Jesus taught many things about prayer and its central role in a believer’s life. He also promised that our petitions will be answered when we meet certain requirements.
One condition is mentioned in John 14:14: After receiving Christ as our personal Savior, we have the right to present requests in Jesus’ name, which means praying something that the Lord Himself might pray. To exercise this privilege, we must come to the Father, depending not on our own good works or character but on the merits of Christ alone. Jesus’ atoning death on the cross is the only basis for approaching God and being assured of receiving an answer to our petitions.
A second requirement is separation from all known sin. Psalm 66:18 says, “If I regard wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” This refers to ungodly behaviors and thought patterns that we know are wrong but refuse to give up. Remember, God looks at our heart attitude. If we struggle against our sinful ways, grieve over them, and ask for forgiveness, He will hear our cries and respond. But when He sees a hard heart, He is not obligated to listen.
Next time you pray, start with words of praise to God for His sacrificial love and gratitude to Jesus for dying in your place (1 John 4:10). Express that you understand why your prayers are heard—because you have a relationship with the Father through Christ, and not because of anything you have done. Confess all known sin and ask for forgiveness. Then present your requests to God with anticipation, and trust His answers.
Take a look around. People are thrashing about in seas of guilt, anger, and despair. If you’re like me, life sometimes doesn’t work. We’re drowning fast. But my dear readers God can rescue us. And there is only one message that matters…His! We need to see God’s glory. Make no mistake about it. God has no ego problem. He doesn’t need to reveal His glory for His own good. But, it’s important that we witness it for ourselves. We need a strong hand to pull us into a safe boat. And once aboard, what becomes our priority? Simple. Promote God. Shout it out, “Hey, strong boat over here! Able pilot! He can pull you out!”
1 Chronicles 16:24 says, “Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous deeds among all peoples.” If we boast at all my friends then we must boast in the Lord! Psalm 115:1 says, “Not to us, O Lord, not to us, but to Your name we give you glory because of Your lovingkindness, because of Your truth. So…Declare His glory!
“If I have a problem? What do you mean if I have a problem, you are the problem.” Have you ever had a conversation with yourself or with a friend who was willing to tell you the truth about yourself? Accepting the truth about yourself is a hard pill to swallow but think about this. The problem(s) you are experiencing are of your own doing.
The choices you make on a daily basis or even minute by minute effect where your life is going. There is a saying in the bible that states, “you reap what you sow.” That is the absolute truth. Just think about your current situation and where you are today. Some of your decisions and choices in the past might cause you to feel the way you do in the present. Your internal talk probably says something like, “If only I would have…..”
None of us like having problems, they are a fact of life, however, you can prevent most if not all of your own problems. How you might ask? It’s simple really.
God’s word, the Bible, gives us all an outline or road map on how to go about our daily living. God is very specific sometimes like what you find in Exodus and Leviticus. He says, “If you do this, then I will do that.” What is required of us is doing the right things according to God’s word. He is then faithful to fulfill His promises to us.
You might argue that God’s word applies to those of the past but nothing could be further from the truth. Everything in God’s word is applicable to us in some way today. We have to be willing to explore and study what the Father says and then simply do it.
God is for us. God is for us. God is for us! Your parents may have forgotten you, your teachers may have neglected you, your siblings may be ashamed of you; but within reach of your prayers is the maker of the oceans. God! God is for you. Not may be, not has been, not was…but God is! He is for you. Today. At this hour. At this minute. As you read this, He is with you. God is for you!
Peter wrote his first letter to build up readers in their Christian walk. That purpose still applies today.
Our life is to be based on the atoning work of Jesus Christ, who died to redeem us from bondage to sin. His precious blood paid in full the cost of all our transgressions—past, present, and future. Upon acceptance of the Lord’s sacrificial death on our behalf, we experience a second birth and become spiritually alive.
At that moment of salvation, the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within us. His presence is proof of our new position in Christ, as well as a guarantee of our future inheritance and our place in heaven. As God’s children, we’re commanded to live a life of holiness, marked by a deep reverence for the Lord.
Our desire for holy living comes from knowing our Father’s character, understanding what it cost for us to be saved, and recognizing we will face a future judgment. Though we won’t face condemnation, we will one day stand before our Lord so He can assess our work and determine our heavenly rewards. He will examine our inner feelings as well as our outward behavior. Acts of obedience will be rewarded; times of rebellion will not. In other words, our attitudes and choices really do matter, both in this life and in the future.
Take time regularly to ponder these truths. Use them to increase your desire to follow God, to make changes in your conduct, and to be His faithful, obedient servant.
Put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24)
Christianity means change is possible. Deep, fundamental change. It is possible to become tender-hearted when once you were callous and insensitive. It is possible to stop being dominated by bitterness and anger. It is possible to become a loving person no matter what your background has been.
The Bible assumes that God is the decisive factor in making us what we should be. With wonderful bluntness, the Bible says, “Put away malice and be tender-hearted.” It does not say, “If you can…” Or: “If your parents were tender-hearted to you…” Or: “If you weren’t terribly wronged…” It says, “Be tender-hearted.”
This is wonderfully freeing. It frees us from the terrible fatalism that says change is impossible for me. It frees me from mechanistic views that make my background my destiny.
And God’s commands always come with freeing, life-changing truth to believe.