Walking in fellowship with the Lord is at the heart of Christianity. If we are anything, we are a people of prayer.
12 Ears that hear and eyes that see–the LORD has made them both [to connect with us].
We are designed for fellowship with God. Sin has marred that connection, but the blood of Christ has repaired that connection and has gone way beyond what it once was. The God of the universe lives in us! That connection is constant and continuous now. We should never consider ourselves “not praying.” The Lord is a part of every conversation and even every thought–whether we recognize/acknowledge Him or not.
Those who don’t know Christ are at a distinct disadvantage. There is no connection, therefore, when they pray, their prayers go unanswered. I see two reasons:
- Even at their most compassionate and sincere, their prayers are still self-centered.
- God is waiting for that special prayer when they ask Him to be the Lord of their life. It’s not that He doesn’t hear their other prayers, it’s just that they are not Spirit-prompted and, therefore, ungodly (see #1).
Here’s what I mean.
The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. 11 For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 2:10-11
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26
It takes the mind of God to know what to pray. We must be able to hear the Holy Spirit and receive His instruction to even know HOW to pray. Keep reading.
13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words. 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.
What it boils down to is that we need to be taught how to pray, and that job belongs to the the Holy Spirit. He teaches us how to pray, and then prays for us even while we make our infantile attempts. We need not worry. God loves us as His dear children.
There is one more difference between the prayers of the saints and the prayers of sinners, and that is found in the last verse of 1 Corinthians 2.
16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.
Having the mind of Christ changes the way we consider sin. From the moment we received Christ, He has been with us through every temptation, both the failures and the victories. In order to sin, we must literally turn away from Him. If we would keep in mind that He doesn’t ever leave us and that our sin must be accomplished with Him right there with us–even in us–it would change our sin habits; they would go away! Now we know how to become godly: Discern and acknowledge Him with us all the time. Enjoy His presence and participation. Engage His power according to His will for our lives. Enlighten ourselves with the words that the Spirit speaks to us.
We are Christians:
We live daily according to God’s Word,
Christ’s direction, and the Spirit’s power.
Abba, You are my all in all. Because I recognize that I am nothing without You, I can let go of embarrassment, ego, and posturing. I can turn to You in the midst of bad thoughts, angry feelings, when I’m being tempted, and even after I’ve given in and sinned. You have promised to never leave me or forsake me; more than that, You pour out Your love and grace on me when I am at my worst because that’s when I need it the most! You are such a GOOD GOD. Thank You for saving me and coming to live in me. Let’s finish this race together. Amen.
NOTE: Be sure to pray for our leaders today as well as the people protecting them.