Where do you usually go with your life questions?
Do you pick up the phone and call mom?
Or do you pull up Google and search away?
There are natural sources that we trust for information. Mom? She knows everything. And Google? They can find over thousands of results under one second. For the first time in history, it seems as if there is an answer for everything.
We turn to these sources, confident that our requests will be received and answered. We don’t go to Mom or Google just to say we did, without really caring about an answer – that answer is our end goal.
So why do we, so many times, pray just to say “I prayed”?
I’ve caught myself doing this many times when mulling over and struggling with these big life questions. Did I pray about them? Sure. Was it more to check it off the list of “The Things I Should Do”? Yeaaah. Did prayer impact my final decision? Not really…
So why even pray then?
There’s a natural law that operates in our world. Every action has a reaction, every cause an effect, and every choice a consequence. In the Bible, we see the expression of this law. Adam and Eve disobeyed God and their sin brought about death. On the other hand, Jesus Christ was obedient unto death on the cross and brought us new life.
And in our own lives, this law should operate as well, especially in our prayer life.
How has prayer impacted you? Do you see God answering your prayers? Do you even think He hears them?
When Jesus calls us to turn in prayer to God, He calls us to bring our confusions, questions, desires, and effectively, ourselves to Him. He calls us to come to God in order to receive His instruction, guidance, and answer. Prayer is not just an empty activity for the sake of ritual.
When Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6 “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done,” Paul wasn’t depicting prayer as an empty religious rite or as a magic spell. He was describing prayer as an avenue that God has provided for us so we may bring our petitions and praise before Him.
Prayer is ultimately an expression of relationship.
Imagine having an audience with the President of the United States or with the Queen of England. Imagine being able to communicate your frustrations and desires to someone with the power and the desire to fulfill, resolve, and transform your life. Is there anything you would leave unsaid?
Did you know that all the universe’s wealth, knowledge, and power belongs to God? Did you know that there is absolutely no power greater than the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob?
And did you know that He calls believers His sons and daughters? God isn’t just a disinterested ambiguous authoritative party in your life. He’s your Creator and your Father who loves you. God so loved you that He sent Christ to die for you in order to give you access into his throne room and to his heart.
Prayer is an interaction with God made possible by the spilling of the blood of Jesus. Christ died to save us from our sin for a relationship with God. And we build this relationship through through prayer.
When you pray, do you believe that God hears and answers you?
In James, chapter one, verse five we read: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But he must ask in faith, without doubting…”
When you pray, do you pray in faith without doubting?
Do you believe, with “confidence…that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14)?
And how can we even know that we are praying according to his will?”
In Romans 12:2 we read, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”
We can know that we are praying according to God’s will when our minds are being renewed through the work of the Holy Spirit as we read the Word of God, the Bible.
According to Hebrews 4:12, the Bible is “living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.”
By the living Word of God, our minds are renewed.
This means that God, through His Word, continually transforms our worldview from the world’s worldview to God’s worldview.
Throughout this transformation, we grow in discernment in what is and what is not the will of God.
And as we grow in the knowledge of the will of God, our prayers grow in accordance to God’s will.
As a result, we can confidently rest assured that God hears our prayers and will answer us. It doesn’t mean His answers will be predictable or controllable, but we can rest assured that God hears our prayers.
Dive into the Bible today and ask God to show you where your mind is not in line with His. Pray and read with faith in God’s ability to transform your mind and your prayers through His Living Word, so that you would yet see the hand and “the goodness of God in the land of the living” (Psalm 27:13)” in your own life.