Prayer: Is it Real?
As it turns out today’s discipleship blog is also on the topic of Prayer — our speaker’s message this past Sunday and the focus of every post this week. Perhaps the Lord is trying to tell us something? What do you think it might be? Do you believe in prayer? Do you believe that prayer can actually accomplish something? Do you truly believe there is Someone out there listening? Or do you think prayer is just an exercise religious people do to make themselves feel better?
These questions are extremely important. In fact, they have a lot to do with whether or not one’s prayers are answered at all! Scripture is very clear on this. In Hebrews we read: “…anyone who comes to Him must believe that He exists and that He rewards those who earnestly seek Him..” (Heb. 11:6b). In other words if we don’t believe that God is out there and listening there’s no point in pretending we are talking to Him. If we don’t believe that God can answer our prayers there’s no point in making them.
This is only reasonable. Who among us would pick a random number from a telephone directory, call it, and ask for someone whom we know full well not to be there? Or who would call a lumber yard and order a pizza knowing full well they cannot provide it? And so it is with God. As the verse cited above actually begins, “Without faith it is impossible to please God” (Heb. 11:6a).
Ah yes, this stuff called “faith” — this intangible ‘something’ the definition of which opens this chapter: “…faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” (Heb. 11:1). Confidence… assurance… but how do we get such confidence and assurance in such a silent, unseen a Being as God?
Truth is, most of us already know quite well! We grow in confidence and assurance in God just as we grow in confidence and assurance in people. We spend time with them. We learn over time whether they do or do not keep their word. We ask them for help and they give it. They ask a thing of us, and we do it! A mutual trust grows.
It is the same with God. We trust Him, put Faith in Him, just as we do other silent and unseen things. Things like love, convictions, To Thomas, who doubted then saw, Jesus said, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29). That’s you and I. Do you believe?
The Apostle John wrote,
“I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:13-15)
Be assured in that belief… and pray.
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