Claiming or Accepting

This week I have been challenged afresh as to my approach or attitude to God in prayer. There is a whole new teaching out there that we have to “name it and claim it” before God and at first, I was not sure if it was just me, my upbringing or what it was that makes me feel that claiming something is demanding it! I can”t imagine me being very pleased if one of my kids had named and claim something before I even gave it to them. Is that not just a little presumptuous? I would think my child was disrespectful if he demanded his rights, and I certainly don”t want to spend time and effort being disrespectful in prayer, yet neither did I want to miss something if it was important. I decided to look into this further.
I guess the first prayer to look at is the one taught by Jesus Himself to us. The model prayer in Matthew chapter 6 is full of respect and yet clearly states what we want God to do for us and in us, according to what He has promised, but also in direct relation to what we have done for others. “Thy will be done,” it is important to remember that we pray and ask according to His Will. “Give us this day our daily bread” (He has promised to provide our daily needs and we can expect He will provide in His way.) “Forgive our debts as we forgive our debtors,” I wonder how much claiming we can do on this one, as it is always easier to ask God to forgive us than it is to forgive someone who has wronged us.
I note this name/claim philosophy especially in the area of healing. When someone we love is sick then of course we want to claim every promise Christ has made for their healing. That is true! We can and should plead for them in prayer, but in a humble manner, not demanding that God answer our prayers, our way, but rather in the way which will bring the most Glory to Himself.
The Apostle Paul, was one who asked God on three different occasions to remove whatever was afflicting him. Yet, God chose not to, but rather told him that, “My Grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-9. Sometimes we can glorify Him better with our debilitation, as He gives the needed strength to carry it and to use it for His glory.
If Jesus could ask his Father to remove the cup of suffering from Him and then accept God”s Will as perfect, who are we to think we can do different? Knowing the answer would be that He had to die bearing our sin, did not however stop Jesus asking for it.
We are to “ask and it shall be given us (according to His Will), seek and we shall find (sometimes what we find might be peace in acceptance), knock and it will be opened unto us (humbly and pleadingly knocking, not barging in and demanding.) Matthew 7:7
The Shorter Catechism, which being brought up in the Highlands of Scotland, I was privileged to learn from, teaches that “Man”s Chief end is to Glorify God and enjoy Him for ever”. Larry Crabb in his book, Finding God ‚Äì isn”t that Attractive, writes, that as Christians we have changed the teaching from this to, “the chief end of God is to gratify people.” How sad!
I know this is a huge subject and don”t be surprised if I come back to it again as I work on it. I want God to answer prayer in many ways, dramatic ways, assuring ways, but most of all I want Him to be glorified, in even my prayer life. Let us ask, believing, taking comfort from His Promises and having the deep assurance that He has it all in control, and will work things out according to His Will for our greater good.

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