It always astounds me, what people pray for. Most pray for a miracle that involves physical healing or financial rescue. Very rarely does anyone pray like Jesus prayed, which was to go Home as soon as possible.
If you truly love God, you want to be with him in Heaven, because that’s where we’ll see him as he is. While we’re yet on Earth, we’ll likely only perceive him as Spirit, but in Heaven things will be completely different. We’ll be able to walk with God the way that Adam walked with him. We’ll be able to talk to him one-on-one and face-to-face, and we’ll be able to touch him and hug him (and yes, dance with him, if the spirit moves us).
If you truly love God, you don’t want to spend another minute in this valley of shadow and death than you have to. You’re not praying to stay here longer; you’re praying to get the heck out of here. That’s how you pray if you truly love God: You pray to do his will, you pray to follow as closely behind Jesus as you can, and you pray to go Home.
The world is not a welcoming place for born-again believers. Jesus warned us we’d have problems here, and so we do. What else can we expect, since the world is under Satan? The world will never magically change and become like Heaven. It will, however, change to become more and more like hell on Earth. That’s the satanic mandate. That’s where the world and all those who treasure and put their hope in the world are headed.
Jesus told us that where our treasure is, there will our heart be also. If we treasure God and want to be with him, our heart will be with God in Heaven. It won’t be on Earth or on earthly things. Our sights will be much higher. We won’t be praying for a long, prosperous, and healthy life in our human body; we’ll be praying for whatever it takes to get Home so that we can claim our perfected eternal body.
Some people reading this will be like “But, but, but… Jesus always healed people. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to be doing, too?” Jesus healed people who believed he could heal them, that’s true. But his purpose in healing them was to bring them back into alignment with God’s will, as they’d strayed off the path (as evidenced by their illness). Born-again believers shouldn’t be straying off the path or having to be brought into alignment with God’s will. And if we do stray, we should be self-correcting, with the prompting of God’s Holy Spirit.
Ultimately, what casual Christians pray for is inconsequential. God admits that he doesn’t listen to people if they come to him unrepentant, backslidden, proud, presumptuous, and demanding. But what we born-again believers pray for is critically important. Our prayers (the prayers of the saints) ascend directly to God. We have God’s ear 24/7, if we choose to. So what we communicate to God has eternal consequences.
Jesus admitted that he didn’t pray for the world but only for those in it who were God’s. In other words, he prayed for us born-again believers, the one true church on Earth. He prayed for our protection, but more importantly, he prayed that we would have the same relationship with God as he’d had during his time here. He prayed that we’d have the same intimacy with God and share the same love, and you know that Jesus always got what he prayed for because he prayed God’s will. Our intimacy with God and our love for God should be prompting us to pray to be where God is, not to stay here on Earth. It certainly is prompting me to pray to go Home.
One of the main reasons why God made us to love him was that we’d want to be fully with him, both spiritually and physically. He made us so that our desire to be with him would be stronger than our desire to be with his imperfect and decaying creation. The only place we can be with God both spiritually and physically is in Heaven, so that’s what we should be praying for: to go to Heaven.
Next time you ask God for a favour, ask him to take you Home at his earliest convenience. You wanna bet that Jesus prayed for that favour morning, noon and night. He knew what was waiting for him in Heaven, and he couldn’t wait to start his eternal life. We should be looking forward to our heavenly reward with as much fervour as Jesus did. If we’re not, we’ve got some serious soul-searching to do.
If your daily prayers don’t include a request to go Home as soon as possible, you’re not right with God. Imagine telling someone you love on Earth that you want to be with them, just not now or any time soon. That wouldn’t happen, right? You love someone, you want to be with them in person, one-on-one, and ASAP. If you love God, you want to be with him in person, one-on-one, and ASAP.
That’s the simple truth of the matter.
I hope you consider this the next time you talk to God. If you’re genuinely born-again, your prayers have eternal consequences. Make sure you pray like Jesus.