We have been studying prayer here at Grace Bible Study for some time now and are starting to think about moving on to something different. I started this study with the statement, “right division of the Bible applies to every subject in scripture”. Paul’s pattern for proper Bible study clears up an immeasurable amount of confusion. Prayer is a subject that comes into proper perspective when studied properly. We have been taught in denominational Christianity to pray Israel’s promises and to expect Israel’s earthly answers. The Bible cannot be clearer that Israel’s blessings all relate to the earth and the promises that relate to the body of Christ are heavenly and spiritual in nature. Scripture tells the body of Christ we already have “all spiritual blessings in heavenly places” (Eph 1:3) which is where God already considers us seated, (Eph2:6) but we can’t help but want what God only promised to Israel. The “name it and claim it” mentality and the foolish idea of “pleading the blood” sound plausible because the preacher is quoting scripture as he misleads those not willing to “study to show themselves approved unto God.” (II Tim 2:15) Prayer in scripture is always according to God’s will. I love the story of Elijah praying to hold back the rain, and God answers this prayer. How many people actually know that God had specifically told Israel that one of the ways he would specifically judge them for not following the law was to hold back the rain? (Deut 11:16-17) Elijah’s prayer was answered because he was praying according to God’s revealed will, and God reveals his will to us in the Bible. Today we must still pray according to God’s will, and God has revealed his will to us in Paul’s 13 epistles. The contrast between Pauline prayer and how Jesus taught Israel to pray is unquestionable. If you want the answer to your unanswered prayers, you should study Paul’s prayer life because Paul didn’t pray like you do. In Herbert Lockyer’s book “All the prayers in the Bible,” he quotes E. W. Moore on page 238 with this statement; “it is a remarkable feature of Paul’s prayers that they are all conceived on the highest plane of spiritual living. Temporal matters, though they most certainly have their place in intercession, are not prominent-indeed are scarcely contemplated here.” Both Lockyer and Moore are perplexed at the drastic change in the prayer pattern we see in Paul’s life. Paul, after asking God to remove his thorn in the flesh was taught that prayer has changed in the dispensation of grace. How much clearer these men could have understood prayer if they first understood how to rightly divide their Bible. This was perplexing to them, but it’s as clear as day to someone who understands that every subject in scripture must be rightly divided to be properly understood. Our prayer life is a very personal thing. There is a very clear reason Christians struggle with unanswered prayer, and the answer is clearly revealed by your Apostle Paul. You will not learn this vastly important fact from anyone that does not rightly divide God’s prophecy program from God’s mystery program. Unfortunately, leaving Israel’s prayer promises to Israel does not preach well.
Steve Schoenberger is a student of the Bible and the teacher at Abundant Grace Bible Fellowship, A Mid-Acts Dispensational Bible church teaching the Bible rightly divided according the the revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul