As referenced in yesterday's message, God listens to us because He loves us, and He loves us by listening to us.
"But verily God hath heard me, He hath attended to the voice of my prayer" (Psalm 66:19).
Through the Lord Jesus Christ, our Heavenly Father made a way of relationship and fellowship with us whereby we can be confident in His hearing our prayers. Apart from our Savior's redeeming work on our behalf, God would violate His spiritual and moral integrity if He determined to have fellowship with fallen human beings. In Christ, however, He remains both "just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus" (Romans 3:26). We never merit answers to our prayers, or the listening Heart that provides them. We rather gain and maintain access to the Throne of grace by the person and work of the Lord Jesus. Such truth encourages us to pray, and then leads to a far more faithful walk with our Father in trust and obedience. The faithful walk then leads to more consistent prayer, which then results in more faithfulness, which then, well, you see the blessed cycle of grace as effected by the Holy Spirit in the hearts of born again believers.
Regarding this holy process, our spiritual enemies seek to short circuit our response by clouding our knowledge and remembrance of the God-originated and maintained bond of fellowship made possible through Christ. If we do not adequately know, or if we forget that in His love for us, God paved a clear path to Himself by His Son, we will likely find the life of prayer far too daunting to consistently experience. Thus, we must steep our hearts and minds in the foundational truths of grace and truth whereby we increasingly understand the atoning work of Christ on our behalf. As the dying Lamb, He offered the perfect sacrifice for our sins whereby our path to relationship with God was prepared. As our risen Advocate, "He ever liveth to make intercession for us" in order to maintain our hope for fellowship with our Heavenly Father (Hebrews 7:25). Certainly what we do matters regarding our walk with the Lord. However, what the Lord Jesus has done, and what His is doing, remains far more the hope of our hearts concerning our fellowship with God. "Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith" leads to walking with Him in faithful communion with our Father, and its subsequent fruit of faith and faithfulness (Hebrews 12:2).
Again, such blessedness all begins with the love of God. He beckons us to walk with Him in consistent and growing fellowship because He so dearly loves our hearts and voices. No truth more motivates born again believers to pray as we rightly order the matter of fellowship with God in our understanding. True prayer always begins with our Lord, in terms of Christ's work on our behalf, and the moving of the Holy Spirit within our hearts as He beckons us to our Father's throne of grace. Such love is beyond our comprehension, and always will be. However, we can better understand the actions of God on our behalf whereby His desire for fellowship with us motivates within us the reciprocal desire for fellowship with Him. The Lord Jesus made such a way for us, and indeed, He is the way (John 14:6). May such grace lead us to gaze into our Father's face, and to rejoice that He listens to us because He loves us, and He loves us by listening to us.
"When Thou saidst, Seek ye My face; my heart said unto Thee, Thy face, LORD, will I seek."
Weekly Memory Verse
In my distress I called upon the LORD, and cried to my God: and He did hear my voice out of His temple, and my cry did enter into His ears.
(II Samuel 22:7)