What is Prayer? – The Effectiveness of Prayer

As I stated in a previous blog, I am reading Christian Beliefs: 20 Basics every Christian Should know by Wayne and Elliot Grudem. Here of are some of main points of  Chapter 5 titled “What is Prayer.”

The Effectiveness of Prayer

When we ask for things in prayer, God often responds to those prayers. God responds and even changes the way He acts, in response to the prayers of individuals. If we don’t ask, then He can’t respond. God responds on a personal level.

  • “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find ; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 “For everyone who asks, receives ; and he who seeks, finds ; and to him who knocks, it will be opened. (Luke 11:9-10)
  • “Why should the Egyptians speak, saying, ‘With evil intent He brought them out to kill them in the mountains and to destroy them from the face of the earth ‘? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people.  So the LORD changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people. (Exodus 32:12, 14)
  • You lust and do not have ; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain ; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. (James 4:2)
  • If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

This should encourage us to pray more boldly, asking the Lord to work in ways that only He can. On our own we have no right to boldly ask for anything. Our personal sin should disqualify us from requesting anything from a holy God. Jesus is the reason our prayers are effective.

  • For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, (1 Timothy 2:5)
  • Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life ; no one comes to the Father but through Me.  (John 14:6)

God is under no obligation to answer the prayers of those who have rejected Jesus. Although He is aware of such prayers and at times out of His mercy chooses to answer them, He doesn’t promise to hear and answer the prayers of unbelievers as He does those of believers in accordance to His will. Jesus is the only true mediator  between a holy God, and sinful man. Our prayers should be prayed based on His authority as our mediator and in accordance with His character.

  • In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you. (John 16:23)
  • These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life. 14 This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. (1 John 5:13-14)
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