What is Prayer? – The Attitude 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 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)
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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)