“Our Daily Bread” http://odb.org
The Daily Devotions of Greg Laurie http://www.harvest.org/devotional
Written by Patrick Hawthorne for “SGM” @ http://servinggrace.com
Prayer…Part 3 – Developing a Lifestyle of Prayer
By Patrick Hawthorne
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us – 1 John 5:14
Is there ever a prayer that God will not hear? I know I am about to ruffle some religious feathers with this question. However, it must be asked. Again, is there ever a prayer that God will not give audience to; prayer that He will not grant petition?
Some will say that our Heavenly Father, through the finished work of Jesus Christ, hears all prayer and sanctifies all prayer. Yet, is this true? If the Word tells us that prayer according to His will is heard, is prayer that violates His will not heard? In other words, are there prayers that our Heavenly Father, Almighty God, will not give an audience?
Let’s use a scenario which unfortunately is very common in the Church. A male subject finds the woman of his dreams. His love is so great he assumes the woman is his soul mate. However, there is one little problem. This so called soul mate is married. The male, who assumes He is justified in his love for this person, takes a portion of Scripture out of context and prays, “Lord, You said that I can ask anything in the name of Jesus and it would be done for me. In the name of Jesus, I pray that you will make so-and-so to be my spouse.” This sounds ludicrous yet happens quite often. Do you think God gives audience to that prayer?
Let’s look at 1 John 5:14 again. It says we can have confidence that if we ask anything according to HIS WILL, He hears us. This thought continues in verse 15 with, “And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have petitions that we have asked of Him.” According to what we know from the Word, is it God’s will to break up a marriage? Hopefully your answer is no. Therefore, would it be safe to say that God would not give an ear…an audience… to the request?
Let’s take a look at an Old Testament example to see if this New Testament attitude has precedence – a previously established principle. In praying for our nation, I often quote 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 will forgive their sin and heal their land. This is a wonderful prayer. Yet, how many know verse 15? “Now My eyes (The Father’s eyes) will be open and My ears attentive to prayer made in this place.”
Did you see that? “Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive…” Seeking the Lord in prayer and humbleness, along with turning from wickedness, was the key to aligning with God’s will. This, along with 1 John 5:14, among other verses, tell me that for our prayer to be effective and to have power we must change our approach to prayer and must pray in a manner that produces results. We must begin learning the will of our Heavenly Father. This is done through the Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Is there ever an opportunity for God to answer a plea of “HELP!” Absolutely; this is called grace. However, I am referring to a lifestyle of prayer. He gave us His manual and the method by which to obtain the most powerful of prayer. On my next post my plan, unless the Lord leads me down another path, is to begin identifying just what His will for us is. Until then, be blessed.