Recently, I was asked if, as a believer, we could pray too much. This is a good and valid question especially when we would naturally think of our relationship with God to be like our earthly relationships. Can you talk to a person too much? Perhaps. Our relationship with God is different, and so it is good that the Bible gives us some guidance about both the privilege and frequency of prayer. Let’s consider this!
- God is our Father
When we receive Jesus Christ as our Savior, we are born again. We are born into the family of God. This is something that the world and satan cannot steal from us. It is as certain and secure as our biological connection with our earthly parents. 1 John 3:1–2 tells us, “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not. 2 Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.” According to Romans 8:16 “The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:” The Holy Spirit indwells the believer constantly witnessing the fact that we belong to God as His children.
- Our Sonship (or Daughtership) Gives us the Right to Pray
As a child of God we have the privilege to come into His presence and ask anything of Him. This is a privilege the non-believer does not have. Hebrews 4:16 urges in this way. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” We are to go into the presence of our Father without any hesitation—boldly. This is only possible because of our restored relationship with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. Romans 8:15 tenderly informs us that we can talk to our Heavenly Father as our daddy. “For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.” Abba is the Aramaic equivalent of daddy. It is very personal! Don’t let Satan rob you of the joy of talking constantly with your heavenly daddy.
- Ceaseless Prayer is the Desire of our Father
As our Heavenly Father, God commands us to always be in communication with Him. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says, “Pray without ceasing.” We are told in the following verse that in our prayer we are to always be grateful because this is the desire of our Father. “In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Ceaseless prayer from a heart of thanksgiving speaks of an open conversation that never ends. It is a conversation that begins as we wake up, continues as we get ready for the day, as we work, as we eat, as we travel, as we relax, and as we go to bed. While this does not mean we are on our knees or bowed in prayer the whole day, it does mean we have an ongoing conversation with our Father throughout the day. This is His desire. He created us for a relationship with Him. Sin ruined it, and Christ restored it at the cross!
- Prayer Declares our Dependence
When we pray and seek our Father constantly, we are declaring that we need Him. Jesus demonstrated this while He was on earth. Jesus spent much time in prayer. In fact, He spent all night in prayer before He chose His 12 disciples. “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) He spent hours in prayer during the night before He was betrayed and arrested in Gethsemane. “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matthew 26:39)
So, can a child of God pray too much? That answer is “No!” Pray on! Keep talking to your Father. Share your every concern! Tell Him your deepest fear and anxiety. Verbally give Him your smallest and largest burdens. He wants to hear from you. By the way, it is satan who wants to make you feel like you are bothering your Father. Don’t listen to him…he is never up to any good!
Everywhere we turn there are people who are in need of the Savior—Jesus Christ. For certain, there are people who have rejected Him completely. People like Stephen Hawkings who completely denied the existence of God. However, that is not the average condition of the people we pass day after day. In fact, atheists only make up about 3% +/- of the American population. More than 96% of the unchurched have admitted that they would attend church if they were invited. The overwhelming majority of people are simply wandering aimlessly through life oblivious to the severity of their need. In reality, they are simply blind. They do not see their own sinfulness. They do not see the pending judgement that is only a breath away. They do not see their need for Jesus even though they will dutifully go to church to celebrate His birth and resurrection. They are blind!
2 Corinthians 4:4 In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.
Christ commissioned us to be lights to those who walk in darkness around us. We live to illuminate Jesus for those whom the devil desires to keep in darkness. He does not want them to see their need. He does not want them to see that they are dangerously close to an eternity of fiery consequence for their sin against a holy God.
I find that many believers are very content to be assured of their own salvation from hell, but paralyzed in fear to witness of it to others. Even more, I find that believers can produce only a few names that they are regularly praying for to be saved. One thing is sure, those who neglect to pray for the lost are not likely to witness to the lost.
I have a WHAT IF question for you today. A question that came crashing into my mind and caused me to think. What if God only saved the people that are on your prayer list and for whom you are praying daily? How many people would be in heaven with you?
May God enlarge our vision for the lost all around us.
I am sure you are like me and shaking your head as you watch the news. There seems to be a spirit of lawlessness rising in our country. I do not claim to know all the details of the Dallas shooting, however I do want to just give a couple of thoughts that followers of Christ ought to practice in these days.
- Pray for Americans to Turn to Jesus
Those who believe in and follow Jesus Christ will be peacemakers. Jesus taught His disciples to seek peace. Matthew 5:9 says, “Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” One cannot be a peacemaker without possessing the Peacemaker Himself. Jesus is the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). Let’s pray for a great awakening in America to the person of Jesus Christ and the salvation He offers to all.
- Respect Authority
It is always right to obey the authorities that are in place over you. Romans 13:1 says, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.” Followers of Jesus ought to be bold examples of respecting police officers. If you get pull over, do what he or she says. Be submissive and if you were doing wrong (like speeding), be humble enough to admit it.
- Appreciate Local Law Enforcement
Everyday the police officers in your city show up to roll call and wonder quietly if their shift will go without a violent situation or a socially charged attention getting incident. They get into their cruisers wondering if they will return to their homes safely. The vast majority of officers simply want to keep their communities safe, no matter the races represented. They wear a uniform and a badge, but behind it is a heart that needs encouraged and appreciated. Find a way to appreciate your local police officers.
My heart hurts for what I see in my country. The Bible tells us that in the last times things would get worse and worse. We are experiencing that on many levels! Let’s be sure to shine for Jesus brighter than ever in everything we do.
Matthew 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
You have heard that humans are creatures of habit. What is habitual often takes place with little thought or at least fresh thought. It is very easy to allow this to happen in our church attendance. Whether it is the weekly services or a special set of revival meetings, we can go, sit and listen with little thought of preparing ourselves to receive with meekness the engrafted Word. Before you rush off to church this morning, would you take a moment to think about what you are doing. Think about what God wants to do in your heart. Think about what you want God to do in your heart. As you think about it, consider doing the following.
- Pray—give God permission to work in your heart by the power of His Word.
- Expect—anticipate that God will give you something awesome from His Word.
- Commit—resolve to respond in obedience to all that God shows you in His Word.
- Act—choose to immediately practice what you have been taught from His Word.
Remember, every time you walk into church and hear biblical preaching, it is a blessing and a gift from God. Don’t take it for granted. Think about it!