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Quick Snack -- Faith Versus Usurping God's Sovereignty

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"And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. -- Matthew 6: 5-6 (ESV)

False teaching often leads to poor Christian habits. One of those I want to briefly discuss today is praying in the past tense. Largely, this stems from the false word faith heresy, which teaches that our words have the same power of creation as God's words do. The Bible says that God called Abraham a father of many nations before he was because He is the God that calls things that are not as though they were. Why is that? Because God is above all time so He was able to see in the future that Abraham was going to be a father of many nations. We have no such power beloved. We are not God. We are not little gods. We need to get over ourselves but it is so difficult when so many false teachers bring gospels that are all about you. An example of past tense prayer is as follows:

"Lord we thank you that Suzie is healed in Jesus name!"

Except Suzie has not been healed yet. I understand the desire may be pure here. Many have learned that this is akin to praying in faith. You must believe what you pray! That is a poor understanding of Scripture. Faith is believing God can do something -- not that He is bound to. There is this word that people throw around in Christianity called sovereignty. That means God is sovereign. He is King and Lord. He decides what happens and what does not. When we pray as if God has already done something we desire, even if that something is pretty benevolent, we are actually robbing Him of His sovereignty. God still can say no beloved. Not everyone gets what they want. People do not get that dream job. Some Christians lose their homes. Suzie sometimes does not get healed. True faith is praying and still believing when the answer is no.

Things to consider are that we might shipwreck someone's faith if we declare things are done instead of asking for them to be done. How does Suzie and Suzie's family feel about God and His church if the healing does not come and you said it was already done! Secondly, this type of prayer is not helpful in developing the proper relationship with God. We need Him beloved. He does not need us. We are dependent upon Him. To petition God in our need strengthens our reliance upon Him and thus our relationship with Him. This brings us to point number three -- praying like this develops self-faith. You declared it and it came true! Hallelujah! Look how mighty I am! I mean God"right? Lastly, it feeds our carnal desire to be seen and heard. Modern day charismania is all about a showy spirit. Look at me! Look at me! When you pray as if you already decided what the answer is you are drawing attention away from Christ to yourself. This is what Jesus taught against in the key verses. Do not pray to be seen by others! Does this mean we are never to pray in public? Of course not but those prayesr most of all need to be bathed in humility beloved. In and of itself is this a huge deal? Probably not but bad habits lead to other bad habits just as a little leaven leavens the entire lump. One bad habit stream I want to stay out of is usurping what belongs to God.

Rev. Anthony

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Credentialed Minister of the Gospel for the Assemblies of God. Owner and founder of 828 ministries. Vice President for Goodwill Industries. Always remember that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and are called according to (more...)
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