I’m sure many of us know that prayer is crucial in our walk with God, right? But how many know that while prayer is one of the most important things to do in our lives as believers, it’s also one of the biggest struggles? The truth is, many believe in the power of prayer; they just struggle to pray. People see it as a chore to cross off their to-do list or something they only need to do before eating a meal.
Today, God is saying, the key to praying more is not to try harder, but to believe better. It starts with our beliefs. Are we truly believing God in what we pray for? Do we really believe He hears us and is able to do even more than we ask (Ephesians 3:20)? The reality is that we don’t see prayer the way God sees it. We may have some warped views and beliefs of how prayer should be and how it should look. That’s why in this series, I want to reframe some beliefs so that you can experience the gift God gave us through prayer.
“And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him”
(1 John 5:14-15 AMPC).
This passage of scripture was written by the Apostle John, who faced a lot of adversity, but he lived his life out in prayer. So even when he was beaten, tortured, and exiled to the island of Patmos to die, he kept praying. It may surprise a lot of people how much he continued to pray in the face of hardship, because we know that if it was us, we couldn’t keep going. We would’ve believed that God abandoned us, didn’t hear our prayers, or didn’t care to answer. But God still showed up for John. He had a vision of what we know to be the book of Revelation. What made the difference in John’s prayer life is that he had confidence.
Confidence in prayer makes all the difference. The question is, how do we get more confidence? First, we must know God’s will. Many people don’t have confidence in their prayers, because they don’t know God’s will. They end their prayers in, “If it’s Your will God, heal my mom.” or “If it’s Your will God, let my family be saved.” They just wish they could know what God’s plan and desire is. Little do they know, we’ve been given free access to the very answer, which is the Word of God - the Bible. In Numbers 15:26, God says, “For I am the Lord who heals you”. In 2 Peter 3:9 it says “the Lord is patient, not wanting anyone to perish, but for everyone to come to repentance.” So you don’t have to question or guess if it’s God’s will to heal someone in your life or for them to be saved, because it is His will! It comes down to simply taking God at His word. And this isn’t something you should overcomplicate. When we pray God’s word, we’re praying His will. Therefore, expect Him to show up.
The second way to have a confident prayer life, is to know that God hears. The last line in 1 John 5:14 says, “He hears us”. Have you ever sent a text to someone who never responded, but you know they saw the message because you had your read receipts on? It’s a frustrating feeling because you think, “why did they just ignore my message?” It would be funny if God had a read receipt for all of our prayers. Be honest, we’ve all had those prayers where it just feels like nothing is getting through. You pray for your son, but he’s drawing further away from God. You pray for your boss, but she’s being more cranky. You pray for your finances, but a new bill rolls through. We begin to question if God really hears us. But in these moments, we must activate our faith. Let go of the feelings of worry, doubt or anxiety and grab hold of your faith in who God is. Two great ways to do this is through worship and reflection.
When we begin to worship God and express His greatness, our faith grows. When we declare with our mouths who God is, everything we felt before must go.Then we can go into prayer with confidence, being confident that He is ruler and rules over all things. He is all knowing, all powerful, and always present. He is Alpha and Omega. He is always listening and never sleeps. He sees everything, and knows everything about us, and hears everything spoken over us. He is more than able.
When you take a moment to reflect on the prayers God has answered in your life, you can be reminded that His track record is faithful. When you look back and see how God has carried you through in the past, you can rest in assurance that He will continue to carry you through, no matter what’s happening around you. If He did it then, there’s nothing that can stop Him from doing it again!
The final key to pray confidently is to know that God answers. “And if we know that He hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of Him” (1 John 5:15).
When you believe in the power of prayer and believe that God answers prayers, it will ignite you to pray more, pray bigger, pray bolder, and with authority. Prayer is not an obligation, but rather it’s an opportunity to improve any situation. Nothing is too hard for God to do, so don’t put limits on what you pray for. Prayer has no geographical bounds, no expiration dates, and it does not require a pedigree. He hears all of our prayers and He is faithful to answer them.
So now, go in confidence. Be confident that prayer works and that God is still answering yours. Let the truth of knowing God’s will, knowing He hears and that He answers transform your prayer life.