Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies, but test everything; hold fast what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. —1 Thessalonians 5:16-22
This life devoted to God must be accompanied by the deep confidence that our prayers are effective. In His prayer lessons, our Blessed Lord insisted on faith in the Father as a God who most certainly does what we ask. “Ask, and ye shall receive” (John 16:24 KJV). To count confidently on an answer is the beginning and the end of His teaching. (Compare Matthew 7:8 and John 16:24.)
As we gain the assurance that our prayers are effective and that God does what we ask, we dare not neglect the use of this wonderful power. Our souls should turn wholly to God, and our lives should become prayer. The Lord needs and takes time, because we and everyone around us are creatures of time, subject to the law of growth. But know that not one single prayer of faith can possibly be lost, and that sometimes there is a necessity for accumulating prayer. Know that persevering prayer pleases God. Prayer becomes the quiet, persistent living of our lives of desire and faith in the presence of our God.
Don’t limit such free and sure promises of the living God with your reasoning any longer! Don’t rob them of their power, and ourselves of the wonderful confidence they are meant to inspire! The hindrance is not in God, not in His secret will, and not in the limitations of His promises. It is in us. We are not what we should be to obtain the promise. Open your whole heart to God’s words of promise in all their simplicity and truth! They will search us and humble us. They will lift us up and make us glad and strong. To the faith that knows it gets what it asks for, prayer is not a work or a burden, but a joy and a triumph. It becomes a necessity and a second nature.
This union of strong desire and firm confidence is nothing but the life of the Holy Spirit within us. The Holy Spirit dwells in us, hides Himself in the depths of our being, and stirs our desires for the unseen and the divine—God Himself. It is always the Holy Spirit who draws out the heart to thirst for God and to long for His being recognized and glorified. —Andrew Murray
- When I look at what I am asking for in prayer, could it be said that I am limiting God? Why?
- What does this “limiting” reveal about the depth of my faith inHis ability or desire to answer?
Prayer: Father, I praise You for coming from heaven to share my needs and pleas, so that I could share Your all-powerful intercession. Thank You for taking me into Your school of prayer, teaching me the blessedness and the power of a life that is totally comprised of prayer. Forgive me for limiting You because of my finite mind. In Jesus’ name, Amen.