John 17:1 “After Jesus said this, he looked toward heaven and prayed.”
When you pray, do you really believe in your heart of hearts that God actually hears you? Do you believe He is present? Do you believe He exists? You may say that these are strange questions, for surely if one prays, he or she believes all these things. But do we, really? Jesus did. In the verse above, He looked toward heaven, and prayed. He knew God was there and he knew God always heard Him when He prayed. At the grave of Lazarus, we are told this about Jesus: “And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this on account of the people standing around, that they may believe that you sent me’” (John 11:41-42).
Similar words with a similar message – God really heard Him when He prayed. He always heard Him. Jesus always knew this, but He said what He did about this truth, for our benefit. He wants us to know that just as God always heard Him, He always hears us. Can we even begin to fathom the wonders of this truth? The God Who created the universe, the One Who is all-powerful and all-knowing, really and truly listens to us when we pray. He really is there. He is the “I Am.” This means that above all else, He wants us to know that He exists, and that He is there – present and available to everyone who believes.
Oh, how this would revolutionize our prayer lives if we really believed it. How often we would pray if we actually believed that God heard us, always. Prayer would never be a last resort. It wouldn’t be something we do as an obligation, like the Muslims who pray five times a day because they must. Prayer would never be something we ever do hurriedly; something we do as a habit, where we tend to say the same words over and over. Do you realize how awesome it is to be able to speak to the glorious God Who is, Who always hears us, and Who rewards those who diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6)?
So many churches either don’t have prayer meetings, or if they do, they are the most lightly attended meetings of the church. Why is this? Surely, if we actually believed that God heard us, things would change along these lines. Surely if we believed that “He who planted the ear, does he not hear?” (Psalm 94:9), our prayer lives would be totally transformed. To think that we can go boldly enter into the very presence of the One who knows everything and can do anything, and to know that He is really there and that He always hears us should transform how we view everything else in life. How wonderful that the God Who is there and Who always hears us has told us these words: “The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:5-7). For what is there to be anxious about when we know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the God who made the universe, hears.
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