Finding Gods Favor in an Unfavorable World
What does it mean to have God's favor? We all know that God loves us because God is love. But does this also mean that we automatically have favor with God? You may have heard that God is no respecter of persons which means everyone starts out on the same level playing field with God. But does this also mean God will answer prayers from everyone equally? Sometimes you hear of people who receive answers to their prayers almost instantly while others pray and don't receive answers at all. If God is no respecter of persons why would some receive God's favor, while others do not? The scriptures seem to answer this question. God requires us to have an attitude of faith and expectancy. Not just a faith that we believe in God, but a faith that no matter what we are facing, we just know God will be there to handle it if we are willing to hand it over to him. God also wants us to have a relationship with him and be obedient to him. Along with obedience, he requires we live righteously which means that we are not deliberately sinning in our lives. As humans we will commit sins and as Christians we will feel convicted if we do not repent. However if we choose not to repent and continue sinning we are blocking our chances of finding God's favor.
Moses is a good example of someone who had gained God's favor. Not only that, but he was like a close friend to God. Moses was really an Israelite baby who grew up as a royal prince in Egypt. He could have ignored his roots and had all the wealth, power and favor of a royal family. But Moses couldn't turn his back on the Israelites, feeling connected to them because they were his family. So after killing an Egyptian soldier he fled all the wealth and power to follow God. This pleased God because Moses had chosen to walk in faith and have a close, obedient relationship with him.
God expects us to have a relationship with him too. I know you are probably thinking 'I go to church and say my prayers at night'. But that is not enough. We are created in God's image which means that God feels things like we do. He is not some robotic power that takes in requests and spits out results. Let me ask you a question. If you knew a kid who only spoke to you outside of school and in the company of their parents and yours, but never acknowledged you in school- how would that make you feel? What if they asked you to do them some favors? Would you be inclined to do them favors or would you feel hurt that you were only spoken to because their parents required it of them. Well, it's the same with God. He lives in you (hopefully) which means he knows your heart and who and what is important to you. If you only talk to god (pray) when it is required of you or when you happen to have a spare moment to think about it, then you do not have a relationship with him. He is inclined to answer prayers and grant requests for those he has a close relationship with. But how do you have a close relationship with God, the almighty creator of all things? Well, it's not as hard as you may think. You probably already have close relationships with some friends. You probably spend lots of time with them talking,laughing and sharing your dreams or fears. Maybe you run to them in times of sadness or happiness so you can be consoled or have someone to share your joy with. Well it's not much different with God. He also wants to be the one you talk to, share your dreams with and run to in times of sadness and happiness. This is called relationship and it's the same with your friends as it is with God. We need to be in a state of prayer all our lives. Not that we need to be saying a formal prayer, but just talking to him all the time.
However so many of us put God up on a 'shelf' and don't go to him unless it's a tragedy or some colossal event in our lives. God wants to be there for that but, since he loves us so much, he also wants to be there for the not so major events in your life. If you continue having trouble with a relationship with God and feel separated from God, please see the page called "Steps to Salvation" to remove that feeling of separation. Because God cannot hear those requests from those who are separated from him.
God wants to answer our requests if they are declared in faith without any unbelief or uncertainty. Trusting God is a form of obedience. You see God likes to reward us when we come to him like little children just trusting that he will take care of things(Romans 8:28). However there is one way we can be sure he won't listen to our prayers. That is when we whine and complain about our problems to him. When we do that it's like he sticks his fingers in his ears singing la,la,la and cannot even hear our requests.
We also have to live righteously. All this means is choosing to act obediently and purely. James 5:16 says the earnest heartfelt prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available. God expects us to abide in him which means that we are obeying his will and direction in our lives. When we abide in him then we can ask whatever we wish and it will be done. That's pretty powerful isn't it? But how do we know if we are obeying his word and not sinning. Well it's easier than you may think. Have you ever done something and felt a heaviness or tightness in your chest. That is God telling us that we are sinning. Sometimes we are not actively sinning but we are not being obedient to what God has asked us to do. 1 John 3:20:22 says that we have to listen to our hearts and if our hearts do not accuse us(or make us feel guilty) then we can have complete confidence before God. And since we are obeying him and his commandments then we will receive what we are asking for.
Finally, we need to specifically ask for what we want. Why would God require us to specifically request something? Doesn't he already know our hearts and what we need?
So why do we have to give a detailed prayer account to the all knowing creator of all things? Well I'm glad you asked. You see God wants to make sure that when we do receive our prayer request that we know it was really from him and not some coincidence. When we receive an answer to a specific prayer request God wants the glory and praise for providing what we asked for. We all want to receive thanks or acknowledgement for what we have done. So does God. It's really important that we keep a heart of thanksgiving and gratitude when he has granted our request.
If we make a decision to expect less of God than what he is capable of giving us, then we get what we ask for. But if we make a decision each day to be bold and with confidence say "I've got the favor of God" and its causing me to be chosen for teams or special projects. I have favor to do well at school or work and even for unexpected opportunities to come my way. Just keep believing, keep praying and releasing your faith and keep declaring that you have God's favor and you will!
Ruth 2:10-13 Romans 8:28
Genesis 6:8-9 Job 10:12
Recommended resources for kids:
Favor- Teen Resources
© Beth Rimstidt 2005
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