I didn’t plan this very well. October kinda snuck up on me, making Part One the last post of September. So . . .
Like all of us, atheists are prone to noticing events that confirm what they want to believe and ignoring what contradicts what they want to believe. For example, atheists discount all the times when God brings about change in our lives because of our interaction (prayer) with Him.
Mark 11:24 - “I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.”
As I stated in yesterdays’s post, when you are in a right relationship with God you will be asking for things that are in God’s will - for example, “Father please protect and strengthen our marriage. Change me into the kind of husband that you want for my wife.” That kind of prayer will be answered with a “yes.”
. Psalm 37:4 - “Take delight in the Lord, and He will give you your heart’s desire.”
What our heart desires most is a healed and forgiven relationship with our Creator.
. Matthew 6:6 - “But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”
As stated in yesterday’s post, prayer is about communication, not a show.
. John 15:7 - “But if you remain in Me and My words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted!”
Praying in “Jesus name” is not repeating some words. Praying in Jesus name means that the one praying is similar in character to Jesus Himself. I am praying in mercy like Jesus, forgiveness like Jesus, in love like Jesus and in obedience to Jesus.
. 1 John 5:14 - “And we are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him.”
“Thy will be done,” is no idle comment. A person in close relationship with God will ONLY want to ask for those things that God wants; never will we ask for something contrary to the will of God.
. 1 John 3:21-22 - “Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. And we will receive from Him whatever we ask because we obey Him and do the things that please him.”
This is very similar to praying in the character of Jesus and in the will of Jesus. If we are praying in the name of or character of Jesus we will be living in obedience to the will of God.
We are told in the Bible that the prayer of a righteous person is very effective. People that I know who seem to “have God’s ear” are those who are in a right relationship with both God and others. They have a merciful and forgiving heart. The fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) is evident in their lives. They exude the character of Jesus. These people do not out of ignorance purport to know whether or not God wants someone to live or die, to be healed or not healed. These people pray from a humble heart, allowing God to work in their lives and accepting on faith that whatever God wants is what is right and best in that situation.