“Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”1
There is an invitation. God is calling out to you to come and speak with him. Therefore prayer first of all is about listening to God
Then there is a promise of a response. I will answer you. Prayers are always answered. We rejoice when some of the answers come. At the same time we get dejected over others; especially when the answer is No to our requests.
There is also a mention about the limits of our understanding. God, in response to our prayer, will show us things which we have no clue about. Yes, there are divine possibilities in prayer.
Interestingly the answer is given in response to your prayer. So many people are worried whether God listens to them when they pray. If you pray with a sincere heart without hiding sin in your life and without wrong motives in asking, then God will surely answer your prayer.
Jesus taught many things about prayer. He taught us to speak to God who is our heavenly Father. He said that there is no need to keep on repeating words over and over, again and again, as God our Father already knows what his children need.
Again Jesus taught that we should persist in praying. Sometimes the answers are delayed. Then we should not lose heart and give up praying. Patience and perseverance will rain down God’s blessing in due time. God knows when is the best time to answer prayer.
Our duty is to ask, seek, and knock. Sometimes it is the boldness in our requests that becomes an indicator of the kind of faith we have.
Well, it should console us that God records all our tears. Jesus understands our pain because it is recorded that he wept.
He also promised that answers to prayer will give us joy. His death on the cross where he shed his precious blood has torn apart the curtain that blocked the entrance to God’s throne room.
Now each one of us can go near to God with confidence because Jesus as our elder brother is there to speak a word on our behalf. This is his assurance. Therefore he urges us to ask in his name.
What is even more surprising is that God has promised to help us when we do not know what to pray for. In our deepest moments of anguish and sorrow the Spirit of God will lift up our hearts to God with groans that words cannot express.
One of the greatest prayers Jesus uttered was when the cross came near. He knew what was going to happen. Naturally he asked God if it is possible to avoid the cross. Then knowing that it was God’s will that he shed his innocent blood for the forgiveness of the sins of all, he prayed, Abba Father, not what I will but what you will.
It is also interesting to note that Jesus prefaced his prayers with a word of thanks. Saying thanks even before an answer comes is a looking forward to what God is going to do even when our circumstances look desperate. Then the peace of God will guard our hearts. So let us thank and praise God in our prayers.
Above all, when a husband and wife love each other they spend a lot of time talking. Sometimes the talk is about sweet little nothings; but it builds up the relationship. Likewise prayer is a love relationship with God where little nothings can be talked about and secrets of the heart laid bare open.
Prayer is a life-long process like breathing. Natural and spontaneous. And none of us will ever graduate in prayer because each new day there is something new to learn about God in prayer.
Therefore open up your hearts before God and pray. Call to him. He will answer you. There is no greater audience you can have than the King of the universe listening to you!
1 Jeremiah 33:3