By Chris Miner
These verses are not to be twisted into an argument for why God should answer selfish, self-gratifying, self-exalting prayer. But rather they are to bolster the child of God into intense, earnest, persistent, continual, God-honoring, Christ-exalting prayer that is in accordance with the pure will of God Almighty.
Ephesians 3:20–21 “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Jesus Christ to all generations forever and ever. Amen.”
Christian, neither you nor I will ever make a request in prayer that is beyond His power. Our God truly is omnipotent!
Philippians 4:6–7 “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Christian, dwell upon these verses. So much of our lives are spent worrying about this or that – our jobs, families, girlfriends or boyfriends, spouses, unsaved relatives, and countless other things. Why do we worry? Our Father is sovereign. All things bow to His will. And we know that “He causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” So I urge you to believe God.
We do not serve a cruel Master but one that is so loving towards His people that everything He does is for their good. Be anxious for nothing. Give thanks to God and, through prayer, know the peace of God that baffles the world! O what a loving and merciful God we serve!
John 14:13–14 “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”
Does this wonderful promise need any words to accompany it?
John 15:7 “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.”
Christian, let us be so full of Scripture, so familiar with the Word (both written and Incarnate) that when we pray, it is completely in-line with the will of God and it would be as though Christ Himself were crying out. How gracious is our God that He would give us this promise!
John 15:16 “You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit, and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.”
Our Father chose us to be His children before the foundation of the world. He made us, saved us, keeps us from falling away, and helps us bear more and more fruit. Why then would He deny the urgent plea of the children He chose? Praise God for His kindness!
John 16:23 “In that day you will not question Me about anything. Truly, truly, I say to you, if you ask the Father for anything in My name, He will give it to you.”
Christian, do you believe our Savior?
1 John 3:21–22 “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.”
Do you believe this promise of God? But I would ask that you think deeply and honestly about your life. Are you living in rebellion to God? Do you have no regard for His law? This is not to say that we earn our answer to prayer by working for it; everything good is a gift from God to an undeserving people. But if we live in rebellion to Almighty God, we should expect no answer until we repent. Again, the answered prayer is a gift resting upon the grace of our Father. Is there another Master as gracious as ours?
So, fellow Christian, with these promises and admonitions to pray, let us obey and “Pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Let us be able to say with Paul that we are “praying always for you” (Colossians 1:3) and join Epaphras in “always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers” (Colossians 4:12). And let us humble ourselves and echo the cry of the Apostles, “Lord, teach us to pray…”