Hebrews 4:15-16 (NLT)
This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
The power of prayer in the life of a believer is undeniable yet many have left this great asset of righteousness behind for no reason at all. Faith has been tainted by misplaced expectation as we call on the Name of Jesus Christ and expect the world to answer. Jesus understands our weaknesses and has overcome them all. (John 16:33) There is comfort in knowing that the trials and sorrows that you are enduring have God’s Goodness attached. The acknowledgement of Jesus Christ that we will have these events in our life only demonstrates that He has provided every bit of grace and power that His People need to get through it. Nothing surprises God. Jesus Christ faced all the same testings that are common to mankind and that you may be facing today. The only difference is that Jesus did not sin. He did not doubt the supernatural power of His Father in Heaven or God’s Plan for the future. The Lord knew that the Cross was coming yet because He saw your face on the other side decided that it would be worth it all. Now we can come boldly to Jesus Christ and ask for what we need, want and desire. He will give us the mercy we need to overcome the barriers of prayer in our life and the grace to continue when just when we are about to give up. His Grace is sufficient for me. (2 Corinthians 12:9) God invites us to come boldly into His Presence. His Son, Jesus Christ has made a way to overcome the sin that kept us from Him. His Spirit stirs within our heart and soul to make this connection. His Strength is made perfect in your weakness. The Power of Jesus Christ is available to you. Will you come boldly today?
Colossians 4:2 (NLT) Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
We are to be devoted to prayer with an alert mind and thankful heart. I wonder how many times we enter God’s Presence without any idea what to expect and completely ignorant of His Promise, Provision and Presence in our life. We come to Jesus whining and complaining due to a lack of faith and trust that everything from God is good and will yield a harvest at just the right time. Instead we cry out for that which has been provided by the Cross and ask for the things clearly evident in the spirit. What is the problem? We do not have an alert mind. We pray blindly when His Word offers the things permissible in His Kingdom. When you begin to ask God for His Will to be done in your life then you will experience God’s Best in every situation and the peace to wait until it comes fully mature and complete lacking nothing. Problem is that our unthankful heart creates a greedy spirit so acting as a petulant child our words are those of a manipulator as we attempt to trick God into doing something that He did not plan. Devotion to prayer requires knowledge of God. Who He is? What to expect? It requires the faith to wait until it comes. A thankful heart praises God for what He has done even when we need Him more. Those who live this way can come boldly into the Presence of God and expect to receive with an alert mind and thankful heart.
Matthew 21:12-13 (NLT)
Jesus entered the Temple and began to drive out all the people buying and selling animals for sacrifice. He knocked over the tables of the money changers and the chairs of those selling doves. He said to them, “The Scriptures declare, ‘My Temple will be called a house of prayer,’ but you have turned it into a den of thieves!” The blind and the lame came to him in the Temple, and he healed them.
Jesus called the Temple (Church) to be a House of Prayer. Do you pray? When Jesus Christ died for your sins and then you accepted Him as Savior and Lord, you became a Temple of the Living God when His Spirit came to live on the inside of you. No longer a “den of thieves”, you do not have to catch a break but you have been given a complete pardon from the penalty of your sin. In other words, you do not have to bring a bull, lamb or three pigeons to the altar each day to sacrifice for all the times you wanted to run someone over in traffic, push them out of line, thought terrible things about them or failed to love others who persecute and aggravate you. But notice what happened right after Jesus cleaned out the Temple, He immediately brought healing to it. God wants to heal your broken life. Jesus wants His Peace to rest upon you. His Spirit lives inside of you so that every detail can become aligned with God’s Perfect Will and Way for your life. However, the church of today has become like a “den of thieves” trying to have God’s Best our way, we no longer want God’s Plan but try to trick Him with outward motions but inward motives. We do not want to remain in the righteousness of God through the Grace of Jesus Christ. We want a drive thru blessing. But you cannot get a Whopper at McDonalds or a Big Mac at Burger King. If you crave and desire one or the other than you must go to the proper place to find it. God’s Presence is strictly reserved for those who desire to be God’s Temple. It requires a commitment to prayer. Jesus spent a lot of time in the wilderness praying despite knowing all that was to come. (Luke 5:16)
James 5:13-16 (NLT)
Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises. Are any of you sick? You should call for the elders of the church to come and pray over you, anointing you with oil in the name of the Lord. Such a prayer offered in faith will heal the sick, and the Lord will make you well. And if you have committed any sins, you will be forgiven. Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Righteousness keeps a believer in the Presence of God no matter what the circumstances of life. Suffering hardship is a good time to pray. Happiness is a good time to praise. Sickness is a good time for faith. Committed any sins? Pray about it. Confession is indeed good for the soul. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results. Are there any righteous people? This brings me back to Abraham pleading with the Lord to spare Sodom. What if there are 50 righteous people in Sodom or 45 or 40 or 30 or 20 or even 10? As Abraham bargained with the Lord it became clear that there were very few righteous people remaining in Sodom. In fact, only Lot and his two daughters make it out alive. I believe this is a prevailing problem in the church today. We are called Children of God but deep in our heart we do not live like His People. Lost in the darkness of this world, we cry out to a God clearly separated from us by our sin. Grace allows us to cross this threshold into the Light of His Amazing Love. Will you come boldly into His Presence or remain shrouded in the darkness of this world? Your sin cannot come with you. It must be washed away in the Blood of Jesus as you don the robe of righteousness provided. It is your only hope of having answered prayers. It has great power to produce wonderful results for those who choose to live in right-standing with God by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Luke 11:5-10 (NLT)
Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him, ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’ And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’ But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence. “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
The Lord is waiting for you to become shamelessly persistent in your pursuit of Him. This will not happen if you do not expect anything to happen. Faith is a requirement. It works something like this. If I am making a recipe and do not have enough sugar, I know that the neighbor down the street bakes a lot and should have it so I send my littlest runner down for a cup of sugar as she will do the same if has such an unmet need. But I know that my next door neighbor is not a cook and may not have what I need so I don’t even bother to ask. I ask the one who has what I need. If God has nothing that you need, you will be shamelessly persistent in asking Him for what you need. But if you do not have faith or trust that leads to confident hope, you may think “why bother what’s the point?” Only those who believe in their heart that He who has promised is able will keep on knocking until the door is open. The truly desperate will seek until He is found. When you feel well, who needs a doctor? But when the word cancer comes into your life, not only do you seek the best medical help, but it tends to hasten one’s entrance to the Kingdom doors to begin to shamelessly and persistently knock for the Great Physician. Desperation will lead you to a greater understanding of just how much the Lord has to offer. But you do not have to wait for devastation, disaster or disease to come into your life, instead knock daily and come boldly in your Presence believing everything God created is good and He will produce it in every situation. (I Timothy 4:4-5) Persistent prayer is our way of telling God you have everything I need and I am not leaving until I get it. It is an act of faith based on the Word of God that produces the Will of God in our life.
Ephesians 6:18 (NLT)
Pray in the Spirit at all times and on every occasion. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all believers everywhere.
Pray in the Spirit is not some mystical language although sometimes we do not have the proper words to convey our heart’s desire to the Lord so the Holy Spirit will help. However, the Spirit takes the Word of God in our heart and produces the vocabulary that we need to come boldly before the Throne of God. However, religion keeps prayer in a box. (Matthew 23:5) The Lord prefers prayers of the righteous and not religious. (Proverbs 15:8) We have the ability to pray effectively by the Grace of Jesus that allows us to live in righteousness or right-standing with the Lord. (Ephesians 3:12) He gave us His Spirit to facilitate the conversation called prayer. However, if we choose to be religious rather than righteous our expectation returns to the world for what we need as it compares us to others rather than establishing us in His Kingdom with His Provision, Blessing, Favor and Inheritance. If we ask the world for what we want, need and desire, it will give us a substitute. However, for those who will not comprise their relationship for religion will have God’s Very Best. Jesus did not pray for the world. (John 17:9-10) But we do every day! Not that the world would come to know the Lord we know, but rather that God will use the world to meet our need. Why settle for second best? Jesus has given us the keys to His Kingdom and it is time to come boldly and claim it!
Matthew 6:9-13 (NLT)
Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today the food we need, and forgive us our sins, as we have forgiven those who sin against us. And don’t let us yield to temptation, but rescue us from the evil one.
It seems to me if this is how Jesus said that we should pray there might be some relevance to it. Acknowledge God. Invite His Righteousness to prevail in your life as you strive to be holy. Ask for His Will to be done in your life whatever that is be willing to accept it and study to show that you are approved. In other words, don’t pray blindly. Find out exactly what the Kingdom of God promises that you will have then begin persistently knocking. Give us what we need for today. (period) The Lord invites you to “come boldly” and to be “shamelessly persistent” but nowhere does it say to be “constantly begging”. It is not necessary. God has already provided when you need, it is up to you to be convinced that He has and go get it. Forgiveness is crucial in prayer. Forgiving others and even yourself is vital. Do not allow temptation to produce sin that builds a barrier between what you need and the provision of the Lord for your life. It is the only thing that can keep you from experiencing the open windows of Heaven promised by the Lord to those who are righteous and live obedient lives.
I Peter 3:11-12 (NLT)
“Turn away from evil and do good. Search for peace, and work to maintain it. The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right and his ears are open to their prayers. But the Lord turns his face against those who do evil.”
Turn from evil and do good. This is repentance at work in your life. To Call on the Name of the Lord and continue to allow sin to prevail in your life will never lead to the righteousness that opens the ears of the Lord to your prayers. It is not that His Eyes ever left you or His Ears grew deaf to your cries, the barrier of sin left behind is keeping Him from reaching you. His Grace is available to guide you to the door, but it is up to you to remove the sin that is blocking it. You must search for peace between your body, mind and spirit. Quiet the war of the flesh by fasting AND praying for God’s Work to be completed in your life. You are not alone. His Spirit is with you and just as Jesus cleared the Temple and immediately began healing people, it will be this way in you. Suddenly the dawn of righteousness will come bringing everything you so desperately need as your relationship with the Lord is fully restored. (Malachi 4:2) Now you may come boldly, you only had to turn around. God is not as far away as you may think. Jesus has everything you need in this life and the Kingdom that is coming. His Spirit is on the inside of you waiting to be acknowledged so He can bring you back to life! The only question is, “Will you come boldly?”
2 Chronicles 7:14-15 (NLT)
Then if my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. My eyes will be open and my ears attentive to every prayer made in this place.