You Are Dialing the Wrong Number
"Let us then approach the throne of grace [God] with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need."1
Some time ago when I was badly in need of practical guidance from God, half in jest—half in frustration—I picked up my bedside telephone and dialed 1-800-4-HEAVEN.
And guess what? I received a recorded message. In one of those typical monotone mechanical computer voices it said, "You- - - are- - -dialing- - -the- - -wrong- - -number!"
At a later time I tried calling 1-800-4-HEAVEN again. I learned that it had now been registered by a company that sells candies and cookies that they claim are a "taste of heaven." I am "kicking" myself for not registering this number when it was available so we could give a true word about Heaven from God's Word—the only reliable source about Heaven.
However, regarding prayer it isn't the number we call or the words we say when we pray that matters. It's the attitude of the heart that counts. As Jesus said to the Samaritan woman, we need to seek/worship God "in spirit and in truth."2 That is, when we come to God, we need to be sincere and speak honestly from the heart. Furthermore, as God's Word also reminds us: "The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."3
We also need to pray in faith and in harmony with God's will. As the Bible says, "Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."4 God's Word also states that "If we ask anything according to God's will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the request which we have asked from him."5
Of this we can be sure, when we come to God with a sincere heart, have faith in him, and pray in harmony with God's will in Jesus' name, we have the assurance that God will hear and answer our prayers—according to his will and not necessarily ours.
Suggested prayer: "Thank you God, that when I come to you with a sincere and honest heart, you always hear and answer my prayers. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
Note: For further help read, "How to Pray Effectively" online at: http://www.actsweb.org/articles/article.php?i=26&d=1&c=2&p=1.
1. Hebrews 4:16 (NIV).
2. John 4:24.
3. Psalm 145:18 (NIV).
4. Hebrews 11:6 (NIV).
5. I John 5:14-15 (NIV).