Greetings in the Marvelous name of Jesus!
Yesterday was a praisey day, today we will focus on prayer. There is sooooooooooo much I could say on the topic of prayer, but for today, just a couple of highlights.
First, God Himself has ordained prayer. He says “Call to me and I will answer you . . . ” (Jeremiah 33:3). At one point He bemoans the fact that He couldn’t find someone to intercede for the country. “I sought for a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the breach before me for the land . . . but I found none. (Ezekiel 22:30). Jesus both demonstrated and taught prayer. James gives us an example of how powerful prayer is – even while acknowledging our human imperfections. “. . . The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth. Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit. (James 5:16–18)
The simple fact taught in Scripture is that things happen when people pray that don’t happen when people don’t pray. Somewhere in the sovereignty of God He has allowed us to be involved in the what He does. I cannot explain it fully, but I CAN take advantage of such an incredible gift.
As to specific answers to prayer, John tells us, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” (1 John 5:14–15) How do we know if we are asking according to His will? One way is to pray for those things that we find in God’s word that we already know are His will. There are a number of prayers in the Bible by the Apostle Paul that we can follow such as Ephesians 1:17-21, Colossians 1:9-12, Romans 15:5-6. We also have the Holy Spirit living in us to lead us in our praying. He can help us to pray in line with God’s will if we will quiet ourselves and listen for His prompting.
Finally, our hearts also affect our faith and thus our prayers. John tells us “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God. (1 John 3:21) Preparing our hearts for prayer should include the confession of any known sin, inviting the Lord to search our hearts and reveal to us any issues He finds there so we can “receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16) Jesus adds, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone . . .” (Mark 11:25). When our hearts are clear, we can better hear the voice of the Spirit and pray with enhanced confidence.
We are all anxious to get to the other side of this worldwide pandemic. We in the church are called not only to be light (pointing the way to Jesus), but also salt – a preservative. Therefore we work to preserve life and help people in need, etc. One way we do that is to pray. May God grant us to be effective in our prayers in this hour of great need.
Standing with you,