Last week we started studying prayer here at Grace Bible Study. If you’ve been a Christian for very long, you have already heard plenty of lessons, sermons, and devotions on prayer. There is no doubt you have probably purchased or been given prayer journals or prayer promise books. A trip to the Bible bookstore reveals scores of books and devotionals on this subject. If you go to a traditional denomination, you have probably never considered studying this subject according to your Apostle Paul’s instructions. Rightly dividing prayer is a practice that is altogether foreign in teaching about prayer today. Have you ever stopped to look at the references in your prayer promise book? Have you ever read the context of all the prayer “promises” you are taught belong to you? Most people would agree a Christian should pray according to God’s will. Why then is the prayer promise book you are reading filled with verses given to God’s covenant people Israel? The Bible is clear that God has an earthly people with earthly promises and a heavenly people with heavenly promises. I understand this does not “preach” well, because we would rather ignore all the references that clearly refer to Israel and claim all those promises for ourselves. How can you sell a prayer devotional that explains the truth that all those promises you are claiming don’t belong to you? Rightly dividing the Bible as we are instructed to applies to every subject in scripture. Rightly dividing also clears up all the struggles between the denominations about those subjects. Every prayer book must include a section on “Unanswered Prayer.” Why I ask? If you read the prayer promises clearly in your prayer journal, you would see that Jesus clearly says just the smallest bit of faith can move mountains. Why then do we need the section on unanswered prayer? Here’s why, every Christian struggles with many unanswered prayers. How could the prayer to heal a dying child be ignored by God? These are the times when the prayer books fail miserably to explain unanswered prayer. These are the times when the prayer journal provides no help whatsoever. These are the times when the Christian’s prayer life seems to be stopping at the ceiling. A foundation built upon Pauline truth, and the purpose of prayer in the dispensation of Grace answers these questions. These are not the answers you want to hear, and these are not the answers you want to believe. I understand you want all those promises of healing promised to Israel at times like this. You can understand prayer, and you can pray according to God’s will. You can also understand how a Christian is to pray today as a member of the Body of Christ, but you will never know any of these things until you learn to divide the promises given to God’s covenant people, and the promises given to God’s heavenly people the Body of Christ. Calvinism has infiltrated every facet of Christianity but it shows up mostly in your prayers. You pray for guidance then look for circumstances in this sin cursed world around you for the answer. Maybe instead of looking around you, you should look into God’s word because his will is clear when the Bible is rightly divided. A Godly prayer life if found written in God’s word by following the pattern left for you by your Apostle Paul. A life of continuous unanswered prayers are in your future when you continue to follow Israel’s prayer promises.
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 revelation of the mystery delivered to the Apostle Paul