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More about Prayer

"The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth."1

A Daily Encounter reader wrote to me saying that Christ's promise of "ask and you will receive" was a painful lie.

I think that for some people prayer is like a magic wand that is supposed to remove all of life's difficulties. Not so. Neither is prayer a lucky charm to gain special favors. Nor is it a painkiller like taking a giant aspirin: "Take God three times a day and you won't feel any pain!" as John Powell put it.

These things are never the purpose for prayer. First, for God to answer prayer, we need to be in a right relationship with him through Jesus Christ. Second, we need to pray in harmony with God's will as seen in his Word, the Bible. Third, our prayers need to be sincere and truthful from the heart. In fact, prayer is communicating our heart to God. When we adhere to these requirements, God always answers our prayers. Sometimes the answer is "yes;" sometimes it is "no;" and sometimes it is "wait a while." God always knows what is best for us.  He will give us wisdom, guidance, and direction if we ask for it, but he will not do for us what we can and need to do for ourselves.

When Abraham sent his servant to seek a bride for his son, Isaac, the servant said, "I being in the way, the LORD led me to the house of my master's brethren."2 There he found Rebekah who agreed to become Isaac's wife.  The point I am making is this: when Abraham's servant acted responsibly and did his part, God did his part and directed him in the way that he should go.

Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please open the eyes of my understanding so I that can read and understand what your Word, the Bible, teaches and therein see the direction of my life that you would have me take. Help me always to pray in harmony with your will and see what my part is and act responsibly. Every day I will commit and trust my life and way to you, and trust you to guide me in the way that you would have me go. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen.

For further help read, "How to Pray Effectively" online at:

1. Psalm 145:18 (NIV)
2. Genesis 24:7 (KJV).

All articles on this website are written by
Richard (Dick) Innes unless otherwise stated.