I don’t think any of us would argue that we are supposed to pray. I don’t think any of us would say we pray enough. I don’t think any of us would say that prayer is ineffective. However, some of us might be tempted to say my prayer is not powerful or effective.
It is easy to come to that conclusion. After all there are many verses similar to Proverbs 15:29. The Lord is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous. How about James 5:16? Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. We are also reminded that we all sin and fall short of God’s glory. We know prayer is effective… when offered up by a righteous person. I don’t know about you, but I often don’t feel like I belong in that class very often, the class of the righteous.
This is where the grace of God comes in. It is part of the mystery of God that we who are unrighteous can be considered as righteous before God’s throne because of Jesus. Listen to what Paul said to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 1:30. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. You see, righteousness is required for God to hear and respond to our prayers, but the good news is, it is not a righteousness that we have to achieve through our own actions. The righteousness acceptable before God is the righteousness of Christ which has been imparted to us.
Have you ever been part of, or overheard a conversation, where some imagine what they would do if they were God? Well, think of this. Jesus is God. As we approach the Heavenly Father in prayer we do so covered in the righteousness of Jesus. With that kind of access and power, is it any wonder that prayer is referred to as the greatest tool of the Christian?
So what is our take away? Pray! Pray in confidence. Pray in power. Pray often. Even though we are aware of our shortcomings and unrighteous behavior, approach the throne in boldness and ask the Spirit to bring your prayers in line with the Divine will. If we can accomplish that, no door will remain closed to us and no enemy can stand. May you find new energy and confidence in your prayer life and may God’s power flow through your faith to the glory of God.
Faith Walk, Faith Presbyterian Church, Mike Martin, Pastor
“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1