According to Paul in Ephesians 1:3 God “hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” The individual who makes the decision to become a Christian and live faithfully to that commitment is indeed a blessed individual. It would be impossible to name all of these blessings available to us from God. “Count your many blessings, name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.” I’m sure that we are not even aware of many of them.
One of these blessings is God’s promise and willingness to hear and respond to our prayers. Does God actually hear and answer my prayers? Listen to what the scriptures say. Jesus said, “But thou when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut the door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matt. 6:6). He also said, “Ask and it shall be given you...For every one that asketh receiveth” (Matt. 7:7-8). Peter tells us, “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers” (I Pet. 3:12). Listen to these statements from the beloved apostle: “And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight” (I John 3:22). “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him” (I John 5:14-15). After reading statements like these, is it any wonder that Paul urged us to pray without ceasing? (I Thess. 5:17).
It is beyond amazing to know that the Creator and Sustainer of the universe, the all-powerful, all-knowing, omnipresent God, will actually hear my feeble efforts at praying and that He not only will hear but will answer as well! With David we ask, “What is man, that thou are mindful of him? And the son of man, that thou visitest him?” (Psalm 8:4). Amazing indeed, and all Christians should be humbled by this fact.
But now to the question which serves as the title for this writing. Do you really believe in prayer? How often do you pray? What do you pray for?
David believed in prayer. “Give ear to my words, O Lord, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up” (Psalm 5:1-3). Do you pray in need? David said, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears” (Psalm 18:6). He urges, “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22). Listen to David as he sincerely pours out his heart unto God in prayer: “Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me” (Psalm 86:1-7).
After witnessing the prayer life of Jesus, is it any wonder that His disciples said unto Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples to pray” (Luke 11:1)? Like Daniel, set aside a time each day to pray (Dan. 6:10). He believed in prayer so much that he was willing to risk his life before he would stop praying to his God.
“Ere you left your room this morning, did you think to pray? When you met with great temptation, when your heart was filled with anger, when sore trials came upon you, when your soul was bowed in sorrow, did you think to pray? Oh, how praying rests the weary! Prayer will change the night to day; So when life seems dark and dreary, Don’t forget to pray!”
Remember James said, “Ye have not because ye ask not” (James 4:2b).
Paul M. Wilmoth