Anyone can pray, but...
- Monday, April 08, 2002
In addition to you and me, there are 6 billion-plus other imperfect people on planet Earth, all of whom have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).
Who among them dare assume that they can approach the exhalted, perfect, holy Creator of the Universe, King of kings and Lord of lords? Who can pray?
The answer: Anyone.
But there is one major prerequisite. Jesus says, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Contact with God begins when we receive Jesus Christ into our lives as Savior and Lord.
As all Christians should know, this unique access to God is provided by the blood of His own perfect and sinless Son, whose death opened the way into the Holy of Holies for all who put their faith in Him. "For there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved" (Acts 4:12, NIV).
Faith in Christ is the open door, but once in the door, we want our prayers to be pleasing to God and successful. Any believer has access to God, but only those who walk in faith and obedience to Christ can expect to receive answers to their prayers.
Praying with a clean heart is vital to successful prayer. The psalmist says, "If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened" (Psalm 66:18). We cannot expect God to answer our prayers if there is any unconfessed sin in our life.
One of the most frequent hindrances to prayer is an unforgiving spirit. Jesus says, "When you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins" (Mark 11:25). We must come to God with a forgiving heart if we are to receive the believer's legacy of power in prayer.
In addition, we must have a believing heart if we expect God to answer our prayers. Jesus says, "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer" (Matthew 21:22), and "According to your faith will it be done to you" (Matthew 9:29). Yet few of us take these words seriously, and few dare to claim what God has so generously promised us.
Let us be obedient, praying and believing people. The world is waiting to be reached for Christ.
Yours for fulfilling the Great Commission
each year until our Lord returns,
Dr. Bill Bright is founder and chairman of Campus Crusade for Christ, an organization which began as a campus ministry in 1951 and now has more than 25,000 full-time staff and 553,000 trained volunteer staff in 196 countries in areas representing 99.6 percent of the world's population. In the past 50 years, Campus Crusade for Christ has seen approximately 6 billion exposures to the gospel worldwide. The film, "JESUS," which Bright conceived and funded through Campus Crusade for Christ, is the most widely viewed film ever produced. Since its use began in 1980, the film has been translated into more than 689 languages and viewed by more than 4.5 billion people in 234 countries. Dr. Bright is also the author of more than fifty books.
Copyright (c) 2002, Bill Bright. All rights reserved. However, readers may copy and distribute this message as desired, without restrictions in number, as long as the content is not altered. Forwarding this e-mail to friends is encouraged. For many free evangelistic and spiritual growth materials, visit the Campus Crusade for Christ Web site at http://www.ccci.org. See http://www.newlifepubs.com for Bill Bright's own materials.
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