(John 16:22-24 NLT) So you have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and he will grant your request because you use my name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.
Today we continue our series entitled, “The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting,” with an emphasis on “The Power of Prayer.” While many believers I know are living amazing lives in Christ, becoming the men/women God called to them to be, and maximizing their purpose and potential, others are not. You can be a Christian and still live a powerless life. You can accept Jesus as Lord, but still lack direction, struggle with sin, experience poor spiritual progress, have a weak witness, an unfruitful life, live in poverty, and etc. Is there any connection between underdeveloped, defeated and/or directionless lives and confusion concerning prayer? The late Dr. Myles Munroe believed there was a strong connection between the two. I agree. So how do we start down the road to a fulfilling prayer life? Here are quick things to consider:
1. You must be convinced that God is a Prayer-Answering God.
a) Prayer was God‘s idea. Prayer is something God instituted! Prayer is not optional in God’s system. Our heavenly Father expects us to pray, because prayers that agree with His kingdom plans and purposes release earthly license for heavenly interference.
b) We must be convinced of this fact, without a doubt in our minds. If you question whether or not prayer is viable, valuable, or necessary, you will not pray; or if you do, your prayer won’t be faith-filled.
c) We must deal with our doubts. Doubt hinders prayer. So, if you have been questioning the usefulness of prayer, you must settle this issue in your heart. You have to get to the point where you are fully persuaded that God requires and responds to prayer.
2. You must pray (actually do it) IN FAITH.
a) Learning about prayer and actually praying are not the same thing. I know more than I do and I am often convicted of this reality. Knowing something does you no good if you are not applying what you know.
b) As you are learning about prayer in this series, determine to put what you are learning into practice. Pray every day. The more you pray, the more comfortable you will get in your prayer life. You have to get to the point where prayer is “second nature” to you; where you pray daily and throughout each day.
c) You can read all the books in the library about running, but if you want to be a better runner you have to hit the road and actually run. It’s the same way with prayer. Reading about it is great, but practicing it is better!
In John 16, as Jesus was preparing His disciples for His impending departure and He wanted them to shift their focus and dependency from Him to the Father. The disciples had relied on Jesus for over three years. He was their source. But Jesus wanted them to rely on the one He was relying on: the Father Himself. Speaking of the time when He would be gone Jesus said, “You have sorrow now, but I will see you again; then you will rejoice, and no one can rob you of that joy. At that time you won’t need to ask Me for anything. I tell you the truth, you will ask the Father directly, and He will grant your request because you use My name. You haven’t done this before. Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy!” (verses 23 and 24).
So what does this mean to you today? A few quick things as we close:
- We are supposed to pray to the Father directly. Jesus did not use any intermediary between He and the Father. He taught His disciples to pray like He did. He plainly told them to pray to the Father directly, in His name. This is the way we are supposed to pray. There is no one between us and the Father, but Jesus Himself. Jesus is our High Priest.
- When we approach the Father in prayer, it must be in the name of His Son. In and of ourselves, we can do nothing. In Christ, we can do in all things. The only reason we can stand before the Father is because of Jesus. Jesus specifically instructed us to use His name. So, when we pray, we must pray in His name!
- When we pray and receive it ignites our joy. Jesus said, “Ask, using My name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy!” When you pray and God answers your prayer, it does something for you on the inside. I remember how amazed I was when I first realized that the God of the universe listened to me. When I prayed and God responded, I was so honored that He would hear my petition. It did something for me, on the inside, that could not be shaken. This is the type of joy we should experience daily as we walk with God and He walks with us.
Father, this is a season of expectation for me. I am convinced that You are a prayer-answering God. You instituted prayer and I will abide by the system You established. I will no longer hinder You from operating in my life due to a lack of prayer. I agree with Your Kingdom purposes daily in prayer. I come to You, in the name of Your Son Jesus, in faith, not wavering, without a doubt, completely confident. And I do this free of all malice, unforgiveness, bitterness, and strife in my heart. When I come to You this way, I always get results. I pray daily and throughout each day, and You hear me when I pray! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!