I have been studying how to pray the way Elijah prayed in order to get the same kind of results he got. The book of James warns about being double minded. It’s important to know who we believe. II Chronicles 7:14 and the Lord’s Prayer demonstrate some solid guidelines but though I follow those instructions there are times when my prayers are not answered the way I desire. That is why I want to go deeper regarding this matter.
We must understand that when God’s instructions seem to fail us it is not because He has failed to be clear or concise. The problem will always be found on our end. Most likely, we are lacking His wisdom (James 1:5) or possibly still have too much of the world’s ways distorting or blocking truth. Having the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth is essential for any kind of success. Amen?
With that said, let’s take a look at God’s initial instruction for answering our prayers in 2 Chronicles 7:14. “If my people, who are called by my name will humble themselves…” Clearly, humble is a condition. We can see that humility was demonstrated in Luke 11:1 when the disciple asked Jesus to teach him to pray.
So, are you humble? Don’t be too quick to answer that unless you understand the scripture definition of that word.
Let’s take a look at a few scriptures that can help us know if we possess and exhibit “humility” as God defines it. These verses are not all inclusive but rather a small example available that will give you an idea of where you are.
Scripture describes a “humble” heart as:
- One who understands dependence upon God.
In Joh 15:5 Jesus said, I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. (KJV)
In Luke 11:1 the disciple depended on Jesus to learn how to pray.
James 4:7 says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Without dependence on God who are we depending on?
Are there any areas in your life where you haven’t depended on getting God’s thoughts?
Another example of “humble” is characterized:
- When one’s heart trembles before God’s Word.
Isaiah 66:2 says, “But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.”
Does it have an effect on you to know that God sees what you think or say?
A “humble” heart is also expressed:
- When one willingly owns up to sin.
In Isaiah 6:5 Isaiah cried out to God in acknowledgement of his uncleanness because he realized that his sin would destroy him. He wanted God’s cleansing and as a result, God forgave him and commissioned him for service.
Are you concerned about your sin, even if it seems to be little?
A “humble” heart is evident:
- When one is willing to acknowledge human weakness so that Christ can show Himself to be strong.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says that God’s power is perfected in our weakness and that it is in our weakness that He can be strong.
Do you let God’s power show up when you’re weak or do you deny Him the opportunity to show up and be strong for you?
Scripture indicates the fact that “humility”:
- Has the fruit of obedience.
In Judges 10:15-16, the Israelites cried out to God, “We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to You; only please deliver us this day.”
If we continue to read we will find that they put away foreign gods from among them and decided to serve the LORD. Israel had been holding on to their foreign deities and were worshipping them. God suffered through that time but was ultimately able to teach them a valuable lesson about Who had the true power. When He proved Himself to them they repented and put their false gods away.
Have you put your trust in gods who are powerless to deliver?
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.
A “humble” heart is expressed when:
- One values the welfare of others ahead of its own.
Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others.”
Do you willingly sacrifice so that others can be ministered to? (This does not mean to enable another! We’ll go over that in a few weeks so if this area is a struggle for you…help is on the way.)
One of the most telling examples of a “humble” heart is evident when:
- A person exhibits the role of servant.
Jesus said in Mark 9:35, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.”
Are you here to be served or is your life about serving others?
A “humble” heart is:
- Submitted to the will of the Father.
Luke 22:42 “Lord, not my will but Yours be done.”
Is your heart submitted to do the will of the Lord?
With this Biblical definition of the word “humble” see if there is enough evidence to prove you, humble! If not, begin taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and see what a difference it can make.
Know that if we fail to humble ourselves, first, we may never get the answers we are hoping for no matter what else we may do.
People can be so familiar with their needs and desires that they just rattle off their list. They actually expect Him to hear and answer as if He was Santa. When they fail to get what they ask for they fail to see the problem coming from their end and blame God for letting them down. The same people most likely fail to listen in their other relationships, as well. (That topic will be covered here soon.)
You get the point!
Our God is worth getting to know! Learn to listen to His wisdom and with all your getting…get understanding. (Pro. 4:7)
Blessings to you,