An essential part of prayer is being confident that God will hear and answer us as we pray. This sounds so simple and basic, but because many struggle to pray with this assurance their prayers are not answered.
Hebrews 11:6 tells us that faith believes;
- God exists; that he is who the bible says he is.
- And that he rewards those who diligently seek him; that among other things, he answers our prayers.
This is where the rubber meets the road, as the saying goes.
If we’re coming before the Lord and not expecting him to answer our prayers we are not praying in the power of the spirit. And our prayers will be hindered.
It’s that simple.
Our lack of faith can play out in two directions.
One direction is by not believing God is faithful or able or merciful enough to answer our prayers.. We can give many reasons and excuses, but the simple truth is that we do not think God will hear and answer our prayers.
We simply do not believe God
Another reason we do not pray in faith is because we don’t believe God will answer our prayers. We may believe he is God and that he is able, but when it comes to hearing and answering us, now that’s a totally different story.
I love reading about people God has used in the Bible. One thing I am reminded about time and time again is how God uses imperfect people to accomplish his perfect will.
Think for a moment about the people God has used;
- Abraham gave his own wife to the Pharaoh because he was afraid.
- Gideon hid in caves.
- David committed adultery and murder.
- Moses was a murderer and had a speech impediment.
- Elijah was depressed to the point of death.
- Jonah ran from the Lord.
- Rahab was a prostitute.
- Sampson was a womanizer.
And the list goes on. But the one thing these people had in common was that at one point they saw past their inabilities and failings and turned to and depended on God. And he used them in a powerful way.
Do we come before God in prayer with a sense of expectancy?
You’ve fallen. Maybe you’ve messed things up in your life. You have weakness. We all do. But do we believe God is greater than our lack? Is he able to use our prayers with all our brokenness and unworthiness? Can we trust God to hear our prayers and answer the small or mighty requests we’re bringing to him?
Or is our focus on our limitations instead of on God and his unlimited greatness?
Satan knows the power of a praying Christian. He will work to bring you into a place of ineptness in your prayer life with the Lord. He’ll whisper again and again reminders of your sin and shortcomings.
He loves to do that. And he’s good at what he does.
As convincing as he is, scripture tells us to resist him and he will flee. (James 4:7)
Of course we cannot live our lives willfully giving into sin and expect God to hear and answer our prayers. It’s important to live a life of following God and his word along with confessing our sin.
But we will never be perfect. We will always have flaws. Our lives will never be worthy enough to deserve God to hear us when we pray. We can never earn God’s answers to our prayers. Any worthiness we might have comes solely from our relationship with Christ.
We are because of who he is.
We can because of what he has done.
I don’t fully understand why God uses the prayers of his people, sinful and imperfect as we are, to bring about his will; but he does.
Scripture is clear about this.
Maybe it’s because using imperfect people points to God and glorifies him instead of us.
I can’t say for sure, but I do know God wants to use your prayers, and mine, to make a difference in our world today.
Step out and pray. Yes, fully understand your lack and God’s much needed grace, but put your trust and confidence in him.
Know that as you pray in faith and expectancy, God will hear and answer your prayers.