Every one may pray


God’s redeeming love can fix my heart when I wonder and adore Him. The word of God shows me where I was, what I was and what I shall be. They reveal His mercy and His justice and that means the joys of heaven and the pains of hell. When I am wearied with life and tired with my conflicts with sin, God’s Word brings me comfort. I am invited to pray.  I pray because at the end of the day I desire to obey.

Your teachings are wonderful;
I obey them with all my heart.
The explanation of your teachings gives light
and brings wisdom to the ignorant.
In my desire for your commands
I pant with open mouth.
Turn to me and have mercy on me
as you do on all those who love you.
As you have promised, keep me from falling;
don’t let me be overcome by evil.
Save me from those who oppress me,
so that I may obey your commands.
Bless me with your presence
and teach me your laws.
My tears pour down like a river,
because people do not obey your law. – Psalm 119:129-136  GNT

What I do know is that prayer needs to come from a place in my heart that is sincere.

Don’t think that the Lord is too weak to save you or too deaf to hear your call for help! It is because of your sins that he doesn’t hear you. It is your sins that separate you from God when you try to worship him. – Isaiah 59:1-2  GNT

My sincere prayer, from a humble heart, offered in my secret place will produce spiritual fruit.

I pray because I am invited ot pray and I believe I am expected (commanded?) to pray.

“Ask, and you will receive; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks will receive, and anyone who seeks will find, and the door will be opened to those who knock. Would any of you who are fathers give your son a stone when he asks for bread? Or would you give him a snake when he asks for a fish? As bad as you are, you know how to give good things to your children. How much more, then, will your Father in heaven give good things to those who ask him! – Matthew 7:7-11  GNT

Prayer looks simple enough when God is present – all I do is ask. Sometimes when He does not seem so present – I find myself looking for Him. I find myself knocking when I feel unworthy of presenting myself. It is an act of humility because I know nothing about what I really need. I come with open hands ready to receive.

Great are you, O Lord, and exceedingly worthy of praise; your power is immense, and your wisdom beyond reckoning. And so we men, who are a due part of your creation, long to praise you – we also carry our mortality about with us, carry the evidence of our sin and with it the proof that you thwart the proud. You arouse us so that praising you may bring us joy, because you have made us and drawn us to yourself, and our heart is restless until it rests in you. – Augustine





Coming in prayer and praise


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