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What We Believe About Prayer
Prayer is indeed the ultimate privilege of the believer. It is the deepest blessing in being able to have a relationship with God and to find our enjoyment in worshiping Him. Because it is an intentional part of our relationship, there is no secret formula or right or wrong way, thus it is the freedom we are now given.
We should come to God in prayer with a heart of gratitude and humility, recognizing that He indeed is God and we are not. In grace, we can come freely, but unconfessed sin can hinder our time spent in prayer.
Because of grace, the Father eagerly awaits as we change our mind about what we are doing wrong, confess it and accept the forgiveness that stands waiting for us. This is also part of being humble and remembering that He chose us, we did not choose Him.
It is an error to teach that sin keeps us from coming to God or that God will not hear us. While the sin that hinders our faculties from doing anything toward God does hinder our prayer, God always hears the prayers of those who have accepted Christ as their Savior.
There is not one of us who are without sin, who do not continue to sin, even if that sin is merely the sin of self-sufficiency. There is never a moment of time we are not without sin.
It is misleading to teach that you must confess every sin before we come to prayer. The truth is we can never fully confess all of our sins enough to deserve, earn, or receive the right to come to God. We do not come to the Father because of something we have done, but because of what Christ accomplished.
The Father does not hear our prayers because we have made ourselves righteous in His eyes, but because Christ has paid the price for us to do so. Now Jesus serves as our mediator, our intercessor before the Father.
In fact, the Holy Spirit must translate our very words as we pray. In this, we find the importance of confession, humility and acknowledgment that He is God.
That importance is we bending our minds knee to the Father, accepting our Father for who He is and who we are not. Our confession of our sins, our acknowledgment that God is God and we are not, is for us, not for God.
Prayer is a two-way conversation, as the Holy Spirit’s points us to truth by bringing a verse to mind, or something someone said that causes us to reflect on the wonder and character of God while we are praying. These times of listening prayer push us into a deeper relationship.
All things heard, whether that be through our emotional ears or our physical ears, should always be measured against God’s Inspired Word, in order to make sure it stacks up and holds up against the source of all ultimate truth, even if what we heard appears to be a good thought or word. We do not take what we thought or heard with our emotional ears and use it as a complement to God’s Word, but rather we take God’s Word to determine if what we think we heard is accurate.
Sitting, standing, laying prostrate, eyes open, eyes closed, alone or with a crowd, matters not at all. The purpose of prayer is to build our relationship with the One who calls us His Beloved.
Paul stated that we should pray with a grateful, humble, honest, intentional heart expressing all thoughts, burdens, cares, hurts, offenses, needs and desires. We should not only pray for ourselves, but also the purposes of others.
Prayers can be as distinct as the very personalities that make us unique. Just as God did not create two people the same, He rarely communicates with two people in exactly the same way.
Prayers that leads to developing an intimacy with God are those which increase within us a desire to worship Him, or make it about Him and not us, they are the ones that God eagerly awaits to answer. When we pray to be used as greater instruments of God’s glory, the Father will unfailingly and abundantly answer those requests and give us.
If we are growing in Christ, then our prayers and the things we ask for are going to reflect that. We will be coming to the point of sacrifice.
We will realize our chief aim is to glorify God, and God readily waits to bless and grant the prayers that glorify Him. When we pray together with two or more to God, we will always find Him ready to bless and honor those prayer requests.
John 16:10-14; Romans 8:26,34; Philippians 4:6-7, 1 John 1:8-9;