Have you ever prayed and prayed about something and it seemed that God wasn’t listening? We long for an answer to prayer. So somehow we think we need to do better in our praying and maybe up the ante. We begin praying more-adding in scripture and perhaps even fasting. Our works-oriented faith feels better about the strength of the prayer.
We live as if we believe God will know we are really serious now…and He will swiftly answer in our favor. But that isn’t really how we should approach Him.
Fasting and praying scripture are wonderful ways to worship God and pray powerfully. And we should do both! After the transfiguration Jesus chided his disciples for being unable to cast out the demon in the boy, who would fall into fire. He said this kind can only be removed by fasting and prayer. So there was a certain element missing to their prayers in that instance.
So is there a formula for prayer then or not?
I often have people ask me to pray, because they believe that God answers my prayers and not theirs. I have to shake my head at that, because through Jesus Christ we ALL have the same access to the Father. We ALL have access and the ability to petition God on behalf of others and ourselves.
There is no formula or methodology, per se, but there IS a right way to approach Him. Hebrews sheds light here–we approach God with confidence and boldness, speaking plainly and honestly to God–and that with trust in the Person who Can and is Able to answer our prayers with Power…asking from a heart that is humble. The Lord simply wants us to approach Him, believingly.
Begin simply, trustingly, as a child asking his parent…knowing that the parent unconditionally loves the child.
It is a picture of relationship. And that relationship is all because of the lifeblood and body of Jesus poured out and broken for you and me.
You see, I have seen many, many, many answered prayers. That is true. All have been amazing to watch as they unfold. Praise Him!! And my Father listens to me. Yes. He loves me and bends low to feed me.
Many of those prayers were not more than a short phrase-Lord, help. Lord, I’m weak, You be strong. Lord, the one you love is dying. Raise her from the dead.
But the fact is the Lord doesn’t hear only me. He hears you, too. He longs to reveal Himself to you–and to show you how He is near to every one of us. Oh how He loves us!
If only we could believe that. And know that. We would begin to pray, knowing that He is listening and waiting and lovingly longing for us to call out His Name. LORD. I believe. Help Thou my unbelief.