This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. - 1 John 5:14-15
I am not a great prayer warrior. I often lack faith. Worse yet – I sometimes openly rebel to the will of God. I struggle with my sin nature and am known to fall.
I am not a master of words. Finding the right word – the one that not only has the correct meaning but also the appropriate flavor – is a challenging safari.
I do, however, have a strong desire to know God and to be a righteous man. I want to pray powerful prayers that are clearly and miraculously answered. I want to see God work in my life and in the lives of others. I yearn to see the kind of revival seen by my forefathers.
Jesus told us how. Our faithful Brother never held truth or help back from us, particularly in the area of prayer. His inspired Word promises that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. If He hears us, then we already possess the answer to our prayers. Therefore, the “trick” to answered prayer (if you’ll pardon the crass way of putting it) is learning to determine God’s will and getting on board. It’s thinking God’s thoughts after Him; hearing God’s Word and repeating it back to Him.
The other means to answered prayer is clearly stated in 1 John 3:22 which states “and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.” We must not imagine that by simply parroting God’s Word, by picking and choosing verses taken out of context or selectively interpreted according to our pet theories that God will be fooled into giving us what we want. Not only our prayers, but also our lives must match His will.
Praying Scripture – taking a passage and turning it into prayer – is not meant to be a limiting discipline. In the years that I have practiced this type of prayer, I have found that it is the fastest way to finding that worshipful mode that is the holy grail of the devotional life. It makes me pray more deeply and widely than ever. This shouldn’t surprise us. After all, didn’t the author of Hebrews describe the Scriptures as “living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”?
My hope is simply that this simple discipline will help you spend more time with the Master and that you will thereby gain more faith, more love and more works to offer Him in worship.
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