Whether you realize or not when you pray you talk to our Creator.
For many, including many Christians the Triune God is an abstract concept, not a person, yet that is how we now know God through his Son our savior who is flesh and blood Humanity. When we see Christ, we see the Father. John 14:9 Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you so long, and you still do not know me, Philip? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?
Talking to someone that we do not see has long been a problem for us. But like everything associated with our faith it is not through our strength which is weak but through The Person of the Holy Spirit and Christ that we do what we do in prayer or anything else.
James says in the New Testament, “You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions” (James 4:2–3). Clearly there are things that do not happen in our lives and in the world because we failed to pray. God has determined that when we pray, he has ordained that things happen because of our prayers. Specifically, because we do not ask: “you don’t have, because you don’t ask.”
We all struggle to pray and must make it a priority of our Christian way of Life.
Consider that the All-powerful, Perfect Being, our creator has allowed his will to be moved or changed by what we pray. Paul made it clear how important prayer is in our lives in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 “pray without ceasing,” Christians in all walks of life, all levels of intelligence have done this without-ceasing making prayer a daily and frequent part of their lives. There are many things beyond count that contribute to the cause and effect within God’s meticulous providence. The complexity and comprehensiveness of his sovereignty is incalculable yet within all of this He allows our prayers, our conversations with him to have a real and profound effect on the world and our lives.
We should never disregard this profound fact. Prayer is not pointless and never has been. The problem has always been within us, our lack of faith. God is all powerful and has the right and means by which to later our reality and change people’s hearts. Luke 22:20 “And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” When we pray and pray in Jesus’s name we do so because of The New Covenant. 2 Timothy 2: 25-26 25 correcting his opponents with gentleness. God may perhaps grant them repentance leading to a knowledge of the truth, 26 and they may come to their senses and escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.
This reality of prayer that has real actions and changes within our world was paid for by the blood of Christ which is why we pray in his name. Sadly, many people, many Christians do not believe this. In our culture of expressive individualism and moral relativism people have been taught not to believe this because they are convinced that human beings have complete self-determination. Pride again reigns as we as we have in generations past turned our backs on the God that has saved us and brought us where we are. We look at Israel and we see our nation as well. Our sin as a nation and a people has brought us to the precipice of ruin.
Many of us pray for the conversion of others to come to a saving faith in Christ. I like many of you pray for friends and family to come to know Christ. I have prayed this for many years and continue to do so and yet to my knowledge none of them have come to faith in Christ. Fortunately, you and I do not have the final say in this. Romans 10:1 “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayed to God for them is that they may be saved.”
We must continue to pray without ceasing. You and I must know that a saving faith, sanctifying, transforming, and a liberating faith is a gift from God and his work of providence. Half hearted and infrequent prayer will not suffice, God wants all of us. Moses prayed this to God in Exodus 32:11-14.
“11 But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? 12 Why should the Egyptians say, ‘With evil intent did he bring them out, to kill.”
As Prayer Warriors we must pay close attention to the promises of God by persisting in prayer, clinging to his words. God’s promises and sovereignty do not become excuses to give up or pray less but give them confidence and urgency before the Throne of Grace. Our next prayer might be the very means by which God has appointed to keep his promise, demonstrate his power and worth. If God is not sovereign, but just waits on the folly of kings, armies and random circumstances, then our prayers are in vain. Our God waits on no one. “The king’s heart is a stream of water in the hand of the Lord; he turns it wherever he will” (Proverbs 21:1). Through God, prayer runs the world as he performs countless miracles in the world every day that none of us has ever mentioned, specifically in prayer. God the Father “he upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Hebrews 1:3). The miracle is he does some of his most important work in the world, and in our lives, precisely because one of his children asked him to James 5:16 16 Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.