My Dear Friend,
I hope that today’s message will encourage you to feel more confident in your time of personal prayer. As always, please know that God loves you, and so do I.
I hope to see you soon!
Your Prayers are Just as Good
“In that day you will ask in My name, and I am not saying that I will request of the Father on your behalf; for the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me and have believed that I came forth from God.” [John 16:26-27]
“Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace in time of need.” [Hebrews 4:14-16]
Several years ago, I had a package delivered by a person who was experiencing pain while walking. Knowing that I was a minister, the person said to me, “If this injury doesn’t heal, I may need knee surgery. Please pray for me, as I know you have special clout with God.”
I smiled and said, “I’ll be happy to pray for you. But according to Scripture, if you will pray to the Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus, you will have the same access to God as I would. God loves you as much as God loves me.”
The person surprised me by responding, “DON’T TELL ME THAT! I need to believe that people who are more holy than I am have more influence with God when they pray.”
Why did the person “need” to believe such a thing? Upon further inquiry, I learned that they had come from a tradition of such religious hierarchy, where the “holiness” of the clergy was so greatly emphasized, that laypersons were made to doubt their own ability to confidently approach the throne of God.
Yes, it is true that God calls certain people to do certain types of service: “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors, and some teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…” [Ephesians 4:11-12]
God has ordained this “fivefold ministry” so that all of us, even ministers, can be better equipped to build up the body of Christ. But there is no Scriptural basis for believing that those who are called to these five ministries are more qualified to pray. Every person who puts her or his personal faith in the name of Jesus Christ may approach the throne of grace with boldness. Why? It is because “the Father Himself loves you.”
Obviously, the delivery person who considered me to be more qualified to pray for their knee injury had some belief in the efficacy of prayer. And had we prayed together, it may have fueled each other’s faith. But there was no reason to believe that I was more qualified to approach the throne of God. It is the Name of Jesus that gets the Father’s attention, regardless of who is doing the praying.
It is always a good thing to ask others to pray for us. But do you doubt your own ability to gain access to God, thus preferring to let others do all the praying? In these trying times, we should all be encouraged pray more than ever before. I encourage you to hear Jesus’ words: “The Father Himself loves you…Therefore, simply ask in my Name.”
In Jesus’ name, don’t be afraid to approach the throne of grace with confident boldness!