Michael Pearl: All right. Jared is here with his little camera. We're going to answer some Bible questions. I need a place to sit down. Well, I'll just sit on this ladder here, Jared. Never stand up when you can sit down.
I'm Michael Pearl, and this is the house I've been building. It's kind of a rainy day, and I'm working up here by myself today. So Jared has followed me up here with the camera, and going to answer some Bible questions for you.
So what's the first question you got there, Jared?
Jared: In first John 5:14, it says: "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us:" Does this mean when we pray we need to add, "Thy will be done, " or else God won't respond to our prayers?
Michael: OK. [laughter] that's a good question. When Jesus prayed, he did say, "Not my will, but Thine be done" in the Garden of Gethsemane, but because it was in line with what he was asking, which was to let the cup pass from him, trials that he was going through, the Lord's prayer ... it's really not the Lord's prayer. It's the prayer he gave us on how to pray.
There was no, "if it be your will" at the end of that prayer. Now, the question is would God fail to hear you if you didn't tack on the right phrase at the end of it. God is a whole lot broader minded than we are, and he's got a fatherly heart towards us. In other words, God is [laughter] is not into formulas.
He's not going to shut his ears if you don't have knowledge of the right thing to tack on the end. I mean if you don't say, "in Jesus' name" "OK. I'm not going to listen to that prayer, "and if you don't say, "according to Your will" "OK. I'm not going to listen to that prayer God." That's not the way God is.
In fact, the Bible said he answers us with groaning which cannot be uttered. That means that all you got to do is groan in God's direction with a heart that's needy, not even knowing what your need is, and God answers that prayer. The Holy Spirit takes that prayer, and like a diplomat ... I'll give you an example.
I've got a secretary that if I'm answering a letter, I will dictate what I want to say, and I might say, "Tell them to take that and stuff it." [laughter] "I don't give a flip about that."
When she writes it to the person, she will say something like, "Mr. Pearl says that, at the present time, he is not interested in continuing this dialogue."
I'll sign that letter, but that's not exactly the way my original was. What she's doing is making my letter diplomatic and saving face for me, maybe; even making it legal, the thing that she would write. So that's her job, to take my letters, and make them presentable.
Now, the Holy Spirit does that for us. When we pray, the Holy Spirit takes what we say and dresses it up, corrects the grammar, corrects the approach, takes what's in our heart, and puts it into a package, and delivers it to the Father, and it's a beautiful prayer.
So I wouldn't worry about tacking that on. Now, far as our attitude is concerned, how do we think about our prayers, if we think of prayer as sort of this unlimited resource, that anything we ask, God gives us, that'll never happen, never has happened.
For instance, Apostle Paul, on his missionary journeys, wanted to go to Macedonia. God didn't do it, and he wanted to go somewhere else, God called him to Macedonia. Paul had a sickness. Paul was the one who when he was preaching, a kid fell out the window and died, then Paul went down, and raised him from the dead.
He's the one who when he was stoned to death, and they threw his body outside the city, he came alive and went back into the city. Paul is the one when the poisonous snake bit him, all the people stood back to wait to die, he just shoved it off in the fire, and kept on going, and didn't die.
Yet, the Apostle Paul, when he prayed, "God, I've got this infirmity if the flesh. Please take it way" no answer. So a few months later, he gets in a really distressed state of prayer, and I can imagine he a fasted a while, and he says, "God, please take this away in Jesus' name, "...no. God, didn't answer his prayer.
Third time, he prayed the same prayer again, then a couple of years later, "God, please take away this infirmity of flesh. You know how much I could serve you if I didn't have this? You know how much pain this causes me, how much suffering, how much public embarrassment? God, if you just deliver me from this, I'll ..." ... no answer. God didn't answer him. Did he not pray the right prayer?
He says if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. Prayer has got to begin God, His will, and then God works in our heart and spirit, and stirs us to pray. When we pray according to His will, then he hears us. Now, if we don't pray according to His will, he won't hear us, or if we just fail to pray ... it's His will, but we just fail to pray, then he won't answer the prayer.
Heard this story one time, this guy got to heaven and he says, "God, how come you didn't answer more of my prayers?"
So an angel took him to a big warehouse, great, great big warehouse, gigantic thing. There were all these boxes sealed up, different names on them. He said, "What are these?"
The angel said, "These are prayers that you never did pray, and these are answers. You never asked. I had all these blessings for you, had all these things. You never asked."
So a lot of things, God would do we just never bothered to ask him about, but then he said you ask to consume it up on your lust, he says he won't answer that prayer. So we need to pray according to God's heart, God's will, and what God would have us determine what is God doing and do it with him, rather than finding our own will and asking him to help us. Find out what He's doing.
It's like if I were to hire someone to come help me on the house ... and which I do. I had a kid last week help me every day. So he gets over here. He gets into a pile of two‑by‑fours and he starts cutting them all four feet long.
I said, "What are you doing?"
He says, "Well, I'm cutting these four feet long."
"Why are you doing that?"
He says, "Well, I just thought maybe we could."
I said, "Wait. Wait a minute. Those two‑by‑ fours, I got another purpose for those two‑by‑fours. Don't cut those two‑by‑fours up."
"I'm just trying to help."
"Well, you wait until I tell you what to do, then you cut the two‑by‑fours."
So God's that way. God's got a plan. He's got a plan. It's his job. It's his project. We can't just run in and say, "Hey, let's build a room out here. Hey, God, we need a house here. Let's build a house here. Let's build a church here."
Is it God's will?
You say, "Well, ask anything according to His will, He hears us, and I think that His will ..."
Well, you think it's His will. Find out what the will of God is, and help God, and you'll get all your prayers answered that way.
All right, Jared. That's a pretty good question.
Announcer: If you would like to ask a Bible question, email us at [email protected] or call at 931‑805‑4820.