it to support their sect teachings. However, they overlook the crucial part of that Chapter. Mar 16:16 He that believethG4100 andG2532 is baptizedG907 shall be saved;G4982 butG1161 he that believeth notG569 shall be damned.G2632 Mark 16:17 was fulfilled in the life of those he spoke to. Read the Bible
. . That was not some future promise for man today. That proved that the church belongs to Jesus. To think otherwise is to be as a fig tree with leaves and no figs.