“God, help me!” I cried out to God one day. I was in my first semester of graduate school. The fibromyalgia seemed unbearable at times. This was one of these times. As I cried out to God, I will never forget His response. At first, tears of sorrow went down my face. I realized the deep sorrow I felt toward losing my brother at the age of 12. However, God was not through. The muscle spasms in my leg began to relax until I no longer felt any pain. I thanked God for answering my simple plea for help as He relieved me of the pain and spasms of fibromyalgia.
“Lord, I will wait for you; you will answer, Lord my God” (Psalm 38:15, NIV).
WHAT’S IN A WORD?
To pray is “to implore or beseech” (Webster’s New World College Dictionary). It is “to address God…with adoration, confession, supplication, or thanksgiving” (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary). It is “a wanting, a need…then, an asking, entreaty, supplication” (Vine’s Complete Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words).
God desires to answer our prayers. God is right there, waiting to meet our needs. However, we must ask God in prayer for our needs. If we do not ask, we will have not (James 4:2). We can pray a prayer as simple as, “Help me!” God is right there for us when we cry out to Him.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV).
Read Mark 11:24. What must we do after we ask God in prayer for something?
What will happen as a result?
An important thing to remember in this verse that it must be according to God’s will. If it is, then God will grant us our requests as we believe we have received it.
“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20, NIV).
Read Ephesians 3:20. What is God able to do?
What is this according to?
We serve a powerful God. We can ask God for anything. The closer we are to God, the more in line we are to His will. When we are in line with God’s will, God will grant our prayers.
“When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” (James 4:3, NIV).
Read James 4:3. What happened when these followers asked God for something?
Why was this so?
What did they desire to do with their requests?
We must ask God in prayer with pure motives. When we ask with a wrong motive, we will not get what we ask. God does this for our own good. He knows what is best for us and the right timing to grant our requests.
“For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12, NIV).
Read 1 Peter 3:12. Who are the eyes of the Lord on?
How does God respond to the prayers of the righteous?
Who is God against?
God is attentive to the prayers of the righteous. God desires to answer our heartfelt pleas for help and strength. When we desire to live like Christ, God will hear and meet our prayers.
YOUR HEART’S DESIRE
God is with us. What a comforting statement! God is right there for us when we cry out to Him. God’s answer to our prayers may be yes, no, or not now. It may not be the right timing but God hears the prayers of the righteous.
Name a time when you cried out to God in prayer.
What type of need did you have?
How did God respond to your prayer?
How did this strengthen your relationship with God?
God desires a close, intimate relationship with us. We must come to Him in faith and believe that we have received what we ask for in prayer if it is according to His will.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for hearing my heartfelt pleas for help. Thank You for being there for me when I ask you for something in prayer. I pray that it is according to Your will. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
NUGGETS OF WISDOM
Seven days without prayer makes one weak. Author unknown
If Christians spent as much time praying as grumbling, they would soon have nothing to grumble about. Author unknown
He who ceases to pray ceases to prosper. William Gurney Benham
Prayer is weakness leaning on omnipotence. W.S. Bowden
Keep praying in order to get a perfect understanding of God Himself. Oswald Chambers