During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. Hebrews 5:7 (NIV)
Do you want to be able to pray prayers and petitions that are heard and answered by me? Yes, I certainly do want my prayers and petitions to be heard and answered by you. Who wouldn’t want that? You’re thinking about being able to pray any and every prayer and have them answered aren’t you? Yes, I am. Do you think I will hear and answer all the prayers that pray? No, I don’t think you will hear and answer every single prayer that I pray. Why is that? I might ask for something that is outside of your will? I might ask for something now that you want to give to me later. So, my answer could be, no. Yes, it could. My answer could be, not now. Yes, that’s also a possibility.
What do you think about when a prayer of yours seemingly goes unanswered? I wonder if my request is outside your will or not in your timing. I wonder if you are testing the seriousness of my requests and want me to persevere and keep on asking. I wonder if there is something in my life that is hindering my prayers. Let’s talk about all these things that you wonder about when a prayer of yours seemingly goes unanswered. Where would you like to start? Let’s talk about what might hinder your prayers. I’ve always wondered what might be hindering my prayers. What might hinder my prayers? You tell me. I know what prayers will never get answered. What prayers are those? Those are the ones that never get prayed. Yes, prayers you don’t pray don’t get answered. Sometimes, “I have not because I ask not.” Yes, that’s right. You want me to come to you to ask you for what I need. Yes, I do. Why do you think that is? Why do I want you to come to me? You want me to live in a relationship with you. You want me to rely on you? Yes, I do. What will happen to you as you live in a relationship with me? I will know your will better. Yes, you will. I will know what prayers are inside and outside of your will. Yes, you will. There have been plenty of times when I have learned that I was praying a prayer that was outside your will. What did you do then? I stopped asking for what was not your will. That’s good. What will also happen as you continue to live in a relationship with me? My thoughts and desires will change. How so? I will desire to do your will. I will want to accomplish your purposes. I will learn to ask for what both you and I want. Yes, you will. Your desires will become my desires. I will come to live in reverent submission to your will. Then my prayers will begin to line up with your will and your timing. That’s right. I will be praying prayers that can be heard and answered by you. Yes, you will. That’s exactly what I want. That’s exactly what you will receive as you live in reverent submission to me.
Father, it is my desire to know and do your will. I will live my life in reverent submission to you. I will go where you guide me. I will do all that you will ask of me. Teach me to pray. Help me to offer up prayers and petitions to you that will be heard and answered. Amen
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