About Jesus - Steve (Stephen) Sweetman
Over the decades I've
heard people say that prayer changes things.
To be precise, it's Jesus who changes things, or, perhaps decides
not to change things. Whatever
the case, if we can bring ourselves to admit it, many prayers we pray in
church don't get answered, and here is one reason why. Read
Matthew 18:19 and 20.
truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask
for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or
three gather in my name, there am I with them."
quick reading of the above verses suggests to most that when a small
gathering of believers meet together Jesus is with them to answer their
prayers. I suggest that a
contextual study of these verses, along with defining two Greek words,
context of Matthew 18:19 and 20 goes back to verse 15 where Jesus
addressed the need to restore broken and dysfunctional relationships among
His people. He then said that
whatever we bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever we loose on
earth will be loosed in heaven.
context, the binding is in reference to binding or repairing the broken
dysfunctional relationships. The
loosing is in reference to loosing or leaving broken and dysfunctional
relationships. Both the
binding and loosing that we do here on earth have a direct impact in
heaven. This tells me that our
relationships in church determine how heaven can or can't work with
church. Restored relationships
enable Jesus to work with us. Broken
relationships inhibit Him from working with us.
our English word "agree" in the phrase "agree on anything
they ask for" is translated from the Greek word
derive our English word "symphony," as in a symphony orchestra,
from this Greek word. Simply
put, believers living in symphonic harmony, where dysfunctional
relationships have been mended, can anticipate Jesus answering their
prayers when prayed in His name to accomplish His, not our, will.
English words "gathered together" in the phrase "gathered
together in my name" are translated from the Hebrew word
"synago" which is inserted into the Greek text.
This word implies a community of people living in harmonious,
supportive, and functional relationships.
If two or three of these people get together, Jesus gets together
was not saying that when a small gathering of Christians come together He
will be with them answering all of their prayers they agree upon.
No, He was saying that when broken relationships are restored, and
when there are as few as two or three believers living in symphony-like
harmony, He will be with them to answer their prayers that accomplish His
might want to keep this in mind the next time we gather in a poorly
attended meeting. Agreeing on
a prayer request yet existing in dysfunctional relationships accomplishes
little to nothing, and thus one reason for unanswered prayer.