Answered true prayer

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Praying in confidence, believing that I will receive from God whatever I ask, allows me to experience a daily adventure of answered prayer. The excitement of actually seeing God working in my life and in the lives of those I am in contact with is something that gives me daily stimulation. This is what seems to be the norm for walking with Jesus and how He intended for us to experience every day.

And so, my dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have courage in God’s presence. We receive from him whatever we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him. What he commands is that we believe in his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as Christ commanded us. Those who obey God’s commands live in union with God and God lives in union with them. And because of the Spirit that God has given us we know that God lives in union with us. – 1 John 3:21-24 GNT

Unfortunately I run into so many who believe that following Jesus is boring or at least a mediocre experience. Young adults have lost hope in the promises of God. They do not understand what transformation even looks like. Most do not know what it means to have a relationship with God where they have an adventure of seeing a living God at work, answering prayer. Prayer is the most characteristic and must fundamental part of my relationship with God. Prayer is my expression of dependence on a loving God.

The spirit of prayer is about courage when coming into God’s presence. It implies a close relationship and a feeling of belonging or having the right to be there. In other words, there is no fear of being rebuked.

Three things may be distinguished in the great duty of being spiritually minded, under which notion it is here recommended unto us:—

(1.) The actual exercise of the mind, in its thoughts, meditations, and desires, about things spiritual and heavenly. So is it expressed in the verse foregoing: “They that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh,” — they think on them, their contrivances are about them, and their desires after them; “but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.” They mind them by fixing their thoughts and meditations upon them.

(2.) The inclination, disposition, and frame of the mind, in all its affections, whereby it adheres and cleaves unto spiritual things. This “minding of the Spirit” resides habitually in the affections. Wherefore, the φρόνημα of the Spirit, or the mind as renewed and acted by a spiritual principle of light and life, is the exercise of its thoughts, meditations, and desires, on spiritual things, proceeding from the love and delight of its affections in them and engagement unto them.

(3.) A complacency of mind, from that gust, relish, and savour, which it finds in spiritual things, from their suitableness unto its constitution, inclinations, and desires. There is a salt in spiritual things, whereby they are condited and made savoury unto a renewed mind; though to others they are as the white of an egg, that hath no taste or savour in it. In this gust and relish lies the sweetness and satisfaction of spiritual life. Speculative notions about spiritual things, when they are alone, are dry, sapless, and barren. In this gust we taste by experience that God is gracious, and that the love of Christ is better than wine, or whatever else hath the most grateful relish unto a sensual appetite. This is the proper foundation of that “joy which is unspeakable and full of glory.” – John Owen

 

 

Coming in prayer and praise

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I cried to him for help;
I praised him with songs. – Psalm 66:17 GNT

This is where I see prayer and praise going together hand in hand. Some see them as separate but I am not sure how that works. The only difference for me would be one requires me to be eloquent with my tongue and the other with my heart.

If I had ignored my sins,
    the Lord would not have listened to me. – Psalm 66:18 GNT

Basically, if I looked at my sin, not glancing at it, I may find myself cherishing it, possibly loving it, at least excusing it. If so, another reason God may not be listening to my prayer. It is almost like I have made a decision to not hear God’s voice. I have been here and know what this is like. Most of us who have stayed here longer than we have ever wanted can feel what it is like to be considered a hypocrite.

But God has indeed heard me;
    he has listened to my prayer. – Psalm 66:19 GNT

Freedom from sin is the sign of answered prayer and confidence in my sincere heart to God. It is not a hope, rationale, or dream, it is definitive. Is it not true that I can sense God’s heart as He loves me when my own heart is sincere? There is something about knowing that God is listening to my voice, my cries – most importantly He interprets them correctly, accepts them and then replies. His grace on my heart as I stand right with Him.

I praise God,
    because he did not reject my prayer
    or keep back his constant love from me. – Psalm 66:20 GNT
 

I honour and love Him because He has not withdrawn His love from me nor the ability to pray freely. He did not throw out my prayer. Praise is part of my prayer and I am grateful to be able to enter into it.

I find myself be welcomed into God’s presence.

Come to the Lord, the living stone rejected by people as worthless but chosen by God as valuable. – 1 Peter 2:4 GNT

“Come” means it is an open door for me to “keep coming.” So I come for salvation, and also for worship, prayer and God’s Word every day.

If wrestling in prayer becomes a hard and bitter struggle, and you feel that your soul is out of touch and tune with God, and your prayers only empty words, then pray trustingly for the Spirit of prayer. He will point out the sin which is acting as a hindrance to your prayers and will help you to acknowledge it. And then He will make Christ so precious to you that you will voluntarily give up that sin which is threatening to sever your connection with God. – Ole Hallesby