July 8, 2010 • By Ed Wrather
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. - Matthew 7:7-8 NKJV.
Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them. - Mark 11:24 NKJV.
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 understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. - Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV.
For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. - Hebrews 4:15-16 NKJV.
Xiao Chen, a Chinese man, went down to the Changjiang River for a late night swim, but became stuck in the silt of the river. Two fishermen saw the predicament Xiao was in about four hours later, and they called for help. It took another seven hours for firefighters to pull Xiao out of the silt. When he was finally pulled from the silt, he still had a red plastic bag in his hand…containing his…cellphone! He was embarrassed about becoming stuck, and had refused to call for help, even though he had the phone with him the entire time!
It appears incredibly strange and puzzling that if you are stuck for four hours that you would not call for help. I find it equally as puzzling that not only do non-Christians refuse to pray during difficult situations, but many Christians refuse to pray. I am sometimes troubled by the years during which I prayed every day, but sometimes for only a small amount of time. During those years, I did always turn to God during difficult times, and God was always faithful to carry me through those times. Each time God answered, my prayer life increased. Each time in response to prayer that I heard God's still small voice whisper the answer to my problem, my confidence in Him increased.
The Bible tells us very plainly of the power of prayer and of God wanting us to pray, desiring for us to pray. The writer of Hebrews explains that we have a “High Priest” who knows what it is like to be a weak human being. We are urged by the writer of the book of Hebrews to not only go to God with our needs, but to go to Him “boldly.” Amazing that as a child of God we do not just have a cellphone to call for help, but we can talk directly with Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe. He is always ready to hear our pleas in the Name of Jesus. We can talk with God anytime, anyplace, about anything that is on our hearts and minds. The apostle Paul says in Philippians 4 that we should not be anxious about anything, but instead take our “requests” to God.
When I think of the time that I have wasted when I could have been praying, asking for God's hand to move across my life, and the lives of others…it brings great sadness. Each day brings new opportunities to shape the world around you through prayer. Martin Luther said that, “Prayer is not overcoming God's reluctance, but laying hold of His willingness.” The apostle John writes, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him (1 John 5:14-15).”
It is time to lay down our prayerlessness and go boldly to the throne of God with our requests. Let no more time be wasted when we could be talking with the Creator of all things. Let us…pray!