When we pray according to what we think is possible or impossible, we most certainly will determine what is worth praying about and our prayers end up being not much of a prayer, but our own proclamation. We have made a decision for God, when that was none of our business. I am writing this, because I experience this. I am guilty of this.
In O. Hallesby’s book titled “Prayer” he says, “….whether the fulfillment of our prayer is hard or easy for God. What we think or do not think about this has no bearing on the hearing and answering of prayer. Not only that, it has a blighting and destructive effect upon our prayer life, because we waste our strength which is not our concern, and which our Lord never asked us to be concerned about.”
When we get busy already determining the answers to our prayers, we won’t get very far in our prayer life. If we have decided the answers to our prayers, how can we have faith? It seems more like a conversation with ourselves than a prayer.
So it got me thinking….our prayer life will not deepen, if we don’t know who God is and keep reminding ourselves of who He is. I mean really know who he is, not our idea of him. We can have an idea about God, and then there is the truth about who God is. How do we know and determine who God is? Well we don’t come to know him from just looking on the inside and whatever feels right and sounds good. No cherry picking. Some say God can’t be known, but this is false. Romans 1:19 says, “They know the truth about God because he has made it obvious to them.”
He can be known. He has made himself known to us, in two ways, through creation, and through His Word( the revealed Word, the Bible)
Hebrews 11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” So it’s impossible to have a rich prayer life if we don’t know who He is. When we come to Him acknowledging the truth of who He is, then we trust that he will answer according to His will and good timing.
Have you ever held back bringing up a difficult conversation with someone, because you already had decided how that person will answer? How foolish! It’s never our business to project how someone will answer. Let them do the answering. The difference with God is he gave us promises to stand on, we may not get all the details on how He answers our prayers, but we can trust that how and when He answers, it will be good. We can trust that He always hears and will answer according to his perfect will and for our good.
Prayer is not a chess game; I will make my move, but I have anticipated your moves, so I won’t go over here or over there because I know what you will do
We need faith. Why, because anyone who comes, must believe. What does he do when we come to him in faith? He rewards those who seek him in this faith; that means he answers. He will answer in His good and perfect will and timing. We can trust this. He will not fail.
Do you know the truth about who God is? God is not just some cosmic being out there somewhere that has no relational bearing on our every day life or one that we only come to a few times a year for things we think are prayer worthy.
How is your prayer life? What have you given up praying about, because you predetermined it was too hard for God. What have you not offered up in prayer because you thought it too petty and could just deal with it yourself?
I am working on this in my own life. When I pray, I first and foremost give praise and thanks for who God is, and for his grace in my life. We would do good to spend a lot of time in this area of prayer, it will strengthen our faith when we make our requests known to Him. When we praise Him for making the sunset and the sunrise, and praise Him for the very breath that he gave me this morning, we begin to see the power of God and how BIG he really is. Get your microscope out and start praising God for every little thing, and then with boldness of faith make your requests known to God and leave the answering to God.
Psalm 34:1 “I will bless the Lord at all times. His praise will always be on my lips.”