The month of March has been one of continued discipleship at His Place House of Worship. This month, our focus has been on prayer: defining it, giving examples of it as conversation with our Heavenly Father and, ultimately, instilling confidence that God not only hears us, but is inclined toward us in answering our prayers.
In kingdom living, prayer is not a suggested practice, it is a vital and mandatory part of having relational connection and communication with God.
Perhaps the biggest reason for Christians that prayer seems to be laborious, is the lack of any confidence that God actually will listen and ultimately answer their prayer.
The Bible tells us in Galatians, chapter 5, that “faith works by love.” Faith and confident hope in anyone to be receptive to your requests begins with an understanding that the person being asked has some sense of affectionate connection or, at the very least, obligation.
The problem for most Christians is that their paradigm of their Heavenly Father reflects a belief that He holds the latter position towards them, rather than the former.
The truth, however, is unimaginably just the opposite. For some reason, religion has confused God in our mind as a person who operates in contingencies. We imagine with God continuous “If-Then” scenarios.
In so many Christians minds, their belief system is “If I do x, y, z, then God will answer my prayers.”
This not only shows a lack of faith and a lack of the revelation of God’s everlasting and unconditional love, it anthropomorphizes God to appear as if He thinks and behaves like people, instead of who He actually is: God.
The Bible tells us that God’s ways are not our ways and that He does not lie as men do. In fact, even when we don’t honor our side of the relationship and it’s commitments, God cannot dishonor His commitment.
2 Timothy 2:13-18 (NKJV): “If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.”
So, you as the reader may ask, “How can I expect God to answer my prayer?” For that, I want to share a couple of places in scripture to reinforce your faith. To reinforce your faith, you need revelation that God is for you and that His love is never withdrawn from you.
The more you grow in the understanding of His love for you, the more your faith becomes alive.
Romans 8:31-32 (NKJV): “What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?”
Romans 8:38-39 (NKJV): “For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
In the first set of scriptures, notice, that Paul the Apostle makes it clear that God gave us freely the gift of salvation and reconciliation into His family through His begotten Son, Jesus Christ, by no merit of our own. This was a sovereign and benevolent act towards us of His own doing.
Paul however, does not stop there.
Using this fact as a definitive vindication of God’s love towards us, Paul then in the next line tells us that now that we are in the family of God, He Himself will now freely give us all things. As if the grace of Jesus Christ wasn’t enough, now all that is in the realm of Heaven and that belongs to God, we have free access to.
This truth alone should give us such confidence to pray and ask anything of God! Still, there are those that have a deep-seated fear that God’s love is based on our performance evaluation, therefore their belief inherently is that God will not answer our prayers because of His anger or disappointment in us.
It is so surprising how many Christians believe that the default position of God’s heart towards them is one of anger and disappointment. Scripture again however, points to the contrary.
In fact, scripture goes so far as to prove by the writings of the Apostle Paul in this same chapter of Romans that nothing can separate us from the love of God.
James makes a very good point in chapter 4 that “we have not because we ask not.” The sentiment here is that if we are without, it is not because God isn’t concerned for us or that He does not love us enough to answer our prayers.
It is largely due to our lack of faith and lack of revelation of His love for us being so strong in our lives that we refuse to even ask or talk to God about it. Instead, we wait until we are to a place of desperation and begging God hoping that God will have a reaction to and be moved by our emotional state.
God not only wants us to ask things of Him in prayer, He expects us to.
God is an unending source for all that we need and also all that we desire. Both of these things are so important to Him about our lives.
Begin to ask God confidently for those things you both need and desire, and remember, prayer is not simply about asking. Prayer is conversation and relational exchange with your Heavenly Father who more than anything loves to sit and listen to you and speak to you in return.