Recently, I discovered that early in the ministry of 19th century evangelist DL Moody, he made a list of one hundred people for whom he prayed daily. Whenever one of those people gave their life to Christ, Moody would cross the name off the list. At the time of his death, he had crossed off 96 of those names! And the remaining four? They surrendered their lives to Christ at his funeral. Are you consistent in prayer? I know I can do better. God wants us to pray and not give up. He also wants us to pray on every kind of occasion. God’s Word reminds us of three powerful reasons to pray. First, let’s turn to the book of Ephesians.
I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened - in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you - the riches of His glorious inheritance in His holy people. (Ephesians 1:18)
Now let’s turn to the book of Jeremiah:
Then you will call on Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. (Jeremiah 29:12)
And finally, we turn to the words of the Apostle John:
This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of Him. (1 John 5:14-15)
I once asked members of a Sunday School class to write about a time when they had experienced God’s answer to prayer. Interestingly, after thinking about it for a few minutes, every person had an answer. The exercise worked so well because it focused attention on this important fact: God answers our prayers. Sometimes, He doesn’t always answer the way we want Him to, and, He often sends answers from a direction we never would have considered. My wife Pam and I are often amazed by the ways in which God has answered our prayers. In today’s first passage, the apostle Paul prayed for the Ephesians to be enlightened and to know the hope to which God had called them. In the second passage, we hear that God will listen when we call on Him. And in the final passage, John tells us that when we pray, God hears us and that we will receive whatever we asked for – with one catch: we must pray according to God’s will. But if we ask God to help us achieve our selfish ambitions and desires, we shouldn’t expect a favorable response. Today, I encourage you to become more consistent in prayer. Pray daily. Pray hourly. Pray without ceasing. Pray as often as God comes into your mind.
Never doubt it – your Heavenly Father loves you and wants to hear from you! And that is very Good News!