No Arm-Twisting Needed

Old Treasures on Tuesdays!

Bible, child reading

“And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him” (Matt. 6:7-8, NKJV).

Earlier this week, my six-year-old Lily had to have some dental work done. At first, she was so nervous about it that she had tears flowing down her cheeks. However, she gradually managed to calm down completely. She ended up coming through the experience rather cheerfully. I told her that, as a reward for her courage, I would let her pick out a new toy from the store (on me, of course).

Now tell me. If you had to guess what happened next, do you think Lily started to beg me for a new toy from the store? Did she get down on her knees and implore me to please consider purchasing a gift for her? Did she ask me five hundred times to consider her case?

Nope. She simply waited in eager anticipation for the fulfillment of my promise.

Let’s pull this principle over to the spiritual realm. Once Daddy has promised us a good gift, do we need to beg Him for it? In the passage above, Jesus lovingly explains to us that we don’t. When we know how good our Daddy is, our posture in prayer will flow spontaneously from that knowledge. It will look a lot like Lily’s joyful expectation of the good things to come.

“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us — whatever we ask — we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15, NIV).

Yes, this is the confidence that is ours. How, though, do we know if a certain petition is in alignment with His will? If a promise is revealed in the Scriptures, then it’s most definitely His will. We can pray accordingly, with robust certainty. Here are a few examples:

  1. And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19, ESV).
    → Implication for our prayer posture: We don’t need to implore Him to meet our needs. Instead, let’s lift up a simple, “Daddy, we need to pay the rent this month. I am entrusting this need→ into Your hands. You will supply all of our needs according to Your riches in glory! Thank You ahead of time for the way You are going to take care of this.”
  2. “And great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all” (Matt. 12:15, NKJV).
    → Implication for our prayer posture: Jesus didn’t turn a single soul away. Healing is in His core nature. We can pray with simple trust according to His revealed will: “Daddy, Jesus is the exact representation of Your nature. He came to show us what You are like. He healed everyone that came to Him. I believe You want to heal me because You love me so much, so I’m asking You to do so.”
  3. The Lord says, ‘I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you’” (Ps. 32:8, NLT).
    Implication for our prayer posture: We don’t need to talk Daddy into giving us wisdom for the critical decisions we face. We don’t need to plead. He is joyfully ready to supply it in abundance. Instead, let’s nestle in and pray, “Daddy, You are full of passionate intentionality about getting me to my destiny. I trust You to lead me every step of the way ahead. Please make it clear to me what You want me to do.” Then release the burden of your decision to Him. Joyfully know that you have what you have asked.

Dear child of His, prayer is meant to be a joy, not a burden. As we fellowship with Him, His heavenly supply of strength, peace, encouragement – and everything else we need – flows freely from His beautiful heart to ours. Let’s be those little ones cuddling in His lap. That where He’s invited us to be, today. And always.

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What Scriptures do you love to use as you pray?

Listen to the podcast version of this devo here!

9 thoughts on “No Arm-Twisting Needed

  1. I love this, Jennifer. And I love praying His Word. One thing I will say about that Promise of His healing though, is that it doesn’t always come in the shape we expect it to. Sometimes (as with my Mum) that physical healing comes in heaven and sometimes He uses physical affliction to heal and restore our relationship with Him (as He has been doing for me and as He did in the last 5 months of my Mum’s life.

    After my Mum went to heaven, I laid out my anger before God that He let her go through that and that He did not heal her – even though I palpably felt the peace of God upon her, the horror of her illness (glioblastoma multiforme- brain tumors) physically deeply impacted me, as flashbacks returned to haunt me, where I felt, smelt, saw and heard death in the room she took her last breath: my parents’ bedroom. But as I layed out that anger at God not healing her, and making her suffer, and dared Him to show me in His Word that life was worth living and that those who follow Him aren’t condemned to a life of suffering and death, I opened my Bible to these Promises in John 6:35-40 (MSG) and cried and cried and cried as He restored my mother’s body before my eyes and promised me He wouldn’t let me go:

    35-38 Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own agenda but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.
    39-40 “This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.”

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    1. Precious Anna, I deeply understand your perspective on this matter. But I also will share that I honestly believe He really does want to heal us all physically. The reason that I believe this is that the Word tells us that Jesus is the image of the invisible God. As He said to Philip, if we want to see the Father, we look at Him. If we want to know what God is like, we look at Jesus’ earthly life, because He came from the Father to make the Father known to us. He is the exact representation of His being. And Jesus healed every single person that came to Him. Without exception. There is not a single story in the gospels of Him telling people that their illnesses were good for them. He healed them all. Immediately. Every single time. This is the exact image of our Daddy God, the exact representation of His being, of who He is, our Healer, Jehovah Rapha.

      I am also keenly aware of all the heartwrenching instances of precious children of God not getting healed. My beloved grandfather died of colon cancer. Every one of us alive has stories. I was listening to a message by Bill Johnson this week that had such a good point. He was talking about the story where the disciples could not get the little boy delivered of the demon. Bill said that story is there to show us what we should do when we don’t get the result in prayer that we know is His ideal: we should take Jesus aside and ask Him what we need to yet learn, to see the answers to prayer that we are yearning for. And Jesus gave them the instruction they sought, so that they could in the future walk more in the fullness of the supernatural as He did. He did so in tones saturated with love and compassion and patience with their development process. He does the same for us, just where we are.

      I share this with utmost compassion, not at all an expert. My own faith to see people healed has grown over the years, but has so much further to grow. There is zero condemnation in my heart towards my own faith level or anyone else’s. We are all in process. Jesus never, ever, ever, ever condemns anyone for where we are at in the development of our faith. But the more that I go after growth in this area, the more healings I see.

      Right now, I have three different physical issues that I have been contending in faith for some time, to see God’s healing manifest in my body. I have experienced a degree of healing, and I will not give up until I see the full manifestation of His promises in my body. I have a wonderful book that is helping me so much, 365 Days of Healing. Each day is a devotional to build up my faith for healing. They are so good, so life-giving!

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      1. Thank you for your deep desire to bless me in the revelation of the Father through His Son. I am so sorry for the earthly loss of your grandfather. May God continue to comfort both our hearts in those losses. My Mama went to heaven 8 years ago now. She would have turned 68 on the 15th of this month, had she not gone to be with Jesus, but praise God she now lives free of all pain and sickness and is cheering us all on from the cloud of witnesses.

        I wanted to reply to what you shared this morning, but God brought to mind the Scripture He had given me to pray this morning:

        “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.
        John 14:1 NASB1995

        I then saw that His desire was for me to only reply once my heart was settled fully on Him. So, I prayed for Him to lift away the agitation I felt, by persuading me to put my faith in Him – even if that meant laying down my convictions if these convictions were indeed not rooted in His Word.

        As I waited on Him, He brought these Scriptures to mind:

        Isaiah 53:5 NKJV
        “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes, we are healed.” (NKJV)

        And this one:

        John 20:29 NKJV
        Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

        And this one:
        John 14:12 KJV
        Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.

        I have prayed for strangers and seen God heal them fully physically. I believe in His complete physical healing. And I believe in this even when I do not see it before me, because His Word tells me we are in fact already healed in full, even now.

        In the meantime, He has been showing me how He has been using my illness here on earth to close doors on my striving, fixing and prideful desires, to open doors of His leading that are healing my heart and revealing His true nature to me and through me to others, as He leads me to repentance daily. He is uncovering and giving me the true desires of my heart: to know Him more and more and make Him known more and more. This illness and God’s call to lean into His power for me is taking me places I never would have ventured otherwise, where I am meeting the souls of His choosing who are making me weep at His compassion and His joining and His healing in our midst.

        So thankful to God for you, Jennifer. Even your post today and the question you posed was truly God’s affirmation of His Word to me through that physical example of His divine completion in His timing. And this post of yours was God’s invitation to come to Him and let Him root me even more deeply in His love.

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      2. With all my heart, you are welcome, dear sister! I rejoice to know that He would use it in His beautiful process in your heart and life. Truly He does work all things together for our good. And, I feel His nudge to tell you, that I will add your physical healing to my prayers. Since He is putting it on my heart to tell you that, I know that He will be bringing you to my heart during prayer times for this purpose. You are so very loved!

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      3. Thank you for your prayers, Jennifer. I woke up thinking of you last night and thought about intercession for the Body of Christ manifesting in our physical bodies. I wondered if God is also speaking to you about those three areas in your own body needing healing, being healing He desires to gift the wider Church. I meet weekly with an elderly woman and see such spiritual significance in her physical ailments too. What she went through as a little girl in the church and in her own family is unspeakably evil and I see Jesus drawing so near to her in her seeking now and affirming His Voice in her. She almost died a couple of weeks ago. But God is surely preserving her in His breath of life.

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      4. Thank you Anna for thinking of me. This is a thought provoking comment. I will ponder it with Jesus in my prayer time, thank you! And how beautiful that you are able to have such regular prayer tmes with our sister. They must be so precious to both of you.

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      5. And He’s asking me to add this verse He gave me also:

        But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that day what has been entrusted to me.

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