I was thinking today about prayer. Why do I ask certain people to pray for me or those I love? Is it because they go to the same church as I do? Not necessarily. Are they perfect? Nope. So why involve others in the issues that weigh heavy on my heart?
The simplest answer to that question is this: I know they hold a deep faith in God. I know they believe that God will answer. Why would that matter? Anyone can pray. Ah! Yes, anyone can pray…but are their prayers effective? That is the question that spurred me to search for more solid answers.
“The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16)
I knew that verse already, since I have often heard it often quoted. As I was searching the scriptures for verses to answer the question of how important it is to believe that God will answer our prayers…these in particular stood out:
“Abram believed the LORD, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” (Genesis 15:6)
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. But when he asks he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does.”
The Bible makes it clear that our belief that God will do as He has said, that He will hear us, that He has the power to meet every need, is very important. The heroes of the Bible often had very flawed life journeys. They were not perfect people by any means. But what did set them apart was that they believed God. Clearly our trust in Him is very important to God.
I ask people to help me pray because I know God will hear them. He is not a “genie in a bottle” who seeks to grant our every wish. As a loving Father, He knows what is best for us. Sometimes His best answer is a “no” because He sees the bigger picture of which we only see a tiny fraction. Even when the answer is no, or when life gets more difficult before it gets better, we can trust Him because He has promised to work all things together for good for those that love Him. We go to Him with our needs, and yes, even our hearts’ desires. He wants to give his children good things. (Matthew 7:7-11) We are to go to Him for everything…it is God’s decision how He will answer.
He may not answer my every prayer the way I would wish him to…but I deeply believe He has the power to do so. I also deeply believe that He is my Abba Father…the God who loves me and provides every need I have ever had and will ever have in the future. He has taken care of even the needs I didn’t know I had and blessed my life beyond what I thought to ask for. He is truly an Awesome God and I am humbled that He would call me his daughter.
The same God who created the universe…who put the stars in the heavens and caused the life cycles to begin...He knows my name and cares about my life.
Prayer is a privilege truly without compare.