Jim Wilson is the retired director of Community Christian Ministries in Moscow, Idaho. He will be posting regularly, so check back in soon!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Confident Prayer

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14 NIV)

Much of prayer is wishful, hopeful, anxious or desperate praying. The following texts are God’s conditions for answered prayer.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NIV)

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete. (John 16:24 NIV)

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: love each other. (John 15:16, 17 NIV)

But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That man should not think he will receive anything from the Lord... (James 1:6, 7 NIV)

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:3 NIV)

If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me! (Psalm 66:18-20 NIV)

Here are the explanations for unanswered prayer: doubting, anxiety, wrong motives, iniquity in our hearts. Here are the conditions for answered prayer: confidence, will of God, thanksgiving, believing, abiding and fruitfulness, in Jesus’ name.

We have all experienced answered prayer when we violated all of the conditions but the last one: “in Jesus’ name.” If God is that faithful to us, then we can lean on His faithfulness. That is what faith is, trusting in the faithfulness of God. The preparation for believing prayer is 1) a clean heart, and 2) being saturated in meditation with Scripture (faith comes from hearing the message and the message is heard through the word of Christ). Then answered prayer will not be a surprise to us, as it was to the believers in Acts 12.

(An excerpt from On Being a Christian by Jim Wilson)

1 comment:

Debby said...

Very Helpful!