Prayer – Always Answered

[The father said to Jesus,] “Often it has cast him [the son] both into the fire and into the water, to destroy him. But if you can do anything, have compassion on us, and help us.”

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Immediately the father of the child cried out with tears, “I believe. Help my unbelief!” Mark 9:22-24 (WEB)

One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!”

But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Don’t you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” Luke 23:39-43 (WEB)

Prayer that comes from my heart is rarely pretty – except to God’s ears!

The father gives Jesus the gory details of how his son has suffered.  His son doesn’t have a little ‘twitch’.  His seizures throw him into danger!  The father doesn’t even know that Jesus is God – but – he’s desperate!!!  The father says “if”.  Have you ever prayed – asked God for something and said – if???  Have you ever felt like you asked God for something so big that you also had to ask for more faith?!  Absolutely.  The Good News is – Jesus threw out the demon who was tormenting the boy and he – was – healed!!!

In the second Scripture, Jesus and two other guys, criminals, are being crucified.  Roman crucifixion was not pretty.  In fact, it was disgusting and demeaning – even horrific.  It would be ‘X-rated’ if it made it to the television/movie screen – if it was authentically done.  With nails driven through flesh and their bodies hoisted up on a cross, the two guys on either side of Jesus start up a shouting match.  Go figure!  Even in the midst of His human suffering, Jesus answers an important though not-so-pretty prayer.  “Remember me, Jesus!!!”  Jesus assures the guy who has spoke his belief (was it ‘pretty enough’ to satisfy your question of whether the man was ‘saved’?) that not only will He remember the guy – Jesus won’t be watching from a comfortable place in paradise while the other guy is roasting in hell – Oh, No!  Jesus assures the man the he will be with Him in paradise! Better than a Five-Star hotel!

A pleasing prayer to God has a single qualification:  It comes from my heart.  There is no blanket of self-righteousness but a humble righteousness from Jesus – another gift!  Words frequently fail me but my prayer will not fail because God sees my heart.  I’ve even turned my office chair around and pulled up a chair and said, “Jesus?  Have a seat.  We need to talk.”

With Jesus as my first love, I know that peace and comfort-ability that comes from His Spirit and shows me that I have my Lord’s ear.

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