Mark 11:24 “Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.”
There is not a one of us that would take a job if we knew that there was no paycheck at the end of the week. We would not plant a garden if there were not expectations of a harvest. We would not practice an instrument if there were not a desire for mastery. No, I am assuming that if we were to begin something that we never saw fruit, I dare say we wouldn’t be long in that activity.
So, why then, do you pray? More specifically… When was the last time you received a legitimate answer from God? I hazard a guess that most of us, who name the name of Christ KNOW that we should pray. Yes, we have our lists. But when was the last time you were able to receive an answer from Heaven and say, ‘Look what God did!’?
Our enemy has felt the sting of answered prayer enough to know that if he can get you and I discouraged, distracted, divided and distant in our prayers, he will have won a great victory. The ‘Our Father’ of Luke 11 is NOT exact words to be repeated back to God over and over.
Matthew 6:7 “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”
Repeating the same words over and over have no meaning to us – or to God. He heard you the first time and wants our hearts to be affected in prayer. If you and I were to have a conversation and all I said was, ‘Please give me___________’ over and over, you would tire of the same thing and begin to question my desire.
But if I were to plead to your sense of justice, mercy or love, you may very well be inclined to listen and quite possibly do something over and above that which I ask.
Ephesians 3:20 “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,”
So, how does a Christian become an atheist in prayer? First, when we pray with no expectation of an answer. He says in the text above, “Pray believing’ and you will receive.
Second, praying in accordance to His will. Even Jesus Christ had a desire rise up in Him that went against the plan of redemption;
Luke 22:42 “Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.”
But committed Himself to finish the work that He came to do – and Praise God He did!
But we should also not pray for those things that He has already promised He would do.
Philippians 4:19 “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.”
Our needs; food, shelter, clothing and resources to live are promised by God to be there for us. So, to ask for what already is promised is redundant.
Lastly, we should pray with the Holy Spirit. If we know that we should praise God, ask Him today what it is He would have you to praise Him for – specifically… then wait for the answer. Suffice it to say that God may have you praise Him for something for which you may have never thought to praise Him. Yet, He reveals His divine hand of providence when He reveals the reason to praise Him.
The Holy Spirit is there to interpret our prayers to the Father; and at times with groanings that cannot be uttered.
Romans 8:26 “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”
Our Heavenly Father desires to have fellowship with us, talk with us and answer our prayers. He has given us such promises that we cannot help but come. Prayer is one of the most neglected gifts we have received and we need to repent and get on our knees and thank God for what Jesus Christ bought us – direct access to the Father.
When we build that relationship in prayer we can,
Hebrews 4:16 “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.”
James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
Let us come boldly with prayers effectual to make a difference enough to testify of His grace, mercy, love and salvation.