Bold in Prayer

How bold are you in your prayer life? I think we believe we are to be so timid in our prayers, assuming we are bothering God with our puny requests for health or provision. We tiptoe into His presence and gently tap Him on the shoulder with a quiet, "Excuse me, can I bother you just one little second?" and then we rush to share our need or sorrow and run out the door. When God tarries long in answering our prayer we figure He is not interested, or maybe He is just sick of hearing about this thing we bring up every day. We conclude that God knows about our need or desire so there is no point in continuing to pray about it so we move on in prayer- but not in heart.

We need to be bold in prayer. I once found 15 incidences of "incline your ear to me" in the Bible, and 8 of "hear me." This is important because it is clear that many of the Old Testament writers were very, very bold as they prayed!

Look at the words of David:

Give ear to my words, O LORD, Consider my groaning. Heed the sound of my cry for help, my King and my God, For to You I pray. In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; In the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch. Psalm 5:1-3 (NASB)

Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, A sojourner like all my fathers." Psalm 39:12 (NASB)

"I have called upon You, for You will answer me, O God; Incline Your ear to me, hear my speech." Psalm 17:6 (NASB)

The psalmist is saying, "You will hear me, oh God"! He is telling God to "listen up!" and pay attention. His prayers are vehement, fervent, and bold. His earnestness to have God listen to his petitions comes through clearly.

We are comfortable speaking to people that way, but is it alright to speak to the God who stores the lightning bolts so boldly? Are you bold in your prayer life? Hebrews 4:16 tells to come boldly to the throne of grace!

Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 (NASB)

We can come boldly because we have no need to fear God or His wrath. Thanks be to the Lord Jesus Christ, we now have fellowship with God (1 John 1:3)! We can come boldly because grace and mercy assures us that we will never suffer the penalty for our sins, and because we are now the children of God (Ephesians 1:5)!

We can come boldly because we are accepted in the beloved (Ephesians 1:6). When we pray, we can have a real conversation with God.  Bringing our problems, cares, concerns, and praises before the King of the Universe! We can relentlessly storm the gates of heaven! We can constantly pray that God would answer our prayers, and that His answers will glorify Himself.

Our prayers are the means God uses to accomplish His ends. As we pray, we are participating in the process as God carries out His will in our lives and those we are praying for. When the answers come, we can rejoice that we played a part in the workings of God.

Praying increases our faith and our dependence upon the Lord. There is something humbling about admitting our needs before God. It involves understanding and acknowledging we need the help and intervention of someone greater than ourselves.

Finally, praying is an act of faith and obedience. Jesus prayed daily, and we are to imitate Him. He did not say, "If you pray" He said "when you pray." Jesus prayed even though He was omniscient (all-knowing)! Surely, if He being in very nature God spent hours praying, we fallible humans ought to devote time to the exercise each day.

If you are discouraged in your prayer life, take some time and read through Luke 11. Consider the implications of the text, and be encouraged! Above all, keep on asking!