By Samuel O. Doku (Washington, DC). The first lady of Amazing Love Church Ministry Int’l, Evangelist (Mrs.) Mildred Ntemi delivered the message on this morning’s prayer line, and it was on the appropriateness of prayers for the Lord to respond to them. The theme of her message was praying with the right motive, with James 4: 1-11 informing her delivery.
In these verses, James complains about the weaknesses in us humans that create insecurity, strife, tension, unhappiness, and doubt in us, which we transfer on to others. Among the weaknesses are greed, covetousness, and hedonism. “You want something and do not have it, so you commit murder. You covet something and cannot obtain it, so you engage in disputes and conflicts.
“You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive because you ask wrongly in order to spend what you get on your pleasures,” noted the blessed woman of God as she read James 4: 2-3.
She continued: “Easter is a special and an important occasion; it’s the time when the word of God became true because the Lord died to save us from our sins to give us life. When he said on the cross, ‘It is finished,’ he paid the ultimate price for our sins, our sufferings, our problems. As Christians, we are not supposed to experience poverty, sickness . . . but we do. Why? It’s because you are not asking for the right thing. If the motive of your prayer is selfish, God wouldn’t answer you,” said Evangelist Mildred.
“Matthew 7: 7 says, ‘Ask and it will be given you; search and you will find; knock and the door will be opened for you.’ Take evil and selfishness out of your heart. Learn to pray for others; bless others and God will also bless you,” noted the first lady.
She singled out Zebedee’s wife, mom of John and James, who out of selfishness wanted to know from Christ if he would allow her sons to flank him in heaven. To that, Christ told her it was not his decision to make. “Bear in mind to ask with the right motive. The mother of John and James had the wrong motive when she asked. When you are sick and God heals you, do you return to praise him and give him the glory, or you go to drink; you visit a night club, or you indulge in gossiping,” stated Evangelist Mildred.
She reminded those with a spirit of covetousness that each human being has his or her own talent to exploit so praying and asking God to give you what someone has or be like someone, could come with the possibility of God not answering your prayer. “Your destiny is different. God doesn’t answer covetous prayers. Ask God to lead you to your destiny if you feel you’re not on the right path. Perhaps, your prayers are not answered because your heart is full of evil.”
She quoted Psalm 34: 13-14, “’Keep your tongue from evil, and your lips from speaking deceit. Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace and pursue it.’ Sometimes we fall short of God’s glory because of what we have in our hearts. When Christ said, ‘it is finished,’ he meant it for the pure-hearted and the merciful. Confess your sins and ask for forgiveness. Ask God to cleanse you,” said the lady evangelist.
Evangelist Mildred also asserted that sometimes God doesn’t respond to our prayers because we may either not be ready to receive what we have asked for, or what we are asking for might not be good for us, so in that instance, God will give us what we actually need, not what we want. Probably God wants you to be a pastor. Ask in humility; you can’t be at a crossroad. You are either hot or cold; you can’t be lukewarm.”
The hot or cold allusion is in reference to people who become frustrated because they feel God has deserted them, so they resort to shamans to see if their problems could be solved. To those, she said, “God is the only solution. He should be the only ONE. There should be no Plan B as a Christian. God must be Plan A, Plan B, all the way to Z. Also, learn to put others ahead of you; it’s humility. Christ comes first, but if you put others before you, Christ would exalt you.”
Praying and asking with a good motive, the blessed woman of God noted, is akin to Solomon, who when God gave him the opportunity to request anything at all from him, he asked for a discerning spirit so that he could understand the Israelites and govern them effectively. Because Solomon’s motive was good, God added wisdom and prosperity to his request. “God gave Solomon a blank check; God gave him more because of his good intentions.”
She emphasized the bad habit of some Christians, who after being at the receiving end of God’s blessings, refuse to give back. In an analogy, she said, “Those Christians who refuse to give back are like the farmer, who refuses to reserve some of his produce after harvesting to sow during the following planting season. Similarly, when you are in business, and you make profit, you re-invest the gains for the business to grow. There is rejoicing in heaven when one soul is won, so don’t forget the goodness of the Lord and give back.”
The blessed woman of God reiterated that Easter is a season of reflection and wondered if Christians give enough glory to God. “Jesus Christ was wrongly accused, betrayed, beaten, spat on, insulted, ridiculed and died for our sins. Do we want all that to be useless? Pray to God to come through for you, for where sin increases, grace is even more abundant,” stated Evangelist Mildred.
She mentioned the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt to accentuate the divinity of grace over sin and noted that the Israelites doubted Moses and sinned against God to the point of their worshiping idols, but God still came through for them. “Saul who became Paul killed, but still, God used him. How much you who have not killed?
“Let’s make Easter very meaningful. Let’s love one another, care for one another. Let’s not be jealous or envious of one another. Let’s meditate on his word and search our hearts with sincerity and humility, and God will come through for us,” concluded Mrs. Mildred Ntemi.