Pray Like It Matters
“6 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.”Romans 8:26-27
Please allow me to throw off the uniform of ecumenical propriety, and speak plainly to you about this watershed moment in which we live. As God’s people, we must stop praying “tidy” prayers. We need to pray blubbering prayers, prayers where we cry our eyes out as we call upon our Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, our Master, and Savior.
This is a crude analogy, but in a tiny way, Jesus is like the Internet. People around the world log on to the Internet to connect to a resource; it might be a search engine, it might be a Bible site, it might be WebMD, but it’s a resource they seek. Jesus is the great connection between us and the Father. Jesus is called our mediator.
A mediator is like an attorney that bridges communication between their client and the judge and prosecutor. Our prayers connect to God through the second person of the Godhead, Jesus Christ, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
The Holy Spirit Helps Us Pray
Our Father hears us, but what we say is helped, improved, and corrected by the Holy Spirit. If we were invited to meet the Queen of England, we would first be prepared for the meeting to make sure that we said the right things, responded in the right way, and understood that we weren’t following our plans but, instead, we were to follow the lead and direction of the Queen. Even more so are we to be before the Father. The Holy Spirit helps us like this, and He does more.
We need to pray. When we do so we are wearing Christ’s suit of righteousness. God won’t look upon sin; we all have sins. So when God looks at us He sees us dressed in the sinlessness of His Beloved Son.
With the help of Jesus, our Master, and the Spirit of God, our prayers are proper and presented to the Father. This is why we can have absolute confidence in God’s answer. We may have blubbered some half-intelligible prayer birthed from our anger or pain or disgust, but that prayer comes before the Father as a sweet-smelling aroma that is pleasing to Him.
Pray Like it Matters
In the times in which we live, we must pray like it matters because it does. Never in our lifetime have we seen such evil paraded and called “good.” The world will go headlong over the cliff, like the pigs when Jesus cast out the legion of demons, but the body of Christ will not. We must pray and we must have confidence that God hears our prayers and intercedes for us.
Satan accuses us day and night before God. He is like a wicked prosecutor that enjoys hurting people and using his power to mess with people’s lives. He harms people because God loves us. We are like children in a dysfunctional home where a drunken, violent, evil dad hurts his kids as a way to hurt his ex-wife. This is why we see the violence and murder reported to us in the news each night. God doesn’t cause evil, satan does.
God hears our prayers and He is not constrained by anything including time or circumstances. He hears our polished, buttoned-up prayers and He looks at His Beloved Son, who suffered and died for us, and then God acts.
“21 And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.”2 Corinthians 1:21-22
God Answers in Shocking Ways
God may say “yes”, “no”, or “wait” but He may also step into our prayers and make a way where there is no way, He may do more than we ever imagined, He may break barriers that constrain us, toss roadblocks aside, and cause all manner of miracles because He desires freedom for us and in Him we find that freedom.
The truth is, we can’t imagine how God will answer our prayers, but we should pray like it matters, praying in faith, and in our knowledge that God is reliable. God really does change things. Jesus asked the Father and our Father has given us the Holy Spirit. He is in every true Christian and He will come upon all who ask.
We do need to understand that we will be tested, we will be persecuted, some will be imprisoned, and some with be killed. As Christians, we expect suffering, just as our Savior suffered.
Be of Good Cheer
The times in which we live are unlike those when we were children. We must pray like never before, for it is our time of communing with God that we will gain the endurance, wisdom, and guidance to be the peacemakers, the merciful, the pure in heart.
Be of good cheer. Jesus wins in the end and He will lose no one that the Father has given Him. Let us all pray, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.“
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