[CF Devotionals] 2009-05-30 - Success in Prayer

1 Peter 3:7, “That your prayers may not be hindered.”

Almost everybody prays. Maybe we don’t pray until the train is two seconds away from hitting us, but there is something about life and the things it brings our way, that we can say with certainty that everybody prays. This being the case, and no matter how much it is that you do or do not pray, it seems equally true that we all desire that our prayers be successful. I would like to look into that for a moment. How do we go about praying with success?

Some people wonder if God even hears prayer. Others wonder if God even exists. If God does exist, for many, they feel they know a little about Him, and well - the little they know is quite enough. “No doubt there is a god,” we might hear them rattle off. They are, at least, better than the atheist. So, yes, there is a God, but does He really hear prayer? Does God really do anything about prayers that are sent up into the sky or ceiling, or roof of the car when we are in a traffic jam and late for work? I don’t expect that those who think this way should expect to gain much by their prayers, “For He who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those that seek Him” Hebrews 11:6. If you would have your prayers heard, you must be convinced that God is, and that He both hears and answers prayers. God’s ways are His ways, but we also know that when His children call to Him in prayer, He promises to hear, “The Lord hears when I call to Him,” Psalm 4:3. If you would have success in prayer, you must believe unyieldingly that God exists and that He will hear your prayer.

We also need to be specific in our prayers. Prayers for all the sick people that are in the hospital to get well are certain to fail. Who is sick? Who is in need, that you would like to ask God to heal? Specify to the Lord what it is you desire. Do you know what it is that you desire the Lord to do for you? Then go to Him and seek Him. Lay your case before the Lord, as you would before a court or a benefactor. He is willing to hear it. We must believe that God hears our prayers, so it takes faith to pray. As the Hebrews 11 passage says, we “must believe.” What must we believe? We have to believe what He says. He has given us His Word in the Bible, so we must believe it. If we do not believe His Word to us, how can we expect Him to listen to our words to Him?

And maybe this is where it all starts, if we would have success in our prayers. We have to know who the God is that we are sending up our petitions unto. We have to know God if we are to expect Him to hear our prayers. Are you learning about God? Have you studied His Word, the Bible? If not, do you really expect that He will hear your words? Really, the first prayer we ought to pray is to confess that we have neglected to know the Creator and Savior as we should. We should come before Him and admit that we are sorry sinners, and much in need of mercy. I am quite certain that such a prayer God will always hear. When we acknowledge our dependence upon Christ for all our needs - spiritual, physical, emotional, and the multitude of needs we always have - we have made a good start in praying. From there, we can go forward in prayer and bring our requests to God, depending on His grace in Christ (Heb. 7:25) to grant the requests we bring before Him.

Soli Deo Gloria,

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