Motives of Prayer

June 30, 2015

James 4:3
When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

Motives of Prayer

It is said of Jesus in Hebrews 7:23-25, “Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” When Jesus intercedes for us what do you suppose His motive to be?
When we pray, what is the focus of our prayers? Of course when we pray and seek the Lord we all want to be favored and blessed and receive our petitions from the Lord, but to what end.? What are our motives in the things we pray and cry out to God for? If we think of God as a celestial Santa Claus to whom we come with all our needs and request to be met for our personal gain, we’ve missed the heart of God. Prayer is about seeking the heart and will of God.
If prayer is like a checkbook with an unlimited supply of resources and wealth, and it has been given to us, how will we write the checks? Will most of them have our name on them or are they written to benefit others we see in need? When God sees that our motives in prayer, intercession and petition aren’t centered around us, but others, do you think He might feel compelled to meet your needs as well? Selfish is never the heart of God and selfishness in us will always pervert the ways and means of God. God exemplifies Himself selfless in His giving. He doesn’t even give to us because we deserve it, He gives because that is His nature which flows out of love. He delights in His people that have this same heart to give and bless. His desire is to bless us so that we can in turn bless others. If we pray and seek with wrong motives then how can we truly pray in Jesus’ name. Jesus says in John 15 and a few other places, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” Jesus says He will give us what we ask in His name, but what is the prerequisite? “Go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” The name of Jesus speaks to the character and nature of God. If we pray outside or contrary to His nature then should we be surprised if our prayers are not answered. Jesus wants to empower us through power in His name to establish and perpetuate His will and His kingdom in the earth. It is one of the next principles He teaches us in the Lord’s prayer right after He establishes the position and the holiness of the Father. Jesus said in John 8:28, “So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am [the one I claim to be] and that I do nothing on my own but speak just what the Father has taught me.” Prayer is our avenue to carry out the Father’s will, not our own. We want our prayers to never stem from selfish motive, but to be one with the Spirit of God that prays through us. It is when we have the heart of God, the intercession as priests of Jesus and the motivation to pray in the character and nature of His name that we will see our prayers be fruitful, because we seek the fruit that will last; His kingdom come and His will being done in earth as it is in heaven.

Blessings,
#kent

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Isaiah 28:16
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner [stone], a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

That Upon Which All Sure Things are Built

Every well-built building and lasting structure began with a plan and was established upon a sure foundation. God’s house is no different, for He is that master designer and builder and He has laid a foundation stone in Zion. Upon this stone is established His creation, His house, His purpose and His plan for the ages. He purposed that in Christ all that is lasting and eternal should be built. We know that Jesus Christ is that chief foundation and corner stone. While He has often been rejected of men, God has selected him and all that God is establishing is built upon Him. Without Christ we are missing the essential corner stone to build and establish a meaningful and close relationship with God, for God is in Christ reconciling, restoring and building His temple. It is that temple which we are as His people, living stones, being conformed to the image of the chief corner stone and built up into a holy habitation for God’s own dwelling.
1Peter 2:1-10 tells us, “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. 2Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 3now that you have tasted that the Lord is good. 4As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by men but chosen by God and precious to him— 5you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” 7Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone ” 8and, “A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 9But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. 10Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Throughout our lives we are constantly living, building and growing into who we are as a person. We must carefully choose the foundation upon which we build and add to it every decision that directs and establishes who we are and what we are becoming. If we have missed building each precept of our lives upon that chief cornerstone, we may have a weak foundation that is subject to failure and fault, but if we carefully, obediently and willfully choose Christ to be the forefront and foundation of all that we do, we also will build a sure house; one that will stand in the day of storm and testing. Let us choose well the foundation upon which we establish our life, our values and our purpose.

Blessings,
kent

Friendships

January 8, 2013

Proverbs 17:17
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.

Friendships

Through life many seasons come and go,
In that time many people we get to know.
Through our hearts and lives relationships pass.
Many will fade, but others will last.
Rather we know them for a moment, a season or more,
No matter how long they may be here for.
May their lives be richer for having crossed our path.
May we have spoken words of life that last.
Kent Stuck

When we think back through our lives at all of the people that we’ve known, some we knew as casual acquaintances and others we may have been very close too. As we go through those seasons of life and all of the demographics that change, we see most of those people and know them only for a period of time. Some we will reunite with and many we never will. When we stop to think about the brevity of life then it impacts us how short it is and how important it is never to take our opportunities in our relationships for granted. Just as we have no assurance of tomorrow; we have no assurance that a relationship or friend will be there tomorrow.
One of the things that I get bored with quite quickly is just small talk. A certain amount of it is necessary and useful, but so much of our relationships are spent talking about things that don’t really matter or have any eternal value. As believers we want our conversations to seasoned with the words of life, hope and the things that are eternal. We understand that not all of our friends or acquaintances are at that place, but with Holy Spirit discernment and direction we should endeavor to flavor our conversations with those things that speak to the eternal and the lasting. Our life and our actions are the testimony to who we are and what we represent. Some may be turned off by that, but others will be drawn to us because of it. We are not in this world to please people and by the same token we are not here to recklessly offend them either. I believe God wants us to be sensitive to where people are at in their journey through life and endeavor to meet them where they are at, in love, not just mindful of where we at. Relationships are not just about us. They are about our opportunities to communicate Christ, in His various attributes, to others in a way that they can hear and receive.
The apostle Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:22, “To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.” Paul’s sole purpose in relating and befriending people was to stain their lives with the blood and the love of Christ, but he used wisdom as to how he could relate with them. So many times Christians have an arrogance, self-righteous and condescending attitude that is demeaning to others that are not like them. That is not the Spirit of Christ, that is a religious spirit. Christ came down and was planted under the earth that He might get under us and lift us up to where He is. ‘He didn’t come to condemn the world, but that the world, through Him, might have life.’ We are to be like him. He didn’t aspire to gain the approval of the righteous and the religious, he aspired to relate with people where they were at in their lives.
May God grant us the wisdom to have the heart of Jesus and Paul that people would know that when they have been with us, they have been in the presence of Jesus, because Christ is so much a part of who we are in our love and our demeanor. May their lives be richer for having crossed our path. May we have spoken words of life that last.

Blessings,
kent

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