These are notes on the sermon, Can I Ask God To Prosper Me?, preached by Pastor Joseph Prince on Sunday, 10 May 2020, at The Star Performing Arts Centre, Singapore. We hope these sermon notes will be an encouragement to you!
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Today, we celebrate all mothers. Blessed Mother’s Day to you!
During this time when the government has put in place extensive stay-home measures to curb the spread of COVID-19, instead of letting time slip by, we can think of it as a sabbath rest—a time to commune with the Lord.
One way to spend time with the Lord is to read daily devotionals and Christian books.
When life eventually goes back to normal and you look back on this period, you will find that the time was spent fruitfully with the Lord.
Pastor Prince encourages the congregation that while we might not be able to gather physically as a church and be pastored face-to-face, all the pastors of New Creation Church are actively praying for us and pastoring us in the spirit. Pastoring is not just a physical work, but a supernatural work.
The apostle Paul said:
“For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.”
— Colossians 2:5 NKJV
“absent in the flesh . . . with you in spirit” — Though Pastor Prince and his team of pastors are absent bodily (in the natural), they are still pastoring and praying for the church members in the spirit (supernatural).
Even though you might be at home and unable to meet any pastor or leader, you are being loved, spiritually-fed, pastored, and prayed for during these tough times. As a church, we are together in spirit.
Prayer is not confined to the physical constraints of time and space. When you pray, you enter into an unlimited time zone that is spaceless.
Even if you live on the other side of the world, God can reach out to touch you while a pastor prays for you in the confines of his own room.
In prayer, you can travel thousands of miles in spirit and pray for a loved one’s healing, protection, and breakthrough, right where you are at.
Many in the body of Christ today have doubts or reservations in their heart when it comes to prayer, especially the prayer of protection found in Psalm 91.
God wants His people to be established in the truth that we are loved by Him, that He wants us to prosper, to be protected, and to be in health.
The apostle John, who was inspired by God, wrote this:
“Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things, and be in health, just as your soul prospers.”
— 3 John 1:2 NKJV
“prosper in all things, and be in health” — This promise of prospering in all things and being in health is not of John’s own expression, but God’s desire and will for all of us. Every word is God-breathed, and all Scripture is Spirit-inspired.
Prospering in this verse is not limited to one or two areas of our lives only. It is in all things.
The apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians:
“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.”
— 1 Corinthians 16:1–2 KJV
“the collection for the saints” — This is referring to the offering for the saints.
“as God hath prospered him” — The word “prospered” here, is the same Greek word used for “prosper” in 3 John 1:2.
When 3 John 1:2 says that God’s will is for us “to prosper in all things and be in health,” it’s saying that God wants us to prosper in every specific area in our lives, including our health. The verse also mentions “just as your soul prospers,” which means that as a believer who is attentive and listening to the preached Word, it is a given that your soul is already prospering.
In fact, as believers, our soul’s prosperity is part of our character—it is a given that our souls will prosper.
Our behavior might not always measure up, but that’s our personal journey of growth with the Lord. Instead of judging your position in Christ based on your behavior, God wants you to always judge your behavior by your position in Christ! Your position is this: you are the righteousness of God in Christ (2 Cor. 5:21).
When God looks at you, because of Jesus’ finished work at the cross, He sees you righteous in Christ, holy and blameless in Him.
When you pray, pray with boldness and faith knowing that you are righteous in Christ, and never let your behavior affect your position.
It is God’s will that as believers, you prosper in all things. All things include your marriage, your family relationships, your finances, your social interactions. God’s idea is for you to prosper in all these areas, including your health, even as your soul prospers.
It is God’s will for us to prosper in all things and be in health, and our part is to align ourselves with His will by praying it into existence. Just like in 3 John where the apostle John says, “I pray,” we are called by God to pray for these things (see 3 John 1:2).
When you look at Scripture, prayer is not about motivating or persuading God to do something good. Prayer is coming into agreement and alignment with the Word of God, declaring that His will be done as it is in heaven.
What does it mean for us to experience life “as it is in heaven”? In heaven, there is no COVID-19 virus, no sickness, no disease, no shortage, no lack, no poverty. God wants that for us here on earth.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:10: “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”
That is how God wants us to pray: “As it is in heaven, and so shall it be done on earth for us and our families.” If you are sick, pray for God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven. By declaring that in the kingdom of God there is healing, you will receive wholeness in your body.
God’s heart is always to prosper us and to provide abundantly for us. But He does not want us to be miserly, stingy, or greedy.
This is why God instituted the principle of the tithe and offering. Giving breaks the backbone of covetousness and greed, which is the love of money—the root of all evil (see 1 Tim. 6:10).
Notice that it is the love of money that is evil. Money itself is good because we need it in order to be a practical blessing to others in need. Pastor Prince shares how the church is currently being a blessing to humanitarian outreaches and supporting pastors in need.
As the Lord continually provides for us and prospers us, let’s use it to be a blessing to others.
The kingdom of God operates on faith. In fact, without faith, it is impossible to please God (see Heb. 11:6).
There was a woman in the Bible who by faith received complete healing for a chronic hemorrhaging condition that had plagued her for many years. Previously, she had spent 12 years seeking treatment, but she only grew worse.
“When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightaway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.”
— Mark 5:27–29 KJV
“I shall be whole” — Though plagued with a hemorrhaging condition for many years, this woman was certain in her heart that she would be healed, if she only touched Jesus’ garments.
“came in the press behind” — Many people, when they first come to Jesus, have faith about His goodness and willingness to heal, but they don’t know Him personally. This woman was like that, which is why she approached Him and took His healing power from behind. But even though the woman’s revelation of Jesus was not full yet, she knew that He would use His power for her good, to benefit her, and to bless her.
“But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.”
— Mark 5:33–34 NKJV
“your faith has made you well” — Even though it was Jesus’ power that had gone out and healed her of her condition, Jesus credited her faith for making her well.
Faith does not operate by looking at itself. Don’t keep checking yourself to see if you have faith.
Here, we see the distinction between law and grace:
When you look at the differences between law and grace, you will find that grace (the person of Jesus) is much more personable to us.
Coming in person and giving from a distance are entirely different. For example, it matters more when you visit your loved one personally compared to sending a parcel to their house.
There was a time in the Old Testament under the law when God remembered sins to the third and fourth generation, but the cross changed everything. God is a God of His Word, and He has to exercise justice for He is holy and righteous. But at His core, God is love (see 1 John 4:8). Because of His love, He sent Jesus to die for us on the cross for all our sins and iniquities (see John 3:16).
Today, because of Jesus’ finished work at the cross, He judges us righteous in Christ.
This is what the Lord requires of us today:
“He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy (‘hesed’),
And to walk humbly with your God?”
— Micah 6:8 NKJV
“to do justly . . . To love mercy (‘hesed’) . . . to walk humbly” — The word for “mercy” in Hebrew is the word “hesed,” which means “grace.”
In the ESV Bible translation it says:
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness (‘hesed’), and to walk humbly with your God?”
— Micah 6:8 ESV
“to do justice . . . to love kindness (‘hesed’)” — The word “kindness” here is also the Hebrew word “hesed,” which again, means grace.
Mercy and kindness are the expressions of grace. But we are also called to do justice.
For example, leaders in the church who witness a person constantly abusing a family member—despite multiple counsel attempts—have to make a judicial decision in reporting that person to the authorities in order to protect the family involved.
A good judge will always do justice, but in his heart always wanting to show mercy. God is like that—just, but merciful, always wanting to show grace to us. Let us be people who love to show grace and mercy to others.
God wants you to prosper, for He has a purpose for you. He wants you healthy because He called you from your mother’s womb, and He wants you well-able to fulfill your calling.
When you pray for healing and voices of doubt about Jesus’ willingness to heal come to mind, dismiss them! Jesus wants to heal you!
Pastor Prince shares that he understands what it is like to have lost a loved one. He shares how before Justin was born, he and Wendy lost a child to miscarriage, and how that was an extremely painful time for them. However, he believes it was not God’s will for the child to die and even at that time, he still preached that God was a God who healed. He and Wendy then prayed and trusted God for a restoration child. Today, his son Justin is a testimony of God’s abundant restoration in his family’s life.
Would you like to receive healing? Pray and ask God for it, knowing without a doubt that His heart, His will, is to heal you.
“Wherever He entered, into villages, cities, or the country, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged Him that they might just touch the hem of His garment. And as many as touched Him were made well.”
— Mark 6:56 NKJV
“And as many as touched Him were made well” — Many people needed healing for their sicknesses and diseases, but those that came to Jesus and trusted Him for healing were the ones that were made well.
“how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.”
— Acts 10:38 NKJV
“healing all” — Whoever comes to Jesus for healing will receive healing for their condition. It is God’s will for you to be in health!
In the story of the prophet Daniel, who knew the prophecy that Israel’s captivity in Babylon would last 70 years and it was coming to an end, he still prayed for the release of his people (see Dan. 9).
As believers, we are now in Christ risen, at the Father’s right hand, which is why we can pray and ask God for the blessing we want to see happen.
Peter asked Jesus to call him to walk on water, and Jesus said: “come.” Now walking on water is not a promise in the Scriptures, but a personal request and Jesus granted it. However, while Peter was walking toward Jesus, his eyes shifted from the Lord to his surroundings—the wind and the waves—and he started sinking. Immediately, Jesus reached out to him and said, “Why did you doubt?” (see Matt. 14:22–33).
When you take your eyes off Jesus and look at your circumstances, Jesus calls that doubt.
In this life, we are bound to have challenges, and we are not denying that those problems (e.g. COVID-19, depression) exist, but our reality is found in God’s promises for us.
Your reality is this: Jesus is above every storm. When you are in the midst of a storm, look to Him, for He is your answer. If you find yourself doubting, simply turn back to Jesus.
David the psalmist was someone who faced very real challenges, and he talked to God about those fears and troubles he had—but he always ended it in prayer and praise, trusting God to deliver him from harm.
Joshua and Caleb were among the twelve spies sent out to give a report on the promised land that God had given to them. When the spies returned from their mission, Joshua and Caleb were the only ones who came back with a positive, good report. While the others spoke of the fearsome giants in the land, Joshua and Caleb saw they saw the Lord greater than the giants and they saw the abundant blessings in the land that the Lord had prepared for them.
Instead of allowing your circumstances to create doubt, choose to stay in faith and place your trust in the Lord, for He will surely answer your prayers.
Jabez was a man whom the Lord called more honorable than his brothers, yet his entire story is summed up in two verses (1 Chron. 4:9–10). In Hebrew, the name “Jabez” means “sorrow” or “pain.” But Jabez did not let the meaning of his name dictate his destiny. Instead, Jabez prayed a bold prayer to God, asking Him to prosper him. And God answered his prayer.
“And Jabez was more honourable than his brethren: and his mother called his name Jabez, saying, Because I bare him with sorrow. And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested.”
— 1 Chronicles 4:9–10 KJV
“more honourable than his brethren” — God called Jabez more honorable than his brothers because he prayed for blessing.
“bless me indeed” — In Hebrew, the word for “bless” is “barak,” and it is used twice in this phrase, which means that Jabez asked God to bless him richly.
“enlarge my coast” — By praying for this, Jabez was asking the Lord to prosper him.
“keep me from evil” — Jabez was praying for protection from harm. This resembles the prayer of protection that is found in Psalm 91, showing us that we too can and should pray for God to protect us from evil.
This simple yet bold prayer of Jabez might seem like a hefty request to some, but it is a prayer that God deems honorable.
So let’s pray for blessing, prosperity, and protection! For only when you are blessed, then you can be a blessing to others.
A believer’s life is not without troubles—in fact, we will suffer persecution for His Name’s sake. But we can rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is our reward in heaven.
Health and provision were provided for at the cross, and we know this because Jesus Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses (see Matt. 8:17). Isaiah 53:4–5 also says, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.”
God put the word “surely” in Isaiah 53 because He knew that there would be doubt. Health is part of the atoning work of Christ, and Jesus has fulfilled it at the cross for us all.
Our experiences do not negate God’s Word. When there’s a setback, we can trust God for restoration. He will do it, just like He did it for Pastor Prince’s family when He gave them Justin.
God wants you to live a good life. Jesus came to give life and life more abundantly (see John 10:10). Let’s lean into His love and believe the goodness of His heart for us to prosper in all things.
Pray daily, because God wants you to be in a real and living relationship with Him. As you pray, trust God for more so that you can be a channel of blessing to many.
When you constantly meditate on God’s Word, you will begin to see the promises of God manifest in your life. God’s Word influences and imparts faith to you.
As you meditate on what the Scriptures promise, your reality will align with the reality of God’s Word.
Even when naysayers throw questions of doubt about the Bible, never allow what you are unsure about to shake what you are sure about. What you can be sure about is this: Jesus wants you healthy, whole, provided for.
Back in the days when Jesus went around healing people, nobody who was sick got turned away. Today, you don’t have to “get right” with your spouse, deal with bitterness in your heart, or confess all your sins in order to qualify for healing. Jesus never qualified the people who came to Him with those conditions. He gave grace freely, and He always blessed them despite their background or situation.
Pastor Prince closes the service by reiterating that God wants us to prosper in all things and be in health, just as our soul continues to prosper. He also adds that we can pray to be good stewards of that prosperity and use it for God’s purposes, and to know that it is God’s will for those who are sick to be made whole.
Pastor Prince prays for healing for the following conditions:
As it is Mothers’ Day, Pastor Prince prays a prayer for all mothers:
“Father, in the Name of Jesus, I pray for all the mothers watching this right now. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, I ask You, Father, to prosper them. Father, in all things, in their lives. Prosper them in their parenting. Prosper them in their relationship with their spouse. Prosper them in their understanding and knowledge of You. Prosper them in divine intimacy with You, Father.
Father in heaven, prosper them in all things in their lives, in Jesus’ Name. And cause them to be in health. Renew their youth like the eagles, Lord. Let there be a fresh infusion, an impartation, Father, right now, of Your resurrection life into their bodies. In Jesus’ Name, renew their youth like the eagles. Hallelujah. In Jesus’ Name, and all the people say, Amen.”
We hope these sermon notes blessed you! If they did, we encourage you to get the sermon and allow the Lord to speak to you personally as you watch or listen to it.
© Copyright JosephPrince.com 2020
These sermon notes were taken by volunteers during the service. They are not a verbatim representation of the sermon.
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