Hello everyone! It's that time again, when I get to pour out my heart to you and pray that the words will be laced with God's supernatural grace and power and find their way directly to a special place in your heart. A place where, in the midst of all you have going on in your lives, you are able to find a haven where God's Words of truth can refresh and restore and fill you with His wisdom, filling you with His peace.
Do you remember the words of Jesus, when He speaks of us being full of His peace? John 14:27 says, "Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]" (Amplified)
I love the way He immediately links His peace with our tendency to worry. I am ashamed to admit that this is an area that I can been quite skilled in. Growing up, I clearly remember my Dad telling me, "Jenny, why do you always waste so much of your energy worrying about something that hasn't even happened?" He was right. I would somehow manage to get myself into a state of absolute despair over an issue that hadn't even materialised - except for in the confines of my own mind. I wonder if I ever thought that worrying about something meant I was being responsible? Did I think I could actually add some kind of value to my life by playing out all the possible scenarios that COULD happen, SHOULD something go horribly wrong? Which reminds me of what Jesus said in Matthew 6:27, "And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the span of his life?"
Well, no matter what our opinion on the subject of worry, God has made His very clear. He says we mustn't give it the time of day. And I know why, worry always produces doubt and unbelief and they both, are closely related to the enemy of our faith - fear. Fear is a powerful spiritual force that will completely neutralise our faith, rendering it powerless. It will destroy any confidence we have in the Lord and His Word and will make every prayer we pray ineffective.
Now this - INEFFECTIVE PRAYER - is really the heart of the matter I feel to share with you today. So why all the ramblings on about worry and doubt? Because according to the Word of God, they are the cause of double mindedness in the area of our prayer life. Look at what James 1:6-8 says about this, "Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, [For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides]."
There is a boldness and godly confidence we can have as children of God when we pray. I'm not talking about an arrogance, or an attitude of entitlement. I'm not even talking about a confidence we have in ourselves. No, it's a boldness and a confidence we experience by knowing and participating in an active relationship with God, and understanding the covenant promises from His Word. It's this certainty we have in Christ that will drive out all worry and doubt and replace it with God's supernatural faith and peace. What a difference this makes in our prayer life!
Did you know the Bible says it's possible to pray amiss? It's true, James 4:2-3 says, "You have not, because you ask not. You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss." Praying from a heart of doubt and fear will cause our prayers to be ineffective.
There is so much to learn and share on this subject. But an excellent place to begin, is to understand that our prayers ARE EFFECTIVE when we approach the Lord in bold faith and not worry, doubt and unbelief. Scripture says that because of our RELATIONSHIP of right standing with God, we have an ongoing invitation to come BOLDLY to the throne of grace, to OBTAIN mercy and grace to help us in our time of need (Hebrews 4:16). It's interesting to note that the word OBTAIN means certainty to posses.
There is a direct connection between three important truths here. Firstly, our RELATIONSHIP with God and His Word, that leads to... Secondly, a confident BOLDNESS in Him and His Word, that causes us to... Thirdly, OBTAIN exactly what we need.
Look at the Words of Jesus in John 15:7, "If you LIVE IN ME [abide vitally united to Me] and MY WORDS REMAIN IN YOU and continue to live in your hearts, ASK whatever you will, and it SHALL BE DONE for you."
Do you see the very same pattern? Jesus first emphasises us having a living relationship with Him and His Word; in order to have a confidence or boldness, to ask and obtain whatever we need from Him.
This is how it works: When we choose to actively spend time fellowshipping with the Lord, and keep His Word alive in our hearts, we begin to confidently trust and lean on Him and His Words with our whole being. He becomes everything to us and His Word is a constant guide for all we do. Since His ways and purposes become the dominating authority in all we do, and a pure delight for us to live by, they will have a direct influence on the way we pray. We begin to pray what the Holy Spirit within us, leads us to pray, backed by the truth in His Word. That's where the confidence and boldness comes from. There can be no doubt or uncertainty that what His Spirit and His Word have confirmed in our hearts to pray - is exactly what will become a reality in our lives!
There is so much truth packed up in that one paragraph isn't there! So I'll stop right here, to give us time to really meditate on it and make it ours! But I will leave you with one more promise to bring it all together, from 1 John 5:14&15, "And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him." (Amplified)
How do I know I'm praying according to His will? Easy, ask the Holy Spirit to be your guide as you search the scriptures to see what God has to say on the subject. When you have His Word on it, you have His will concerning it. Let it fill you with peace and confidence as you pray! And remember, don't give worry and doubt the time of day!