The lack of a personal relationship often stands between God and people simply because they have taken neither the time nor the effort to establish a connection to Him.
by Harold Miller Jr.
In 1 John 5:14–15 (KJV), we read the following: “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” This passage contains one of the great secrets to answered prayer. However, the sad reality today is that there are many so-called Christians who lack confidence in prayer, and one of the reasons they lack confidence in prayer is because they lack confidence in God.
Why is that the case? Why would people lack confidence in God? Well, you cannot have confidence in someone you do not trust, and you cannot trust or have faith in someone you do not know. You cannot know someone without having a relationship with them, and you cannot have a relationship with them if you have no communication or interaction with them. As mentioned, many people lack confidence in prayer because they lack confidence in God; and they lack confidence in God because, contrary to the doctrinal creeds they espouse, they have no real personal relationship with God.
“God is knowable, and God desires to have a personal relationship with all of us. We can know God through His word because that is how God reveals Himself to us.”By New Hope Baptist Church
Pastor Harold Miller Jr.
God is knowable, and God desires to have a personal relationship with all of us. We can know God through His word because that is how God reveals Himself to us. Just as we can know any person through their word, we can know God through His word. The text I cited states that if we ask anything according to God’s will, God hears us. How can we know what we ask is according to His will? By reading His word, which reveals His will.
Now, the prime prerequisite to confidence in prayer is that we have a proper relationship with God. Contrary to popular belief, God does not hear every prayer a sinner prays. The only prayer God hears from a sinner is the prayer of repentance. Until we repent of our sins and turn to God for forgiveness and salvation, we have no basis for a relationship with God. In fact, even after we are in a right relationship with God, He still does not hear our prayers if we are out of sorts with Him because of unconfessed sins or out of sorts with one another because of strife or unforgiveness. Prayer is not just the matter of a magical chant. There are certain preconditions that must be met and maintained. Once the prerequisites are met and maintained, we can have confidence that God will hear and answer our prayers.
Harold Miller Jr. is the pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Covington, GA. For information, visit NewHopeCOV.com.