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2005-02-28_0857-25

If a Christian prays for someone to be healed, and the person isn’t healed, whose faith is it that’s lacking?

D. A. Carson wrote about two Jewish men talking on the night of the first Passover. This is a paraphrase: One man said, “I know that you are trusting completely in what Moses said, that God commanded us to put the blood of a lamb on our doorposts so the destroying angel would pass over our households tonight and spare our first-born sons, but you have several sons. I have only one. I’m afraid.” The other man replied, “God will do as He has said. Do not worry.” Carson asked, “Which father’s son lived that night?” Carson answered, “Both. It was not the quality of their faith that saved them. It was the quality of the sacrifice.”

In a related way, believers often wonder if it’s the poor quality of their faith when people aren’t healed when they pray. True, sometimes, people are healed. Most of the time, however, they are not. This mystifying quandary has led to some strange considerations and supposed solutions. Let’s review a few.

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2009-02-22_1157_Church

This is the last installment in this series on what we are praying for when we pray “Your kingdom come” in the Lord’s Prayer. This post will address what will happen after Jesus returns, and what lies ahead for those who are His followers. These scriptures speak for themselves. The fact that most of us haven’t heard about them, talked about them, or even thought about them should be a matter of repentance and prayer.

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2009-02-22_1157_Church

We’ve been looking at what is seemingly an innocuous part of the Lord’s Prayer: Your kingdom come. All too often, we simply pray this without giving the implications of our prayer a second thought.

One thing a Christian is praying for is a time of deception.

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2009-02-22_1157_Church

Last week, we looked at Jesus’ warning about the days that would precede His return. The concerns about wars, rumors of wars, and earthquakes may dominate our thinking, but the first thing He said about what will happen during that time to come was, “See that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and they will lead many astray” (Matthew 24:4–5).1

And, we also considered this question Jesus asked: “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8).

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2009-02-22_1157_ChurchLast week we looked at the problematic aspect of praying to the Father, as the Lord directed us to do in the Lord’s Prayer, that “Your kingdom come.” Praying this way means that one of the things that must happen is that the “rebellion,” or the “falling away,” or the “apostasy” must occur (2 Thessalonians 2:3). As I wrote at the end of the last post, this is not good news. Here’s why.

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2009-02-22_1157_Church

I’m writing this post in light of the recent Easter bomb attack in Pakistan, which killed around seventy Christians and injured hundreds.

However, this article is not specifically about that tragedy.

It is about the Last Days.

And the Lord’s Prayer.

What do these three things have in common?

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In this series of articles, we have been looking at this question: How does a Christian pray for the Church, when the Bible is clear that it will become apostate before Jesus returns?

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In this series of articles, we are looking at the issue of how to pray for a Church that will, according to Scripture, fall into apostasy. How is a Christian to pray? In order to help us, we have been studying Daniel’s prayer for his people, who had fallen away from God, in Daniel 9.

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In the last post, I brought up the problem I experience about praying for the Church during the Last Days. How does one pray for a Church that will, that must, go into apostasy or rebellion—because that is what will happen before Jesus returns (2 Thessalonians 2:3-4).

When one intercedes for a Church destined for apostasy, a tendency may arise in us to pray in terms of “us” and “them”—the apostate folks and those who are not. The pray-er, of course, does not consider himself an apostate. However, this presents a problem. Who are these apostates, after all? What criteria must they meet?

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Confession time. I have been perplexed about how to pray for the Church in these last days.

Please allow me to explain.

The Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus told us to pray, includes this statement of agreement with God’s will:

“Your kingdom come. Your will be done.”

We are to pray for God’s kingdom to come.

How do we do that? What I mean is, when I pray “Your kingdom come,” I am praying for Jesus to return, because He must return for the Kingdom of God to be established on the new earth. In order for God’s Kingdom to be established, many difficult events must occur.

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