Do you believe in prayer? That is, do you believe that prayer works, and works wonders, do you?
If you pray, and make your requests known to God the Father, do you believe that HE will answer, do you? If you pray that President Biden will see the light and turn from his non–scriptural, non–Christian ways as he champions abortion, the gay agenda, euthanasia and more, if you pray that Biden will be convicted and transformed by the Holy Spirit, do you believe, REALLY BELIEVE that will happen, that God will answer and change the mind and heart of perhaps the most powerful man in the world, do you?
Of course, God the Father can do anything, ANYTHING. Our God is the Creator of all things, all peoples. The earth is the LORD’S and whatever his will, that you may be sure will be done. His will, his timing and his ways may not be our ways but we can be certain what he wants will happen. Dare we ask that if we ask of God what seems to us to be right and it doesn’t happen, dare we ask that God is not listening, eternally silent and not paying attention to us his creations, his children? Dare we ask that.
David did. In the pslams, David became frustrated time and again asking the God of Abraham:
ARE YOU LISTENING?
Do you hear me. Why do you not answer me. I am your child and I call upon you time and time again, I wait patiently for your answer and it seems never to come. WHY? Why do you not answer me, oh God, why?
What a question, perhaps the most fundamental question any Christian can ask. We pray for evil ways and things to end but they continue. Why? We pray that Democrats like Pelosi, and Schumer, and Tlaib, and AOC will recognize the evil of abortion, become convicted by the Holy Spirit but it never happens. The mystery of EVIL has puzzled, confused and even conflicted the very best of the saints. Billy Graham was once asked why, if God was good, holy, just and right, and LOVING, was there evil in the world and so much of it. WHY? Graham, honest to the core as he was admitted that he did not understand and did not know why. Evil was perhaps for him, and is for us, the most confusing, difficult to accept NON–ANSWER to what we regard as our fervent and sincere prayers.
Christians, our brothers and sisters, are slaughtered everyday the world over.
Churches are bombed. Children are kidnapped and sold into slavery. Sexual slavery. The world and much of our government turns its back on the problem, this evil at work. Weapons of mass destruction continue to be produced. Armies are modernized and ready for warfare. Nation rises up against nation, and the anti–religionists proliferate and predominate. Poverty and plague increase, evil to the core. And, perhaps this is only the beginning of the end times, ONLY THE BEGINNING. Why, why we ask oh Lord? We ASK, Father God and so often without answer. We SEEK your will, DIVINE ANSWERS and so often they do not come. We KNOCK and even though the door, that spiritual door to YOU for the price of your will and grace is promised by you to be opened, abortion continues and the answer, the divine solution to that problem never seems to occur. WHY, why we ask do you allow that?
When divine answers do not come, when the ways of evil politicians continue and only grow worse, many begin to not believe in prayer, the power and efficacy of prayer. It just doesn’t work, the doubters say, for Pelosi will never change her ways and will always champion abortion. The skeptic says that God either is not listening or doesn’t care. That divine silence becomes a serious problem, and a real hindrance to faith, especially the faith of the fragile. And yet, prayer is the only way, our only access, the only medium, the only communication method between us and HIM. Without that, there is nothing but silence, void, and without PRAYER, there is no means to express our joy, our thankfulness, gratitude, our feelings from the deepest recesses of our hearts and souls. We cling as Christians to the promise that:
PRAYER WORKS WONDERS.
And we believe that even though so often we do not see that. We pray for America. We pray that God will lead, guide and direct and that our God will:
We continue to ask for divine favor but so often our prayers for things secular seem to go unanswered. Why, we say with David, why oh Lord? ARE YOU LISTENING? Do you hear me, says David? We see America rotting spiritually, immorality at every turn, destruction of all things religious, and the free speech of Christian testimony gradually done away with. And we ask for divine help, intervention to put a stop to this EVIL and it only seems to increase. And so, as doubt occurs, we are simply left with that most perplexing of questions:
But there are terms and conditions to answered prayer. We are told in the Old Testament that God will not hear, nor will God answer unless we the people approach him in HUMILITY. Are you humble when you pray? And we are called upon to pray sincerely, earnestly, and continuously. Do we do that? Do we really BELIEVE when we pray that God will both:
HEAR AND ANSWER,
do we? We honestly SEEK his will, what is right godly and not what we think is right, do we?
And, do we turn from our evil and wicked ways? We pray that the evil of others will be dealt with but often we forget that our own lives need constant cleansing. How can we expect God to deal with a speck in the eye of someone else when there is a beam, a much larger thing in our eye, in our lives. It won’t happen. We his people must humble, seek and turn before God will listen, even listen. But if those conditions exist, God will both hear and answer, otherwise not.
Answered prayer depends so much on WHAT we ask. Selfish, self–serving, egotistic prayers and requests get nowhere. We are commanded to pray for those in authority and we should. But if we approach God with the proposition that they are wrong and we are right, if we approach God the Father without asking as his prayer requires that HIS WILL BE DONE, we can’t expect an answer. If prayer is all about self, selfish supplications usually get nowhere. We need to pray for ourselves but not demand. We need to pray for others, and always in love, with true and real hope and faith in that prayer that God will answer. If we pray for America, then we must be about the business of doing all we can for our beloved country as a precondition to asking God’s help for it and us. What we ask of God is so very important.
There are any number of ways (how) to ask. Perhaps the most effective, says the Lord of Glory is, prayer alone:
IN THE CLOSET.
You in prayer alone with God Almighty, with the intercession of the Holy Spirit. There is no better place or way to pray.
Or perhaps when two or three are gathered together, where GOD is there, as with a spouse, or child or children, or friend or employee, that is beautifully effective.
Or larger numbers, many in the multitudes. The prayer leadings at church, the corporate prayer of congregations at worship. We have our thoughts, our wants and needs but it is highly effective, says the scripture, to listen to others leading in prayer who express their very own. They are their words, their supplications to God, but they can become ours. Those corporate, congregational prayers like individual, can work wonders.
WORDS, their numbers or eloquence doesn’t matter. Jesus told us that the old spiritual hypocrites thought they would be heard “for their many words.” The more the better, they thought but in reality, the words were all about them and without the sincerity which God requires. When you pray alone, thoughts and words are exactly yours, precisely what you think, from the deepest recesses of your heart and we are told those prayerful words work wonders for they are the most sincere, the most real. They are not subject to the criticism or even ridicule of others. IT IS ATTITUDE NOT ELOQUENCE WHICH MATTERS IN PRAYER.
I can pray for President Biden because I am required to as a Christian. Such a prayer usually gets nowhere. Or, I can pray for President Biden because I really hope in faith that he will be the right President for America at this critical time in history. The former prayer gets nowhere, the latter works.
We should not bother to pray unless we EXPECT God to hear and answer. Those words pro forma get nowhere. We should believe that our prayers will be answered. Not that we will get what we want or even necessarily what we request. But at our request, the HOLY WILL of God will be gone and we will know. There is no point in praying unless you really believe, REALLY BELIEVE that prayer works and WORKS WONDERS.
Then, WE WAIT. Wait on the Lord says the scriptures, for his timetable is not ours. His ways are not ours. God will do with Biden, Schumer, Pelosi, McConnell and all others in authority as HE will on his very own timetable and his very own ways. But HE knows where we stand and what we have requested. HE KNOWS. We wait and we accept. Perhaps the real answer to prayer is to watch expectantly for the will of God to be revealed, WHATEVER THAT IS. If we have done our best, worked for the night is coming, and prayed with a sincere and believing heart, that is all we can do. The rest lies in the hands of the one who made us.
Jesus spent 40 days and nights in the wilderness, PRAYING, meditating, and fasting. Have you ever tried to pray and fast at the same time? If we did, most of us would hardly endure 40 minutes much less 40 days. Fascinating, isn’t it, that the Son of the living God needed that 40 day experience, that spiritual fine tuning in order to be all that he could be and do the will of his FATHER. How much more should we pray like that, and:
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING.
Never stop, always believing, patiently waiting, living in that loving expectancy.
The disciples of Jesus asked him to TEACH them to pray. They were not sure they knew how. From the Lord came the Lord’s prayer. And Jesus said to them, as you approach God the Father, the Creator of all things and you, this HOLY GOD, the first thing you ask in prayer is:
THY WILL BE DONE.
Not mine, not the will of anyone else, but only the will of God the Father. That all is wonderful, beautiful, just, fair even though it is often beyond our understanding.
Prayer works. So, get in that closet, and all alone, with the INTERCESSION OF THE HOLY SPIRIT, or:
PRAY WITHOUT CEASING!