Faith is also necessary as we approach God in prayer. This was the emphasis of Jesus' words in Mark 11:22. He goes on to tell His followers...Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. (Mark 11:23-24)
These words of Jesus speak to us about the power of prayer; that our God is able to do what seems to us to be impossible. He is the God who is for us, the God of the impossible! His heart's desire is for His children to approach Him in prayer. His Word invites us to...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) And, He is responsive to us when we pray. Through the prophet Jeremiah God says to us...Call to me and I will answer you (Jeremiah 33:3).
These truths ought to give to us great cofidence as we approach our Father in prayer, but, we have to pray! James tells us...You do not have because you do not ask God (James 4:2). And when we ask, we must always do so with the understanding our prayers must align with the Word of God and the will of God. John writes... This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us (1 John 5:14).
We also understand that not every prayer will be answered in the way we might want. Sometimes our ask does not align with His purposes and we must always surrender to His plans for our lives. Sometimes the answer is delayed and sometimes God has something better in mind for us as in answer to our prayers. And, sometimes, rather than moving the mountain, God will give us the strength to endure the very thing we ask to be removed; sometimes our peseverance and even our suffering brings about an eternal glory; it is ultimately for His honour and glory. Paul writes: Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. (2 Corithians 4:16-18)
We pray, not because we must, but because we can. We pray because God invites us to let our requests be made known to Him (Philippians 4:6). We pray because prayer is the pathway to God's presence and power, because prayer changes what is possible!
So my friends at Valley...Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philppians 4:6-7) Our Father in heaven loves to hear the cries of His children! Our good and gracious God will respond to our prayers!