The scriptures tell us, “This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask anything according to his will, he hears us” (1 John 5:14). “Ask, and it will be given to you. Seek, and you will find. Knock, and the door will be opened to you” (Matthew 7:7). These are only a few of the many verses that speak of prayer.
In Matthew 6:9-13 the Lord Jesus answers the request of his disciples when they asked him to “teach us to pray.” This is the dilemma isn’t it! What does it mean to pray?
Let’s at least give a simple but at least an attempt at giving a definition of what prayer is. “Prayer is the essential means by which we communicate with God and the means by which God directs our lives, according to His will.” Here is the key issue of prayer. Prayer is more than saying a few words each morning or some desperate words spoken in a moment of darkness that shrouds our life. Prayer is communication. Prayer is a two way street in which we speak to God and then we must listen for His answer.
There are times when God’s answer is not what we would desire to have or even think we needed to hear, but we miss the all important part of our definition if we are only looking for what we want or what we perceive we need. The key of prayer is the total relying on the will of God not only for our life but also for His moving in the midst of our prayers. James 4:3 reminds us, “Your ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.”
Here we find the crux of the matter. God does hear our prayers, but God is also the directive of His will in the midst of our prayers. Coming before the throne of God in true communication results in two important truths. First, we come before the throne of God with the attitude of worship. We dare not come flippantly or haphazardly expecting God to move on our every whim. If we do this we will find ourselves as empty leaving as when we entered. Secondly, we come before the throne of God with the realization that He and He alone knows the outcome even before we begin to ask and in this we can trust Him for the answer that He will provide. God’s will for our lives is that which He desires for us so that we can relish in the faithfulness and love of the one who so longs for us to prosper in His grace. Yes, God does hear our prayers. The question for us is, “are we listening to Him?”
Grace to you all