Expect Answered Prayers
When the dream of God becomes the most important part of our lives, a culture is formed that enhances our purpose for being. This is what brings us into our greatest possible delight.
The dream of God is to be discovered and embraced until it becomes our dream. And at least in part, that dream is that Heaven would come to earth. Sound impractical or impossible? Not to Him. It’s in His heart, and it is well within His ability to complete, even through the finite efforts of those yielded to His purposes. It is our privilege to join in this endeavor by co-laboring with Him and watch Him add His wisdom and power to our prayers that we follow with simple obedience.
Assigned by God
The Bible frequently speaks of the responsibilities given to those who follow Jesus. But there is one assignment given that is so large, so all encompassing, that every other commission aligns its purpose to the fulfillment of that one. Perhaps we could call the other assignments sub-points to one major point. Each commission is vital and important because it serves the greater purpose. And the fulfillment is the realization of God’s dream through the cooperation of those made in His image.
Our assignment as believers is a mandated focus that is to influence our relational journey with God. This becomes most evident in the discovery that our commission is to pray. And that prayer has a specific focus that is to become a vital part of our fellowship with God. Simply put, in the context of drawing near to our Father in worship and interaction, we are to lift up our voices, declaring, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
The assignments to evangelize, to work miracles, to care for the poor, the widow, the orphan, and the like are all practical expressions of this one major task—God’s will fully manifest here, with Heaven as its source, model, and inspiration.
This task is not possible if we only discover the principles of God and follow them. Heaven itself thrives on the presence of God. Our commission is only possible with the increase of the overwhelming atmosphere of the glory of God that increases as we pray our assignment with faith. Those prayers must be followed with the risks necessary to display His will on earth. If there is any confusion on what that will looks like, look at how Jesus displayed the heart of His Father in His interaction with people in need, namely by eradicating disease, torment, and sin. Jesus Christ is perfect theology. And it is our privilege to illustrate the same reality that Jesus carried. Jesus declared it so when He said, “As the Father sent me, I send you” (John 20:21).
The reality of His world is so great that its effects must be anticipated in a way that can be measured. Our perception of unseen realities is powerfully influenced when we experience His presence. For this reason, He says, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). What and how we see will always be influenced by what we experience.
We cannot allow ourselves to live in theory only. We do this whenever we embrace a routine of prayer, without expecting an impact on the here and now. It is not wrong to look for evidence that our prayers are answered. If we become accustomed to praying prayers that aren’t answered, we tend to settle for living in the realm of theory. Many resort to pretending they are being effective in their prayer assignment, looking only to eternity to measure success. Heaven/eternity is far greater than our wildest dream. But because of that greatness, we tend to hide our unbelief there, without any expectation for breakthrough here in the present. Whenever we do this, we rob ourselves of the personal strength and joy that was intended to be our possession as the result of answers to prayer. Answered prayer is God’s design. We suffer in the long run when we expect our prayer assignment to be fulfilled in Heaven only.
The Original Commission
I love to study the commissions of God in the Scriptures. They all add something to the overall theme of the divine purpose for mankind. But it is the original commission that has really left a mark on my thinking, and therefore on…
To read more, download your FREE copy of The Greatest Commission, a feature message from Bill Johnson's forthcoming book entitled The Way of Life.