Q.

Someone told a terminally ill friend of mine, a believer, that she should demand a healing from God to show she meant business and also to demonstrate boldness “before the throne of grace.” Have you heard such a thing, and is this advice Scriptural?

A.
Yes, I have heard of the practice of demanding things from God, but I don’t believe it is Biblical. It seems like the type of advice that Job’s wife and friends would have given that patient sufferer of the Old Testament.

Hebrews 4:16 states,

Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need (NKJV).

This verse is a wonderful promise and comfort to us, but we must differentiate between boldness and bossiness. Boldness and humility go hand in hand.

We must always remember that we do not deserve anything from God. Some people don’t believe in eternal punishment because they say it isn’t fair. However they do not understand mercy and grace. Actually it is Heaven that is unfair; all who go there will do so undeservedly. Hell, in contrast, is the fairer place: all who are there deserve it. The rest deserved it, too, but escaped by God’s grace.

The same principle is true in regard to physical health or material possessions. We don’t deserve any of it. Surely we are denying God’s sovereignty if we take a brash attitude in these areas, and it may approach blasphemy. How much better it is to commit ourselves to God’s will and perfect ways and to accept that what He has for us is best. God can answer with “yes,” “no,” or “wait awhile.” He doesn’t need to be swayed by an impudent order from us concerning what He should do. And He won’t be. In fact, to attempt to force God’s hand is to invite divine discipline.

If we understand the requirements of answered prayer, we don’t need to demand something from God: In quietness, we can bring our requests to God in Jesus’ name (John 14:13); pray for God’s will, not our own (Romans 8:26, 27); believe (Matthew 9:29); abide in the Lord and not allow sin into our lives (John 15:7; 1 John 3:22); and pray with thankfulness (Philippians 4:6). God will listen to those who do things His way. We must also remember that unconfessed sin hinders answers to prayer (Psalm 66:18; James 5:16).

Do you have feedback or a Bible question to submit? Send to nolson@garbc.org or mail to Norman A. Olson in care of the Baptist Bulletin, 1300 N. Meacham Rd., Schaumburg, IL 60173-4806.

Reprinted from the Baptist Bulletin (May 1999).
© 1999 Regular Baptist Press. All rights reserved.
Used by permission.