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 Attitude of Prayer
Not only does God hear us, but in whatever we have asked we mus pray according to His will. This requires humility, and to pray for God’s desires over ours.
- This is the confidence which we have before 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 which we have asked from Him. (1 John 5:14-15)
- “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 5:14)
We are encouraged to have God’s word’s within us as we pray, and to follow where Scripture is clear. When Scripture is not clear of God’s will we should pray in line with general principles of Scripture, and with a humble attitude. Jesus encourages us to pray in a way that we believe we have received what we have asked. We should also pray by faith.
- “Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. (Mark 11:24)
- Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
- And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him.(Hebrews 11:6)
We must keep in mind anything that displeases God will hinder out prayers. However, we don’t need to be completely free from sin in order for God to hear our prayers. It is because of the work of Jesus on our behalf that God hears our prayers. When we do sin, we should use God’s gift of prayer to ask for forgiveness. When we confess sin it restores our day to day relationship with Him.
- If I regard wickedness in my heart, The Lord will not hear ; (Psalm 66:18)
- The LORD is far from the wicked, But He hears the prayer of the righteous. (Proverbs 15:29)
- “FOR THE EYES OF THE LORD ARE TOWARD THE RIGHTEOUS, AND HIS EARS ATTEND TO THEIR PRAYER, BUT THE FACE OF THE LORD IS AGAINST THOSE WHO DO EVIL.” (1 Peter 3:12)
- 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)
We should also ask that He declare us innocent, and at times confess to one another. We should also ask for things with a humble attitude in light of God’s work on our behalf.
- Who can discern his errors ? Acquit me of hidden faults. (Psalm 19:12)
- Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. (James 5:16)
- But He gives a greater grace. Therefore it says, “GOD IS OPPOSED TO THE PROUD, BUT GIVES GRACE TO THE HUMBLE.” (James 4:6)
We may not always receive what we ask for in prayer. In these times we look to Scripture, and model Christ.
- (Jesus) saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” (Luke 22:42)
- Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. 9 And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (2 Corinthians 12:8-9)
- And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)
- Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have ; for He Himself has said, “I WILL NEVER DESERT YOU, NOR WILL I EVER FORSAKE YOU,” 6 so that we confidently say, “THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID. WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME ?” (Hebews 13:5-6)