"The Conditions of Prayer"
The Condition of Faith
We began our consideration by proposing that prayer involves one of the most conditional matters in our relationship with God. Our primary emphasis focused on the Person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ as the primary fulfillment of the conditions whereby believers can possess much confidence regarding access to God and His answers. However, we also play a significant role in the matter, as by God's leading and enabling we devote ourselves to consistent fellowship with our Heavenly Father and a life of faith and submission to His will.
"For through Him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father" (Ephesians 2:18)
"Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him" (Ephesians 3:11-12).
"He is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by Him, seeing He ever liveth to make intercession for them" (Hebrews 7:25).
"And whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight" (I John 3:22).
Time and space does not permit the ongoing Biblical consideration we could apply to this vital subject. We therefore conclude with the reflection of how much our Heavenly Father loves fellowship with His trusting children in Christ, and deeply within our Christ-inhabited hearts, how much we share his sensibilities.
"The prayer of the upright is His delight" (Proverbs 15:8).
"God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying Abba Father" (Galatians 4:6).
If we are going to pray consistently and effectually, we must fulfill the condition of believing in God's delight in our prayers, and in our shared devotion to communion with Him. Both truths challenge our understanding. How can an infinite Being fervently enjoy fellowship with creatures such as ourselves? How can we believe ourselves to fervently enjoy fellowship with Him when we so often forget and neglect to pray? The answers involve the truth of His Word, and the condition of faith. Scripture proclaims God's delight. It also declares the Spirit of the Lord Jesus dwells in believers to motivate and empower our praying. Our Savior's redeeming grace not only redeems us from our sins, but also establishes within our spirits the relationship with God for which we exist. He prayed for such a gift to be given before the cross, and then suffered, was forsaken, and died to purchase this most precious of bestowals to our hearts. This we must believe, this condition of faith regarding God's delight and our delight we must fulfill if our experience of prayer is to be all that He desires, and all that we desire.
"And the glory which Thou gavest Me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and Thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that Thou hast sent Me, and hast loved them, as Thou hast loved Me… And I have declared unto them Thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith Thou hast loved Me may be in them, and I in them."
(John 17:22-23; 26)
"Then will I go unto the altar of God, unto God my exceeding joy."
Weekly Memory Verse
"I exhort therefore that first of all supplications, prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for all men."
(I Timothy 2:1)