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3 Truths about How God Sees Prayer from Hebrews 4

3 Truths about How God Sees Prayer from Hebrews 4

I think that way too often as Christians we miss the privilege we have in prayer. It reminds me of the words to the old song “What a friend we have in Jesus”:

What a friend we have in Jesus
All our sins and griefs to bear
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer

For too many, prayer is often seen as a required discipline and nothing more than that. When you view prayer from this perspective, then you really miss what prayer is supposed to be about. This brings me to one of my favorite portions of Scripture that really gets at what prayer is really about.

“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has ascended into heaven, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:14-16).

I truly believe if you will grasp the truth in these verses, it may just change your perspective on prayer.

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Family praying together outside

3 Truths to Consider from Hebrews 4:14-16

1. You Have a God Who Empathizes with You

We sometimes confuse the word empathy with sympathy. Sympathy is when someone feels sorry for what you are going through. Empathy is when someone feels, relates to, and understands what you are going through.

You must never forget that you have a savior in Jesus Christ who can feel what you feel because he has felt it. If you feel anxious, Jesus felt that in the garden. Feel rejected, Jesus felt that on the cross. Feel betrayed, Jesus felt that by Judas. Feel misunderstood, Jesus’ own family members thought he was crazy. There literally is nothing you can go through in this life that Jesus cannot empathize with you over. Understanding this in prayer should hopefully change everything. 

You are not just coming to a God who sits high and looks low. You are coming to a God who has stooped low so he can know exactly how you feel. He came low to where you are so he can lift you up when you need it. This is an advantage in prayer because you don’t have to come to God with any pretenses. He already knows how you feel and can relate to how you feel because he has felt how you feel. You have a great high priest who can feel your weaknesses so you don’t have to hide them. This one thing alone should encourage you to pray. 

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone trying to explain how you feel and they don’t get it? You walk away thinking they really didn’t understand what I was going through. The good news is this will never happen with God. Whether people understand how you are feeling or they don’t, you have a God who does. Knowing this should make you want to come to him in prayer and when you do you can know for certain that he can feel what you feel.

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Mom and young son praying with their heads together

2. You Have a God Who Wants to Embrace You

I hope you get how wonderful it is to know that God can feel what you feel, but it doesn’t stop there. You must also remember that God doesn’t just want to empathize with you, he wants to embrace you. This is one of the beautiful things about the presence of God. You can come into his presence filled with worry and anxiety and he longs to embrace you with his love and joy. This desire to embrace you is one of the most important reasons that God wants you to come to him in prayer. If you remember in Matthew Jesus said these words:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (Matthew 11:28-30).

The rest that your soul desires. The peace that your heart needs. All of these things are found in the God who wants to embrace you.

Why is it that so many times we look at prayer as the last option and not the first resort? Part of the reason is because we fear God will reject us. Instead of running to the one who loves us and longs to embrace us, we run in the opposite direction.

I am speaking from personal experience because I have done the same thing. Maybe you have been caught in a sin. Maybe you haven’t been praying like you should. Maybe there is something. You can come up with a million reasons why you can’t or don’t pray. Whatever the reason, it produces in you a fear that God does not want to embrace you. That is not true. We are told in Hebrews to approach the throne of grace with confidence.

Here is what this word confidence means in the Greek: freedom, openness, especially in speech; boldness, confidence.

God says you have the right to come before me and you have the right to speak freely. Now speaking freely does not mean speaking disrespectfully, but it means you can tell God the truth. Think of it like attorney client privilege. What you tell God stays with God. When you tell him the truth, he is able to embrace you and help move you to the next part of this verse.

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Man and woman strong

3. You Have a God Who Wants to Empower You

After you tell God the truth about how you feel and what is going on, you now position yourself for God to empower you. The whole point of prayer is to take your burdens that you are carrying and leave them at the throne of grace. When you approach the throne and lay down your concerns, God replaces those concerns with his mercy and grace.

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

Mercy is available to offer forgiveness of sin and restoring of fellowship with God. Grace is there to provide whatever you need to help you through the situation. God’s grace is like a blanket that covers everything you need. If you need wisdom, grace provides that. If you need provision, grace provides that. If you need strength, grace provides that. Whatever you may need, grace provides it. This is why God encourages you to come to him because he can provide for you whatever you need.

The promise of Hebrews is not limited to certain things. The promise of Hebrews is for help in your time of need. If you are in need, if you need help, then you need to be at the throne of grace. God is willing to help you. God is wanting to help you. God is going to help you, but you must first approach him and come to the throne of grace.

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Young woman looking up at the sky happily

God Has an Open-Door Policy

One last thought to remind you of. God has an open-door policy. His door is always open and his ear is always attentive to the cries of his people. Psalm 121:4 reminds you that the one who watches over you never sleeps nor slumbers. God is so desperately wanting to help and intervene in your situation and all he is wanting you to do is come to the throne of grace.

This is an open invitation and it doesn’t matter what you have done. All of the mercy, grace, and help you need is found in him. Don’t hold back any longer. Run into his presence; he is waiting to embrace you. Remember what a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer.

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Clarence Haynes 1200x1200Clarence L. Haynes Jr. is a speaker, Bible teacher, and co-founder of The Bible Study Club.  He is the author of The Pursuit of Purpose which will help you understand how God leads you into his will. His most recent book is The Pursuit of Victory: How To Conquer Your Greatest Challenges and Win In Your Christian Life. This book will teach you how to put the pieces together so you can live a victorious Christian life and finally become the man or woman of God that you truly desire to be. Clarence is also committed to helping 10,000 people learn how to study the Bible and has just released his first Bible study course called Bible Study Basics. To learn more about his ministry please visit