Praying should be like breathing, easier to do than not

Sep 22, 2017 By Sunny Jensen, For The Ranger

God answers all prayers. Sometimes he says "Yes," sometimes he says "No," and sometimes he says "You've got to be kidding!"

Prayer is an amazing privilege God has given us. It has been said that God only hears the prayers of Christians/believers and that he does not listen to the prayers of a non-believer. The only prayer God hears from a non-believer is the prayer of forgiveness and salvation. There are verses in the Bible that prove God hears all prayers, believers and non-believers alike. ( I John 5:14-15) "And we are con@257;dent that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. And since we know he hears us when we make our requests, we also know that he will give us what we ask for."

These two verses from 1 John tell us that if we ask God for something and it is in accordance to his will, he will hear those prayers. This applies to everyone. Nothing can prevent God from answering such a prayer, believer or not, if it is his will for us. There are instances in which God may not answer the prayers of an unbeliever, but at the same time, in his grace and mercy, God can intervene in the lives of unbelievers in response to their prayers.

Prayer in Jesus's name is taught in John l4:l 3-14: "You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. Yes, ask Me for anything in My name, and I will do it!"

Praying in Jesus's name means praying with his authority and asking God the Father to act upon our prayers because we come in the name of his son, Jesus. Praying in Jesus's name means the same thing as praying according to the will of God. Praying in Jesus's name is praying for things that will honor and glorify Jesus.

However, saying "in Jesus's name" at the end of a prayer is not a magical phrase to guarantee a prayer request. If what we ask for or say in prayer is not for God's glory and according to His will, saying "in Jesus's name" is meaningless. Genuinely praying in Jesus's name and for his glory is what is important, not attaching certain words to the end of a prayer.

It is not the words in the prayer that matter, but the purpose behind the prayer. Praying for things that agree with God's will is the essence of praying in Jesus's name.

Prayer is a form of worship. In prayer, we can confess or sins, ask for forgiveness and the strength to repent, pray for other people as well as come to him with our own needs. We confess our sins because we know "He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9) and we worship him for it. We repent knowing that God is a forgiving and loving God and he has provided a means of forgiveness in the sacri@257;ce of his son on the cross. We come to him in prayer for others as well as our own personal needs because we know he loves us and hears us, and we worship him for his mercy and kindness in being willing to hear and answer our prayers.

Many of us are going through life missing out on countless blessings God has for us, simply because, the Bible says, "You do not have because you do not ask" (James 4:2). Sometimes we find ourselves praying only as a last resort, when everything else fails, after we've called all our friends and all our relatives. When no one can help us, we say, "What else can I do? All I can do now is pray." But prayer should not be our last resort. It should be our first resort. God should always be the very @257;rst source we turn to for all our needs.

For a Christian, praying should be like breathing, easier to do than to not do. If Jesus thought it was worthwhile to pray, we should also. If he needed to pray to remain in the father's will, how much more do we

need to pray? Prayer should not be employed as our means of getting God to do our will on earth, but rather as a means of getting God's will complete on earth. God's wisdom far exceeds our own and he knows what is best for us even before we know it.

Verse of the Week: Matthew 6:5-15