(Note: This article is scheduled to appear in the August 5 edition of the Linn County News.)
“The earth is the LORD'S, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” (Psalms 24:1 NASB)
There are a lot of misunderstandings in our world today about prayer. Some people believe that prayer is meant to be a time in which we can set God straight on how things need to be. They figure that they know what their life needs so they’ll simply tell God to do it and he’ll dutifully jump through whatever hoop they order him to.
Others believe that God might be able to grant their request, but he might not. After all there are a lot of forces at work in the world and if God’s having a good day and ate his Wheaties that morning, he might be able to handle my problem. Both of these views regarding prayer are absolutely false and even dishonoring to the Lord. Here’s the truth about God and prayer…
God is in absolute control of our world and nothing is beyond his power. Furthermore, he doesn’t need our counsel since he is God and knows far better than we do how things should be. So what is the point of prayer? It’s a process where we bring our requests to God, in conjunction with reading his word, fellowshipping with his people, and worshipping in his house. By doing these things, God begins a process of conforming our will to his and sometimes even changes how and what we pray for. God is powerful enough to immediately grant any request we ask of him. He might do that. He usually doesn’t. The end result of prayer should be that we grow closer to God in the process and we love him more deeply regardless of whether or not he gives us everything we want.
The only way we should even dare approach God is through his son Jesus Christ. Jesus said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6 NASB) Apart from God the Son you cannot know God the Father. If you haven’t turned to Christ as Lord, then your first prayer should be one of repentance and faith. You should turn from your sin and commit your life to Jesus as Lord. Then, and only then, can you truly have a relationship with God, and begin the lifelong process of prayer and submission to His perfect will.