What would be a summary of prayer?
Question: “What would be a summary of prayer? Prayer can be confusing and complex or it can be simple and direct. How do we make it simple and effective?”
Man has no power within himself to fulfill any prayer. Only God can fulfill a prayer and He will only do so when the prayer is within His will and conditions. If a prayer is within God’s will, then God wants to bless us and it is a certainty as long as we do not interfere with His will by failing to fulfilling His conditions.
Knowing God’s will
There are only two possibilities for knowing God’s will.
The first, and the approach Jesus used, is being led by the Holy Spirit. When the Holy Spirit gives us direction, and we obey, we can be assured that it is the will of God and normally will be quickly fulfilled.
The second, and the approach most Christians use, is believing that it is God’s will because God’s Word says if they ask, in Jesus name, and don’t doubt, but believe, they will receive. This approach does have several primary conditions. They are:
- Are you right with God? God says that those who love Him obey Him (John 14.21). Failing to repent of sins including unforgiveness are major obstacles. Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth (John 9:31). Why should we expect God to show us His grace by answering our prayers when we are not willing to obey Him?
- We need to believe that God will and wants to answer us. We need to have such confidence and faith that doubt no longer has any room. If we keep doubting God, we are in fact believing the devil who is always trying to separate us from God. Why should we expect God to answer us if we do not believe Him?
- We live in an instant world. We say, “Why is this microwave so slow, I do not have 90 seconds to wait for my oatmeal”. And we look at God with the same attitude. “I expect God to answer my prayer now, or maybe within the next hour”. We forget that we are not dealing with a microwave but with the creator of the universe, including you. God knows and sees into the future. God always does what is best for His loving children. However, God’s idea of what is best is often different than our idea. God, who holds time in His hand, will always answer your prayer, sometimes immediately, sometimes in days, or months, or even years later as He determines is best, and sometimes He will say “no, your prayer is not within My will.” Why, maybe because your motives are wrong, maybe because your prayer would actually hurt you or others, and maybe because he has something for you down the road that is much better for you.
To receive, we need to first approach God humbly with respect, free of sins and unforgiveness, asking the Holy Spirit for His guidance, and then praying in assurance of God, His Word, and His love. We end our prayer with thanksgiving and confidence that God will answer our prayer, trusting Him that He will bring good out of our problems in the appropriate time.
Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up (Luke 18:1). Keep praying until you have an assurance in your heart.
And when you pray, do not concentrate on telling God your problems and concerns, and don’t tell Him how you want Him to solve your problems (very presumptuous), but pray the solution you are looking for. For example, if your house is in foreclosure, do not go on and on about not having any money, they are going to take my house, my family is going to be homeless on the street, its winter and we will freeze to death. Why concentrate on the negative. God already knows these possibilities. Rather pray for the solution, money to bring your mortgage current and then start thanking God for providing the money. Thanking God for providing what you have asked for before you receive it is showing great confidence and faith in God and His Word.
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God (Philippians 4:6).
I like this approach because it offers three advantages.
- First, asking God to make His will clear opens many more communication avenues than just asking Him to tell us.
- Second, rather than trying to hear God’s voice for direction, we are trusting God will make His way clear to us in His timing. This approach may be easier for some.
- Third, we are accustomed to asking a question and getting a quick response. Consequently, we expect a quick response from God. When we do not get a quick answer, we get impatient. However, we naturally expect that it will take longer to make something clear to us, hence we are more patient and our faith remains stronger. Click for fundamentals of prayer.
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