WHAT IS PRAYER?
Prayer is you or me talking to God with a sincere desire to enter into a conscious and intimate relationship with Him, as a child with a loving father.
Prayer can take many forms and is not just for petition (asking for things). It can also be to praise God, to thank Him for all He’s done for you, to intercede for others, to confess your sins, and to submit your will to Him (abandoning your own desires and surrendering your will to God’s will).
God is Love and He is omniscient! He knows what’s in your heart and He knows your thoughts even before you speak. You can’t hide from Him, con Him, or manipulate Him so be honest with Him when you pray. If you’re happy, sad, concerned, even angry, tell Him so.
It’s been said that Prayer is the highest use to which speech can be put! To be an effective Christian, you should make prayer a part of your life everyday. Don’t be like some people who only call on Him when they are in a crisis situation.
Psalm 116:2 says “Because He turned His ear to me, I will call on Him as long as I live.”
Even though God knows the condition of our hearts, He still hungers for our fellowship. Revelation 3:20 says “Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with Me.”
WHO DOES GOD HEAR?
During one of our Bible studies, we discovered five (5) scripture references and points that answer this question:
1. God Hears The Humble.
Luke 18:9-14 says “To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 'Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people - robbers, evildoers, adulterers - or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’
'But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’
'I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”
2. God Hears The Righteous.
Psalm 34:15-17 says “The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are attentive to their cry; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil, to blot out their name from the earth. The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles.”
3. God Hears Those Who Fear Him.
Psalm 145:18-19 says “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them.”
4. God Hears Those Who Please Him.
1 John 3:21-22 says “Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what pleases him.”
5. God Hears Those Who Abide In Him.
John 15:7 says “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
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