“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. 15 And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.“/ 1 John 5:14-15
Psalm 102:17/ “He will respond to the prayer of the destitute; he will not despise their plea.”
2 Chronicles 7:14/ “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land”
The last couple of months and especially few days of my life, the Lord has continued to show me what is possible through prayer. Really He’s continued to show me His love for me and His faithfulness to always be there listening and offering all the help I need. I’ll be the first to tell you that “prayer” hasn’t always been something I’ve seen as all that important. I especially haven’t seen much need for it, I guess it just kind of felt like something you do to fulfill your religious duties as a Christian. You may have read these verses and you may read this message thinking the same thing, “oh yeah, prayer no big deal.” Thank God for putting me in situations lately where I felt so incapable, situations where I quickly realized that without Him, I don’t stand a chance. After going through so many days of failure in some personal areas that sprinkled defeat throughout the rest of my life, I always found myself asking, “how did I fail again, why do I continue to fall into this same sin, why can’t I beat and get out of the circumstances I’m in, why can’t I be better?” It’s those questions asked over and over again to myself that have kept me wondering, failing, stuck, failing, wanting more, but still failing. It’s a vicious cycle of what happens when we ask those questions to ourselves and seek answers from ourselves, lean on our strength and what we got to get through something, to just get better.
The good news is, which is expressed in these verses is we don’t have to keep failing, we don’t have to keep leaning on what we got, God has given us a victorious life through His Son Jesus Christ dying on the cross for our sins and raising on the third day with our new life of freedom in hand. My prayer life didn’t seem that important because I still thought I could fix my failure and become better on my own. But LOOK AT THE GOSPEL!!! Jesus made that sacrifice for you and me because He loved us and wanted to give us a way out of failure and low-living in sin and death. Jesus loved us so much that He gave us the gift of LIFE through Him for eternity and a victorious life here and now. Prayer just seemed like something to do to keep my religious points up but think about what those verses in 1 John tell us, we have God to take our problems to, we have God to go to in every occasion. And the only reason we can go to God and talk to Him as children of His talking to a loving and faithful Father is Jesus. Jesus broke through that separation between death and life, giving us eternal life but also giving us VICTORIOUS LIFE here and now, giving us the right standing before God to go to Him and express our need for Him. And just think if God gave His Son as a sacrifice for our lives, covering all the sins we have committed and sending Him to take the punishment we deserved. If God loved us enough to do that, you best believe these little problems we have now will be answered, help will be given and provision will be made. It really blew my mind in my prayer life when God brought the Gospel to me in a bigger light each day. I can’t figure it out, I can’t be better, I can’t win but that’s okay because Jesus has already won, Jesus has made a way for us to talk to God and have a loving personal relationship with Him so guess what? We can go to God with confidence that when we pray He hears us, the answers may not be in the way we want them but they will be in God’s will where He already knows what’s best for us and what we need to move forward and live this life on earth as victorious and in freedom from all the things thrown in our way.
So throughout the past few months seeing the Gospel in a bigger light each day, I stopped only praying when it was convenient, or only when it involved a big problem in my life. God helped me realize through the Gospel that even the little itty bitty things that we think we can handle, pray about those, pray about everything. This cycle of failure and being stuck from moving forward to actually get better, started to become less and less of a problem. Through prayer, talking to God and giving Him my many insecurities and worries, I began to see Him at work right in front of me in my life. God answered my prayers, not always how I would prefer but in the way that He wanted, the way that provided me with everything I needed to move forward in victory and leave defeat farther and farther behind. Seeing God answer prayers, I don’t know how to explain it but that relationship between you and Him becomes deeper and deeper in love. God shows you His love and His faithfulness to always provide and help you, then that level of trust with God grows deeper, that level of humbleness grows deeper, God makes it so easy to see and feel that our comfort, security, and hope comes through Him and Him alone. Not me and you and not anything in this world, just God. “Prayer” is just a word for that deep loving connection between God and His children, it’s that personal relationship that grows through each moment spent in His presence.
Prayer isn’t just something we do because it’s something we’re supposed to do, or just say in conversations to sound good that you’ll pray about it. It’s so much deeper, holds so much more power, and brings LIFE, VICTORIOUS LIFE to the one reaching out to God. Prayer is something you do because you have no other way to survive, it’s you’re only source of relief, it’s your lifeline. Sorry if that’s a lot, God has just continued to make that time of prayer talking to Him of greater importance to me personally. I just wanted to give you everything I could to express this with you because what God can do through your relationship with Him and time spent talking to Him is so incredible!! My prayer is that you embrace prayer for what it truly is and I promise from experience you won’t be disappointed in what God does in every single area of your life. He is such a good God that is continuously faithful in His love for us, and always doing an amazing work in our lives. Go to Him. Seek Him. The same God that created you and this whole beautiful world around you is there for you, to listen to you and to show you the many beautiful and powerful qualities that make God so so awesome!