To succeed in life as we have it today, we must be in contact with Him that is able to help us. This may not be as difficult to do as you might have thought.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:34
Jesus provided a model prayer on which we could develop something customised for our own needs.
“ “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“‘Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.’
For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:5–15; Luke 11:2–4
Whatever our need or anxiety, we can have confidence that our heavenly Father can assist.
“”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.”
If we feel we lack the ability, then don’t let it get in the way!
“In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.” Romans 8:26
Prayer can be used on many occasions.
“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.” Ephesians 6:18
The response to our prayers is not automatic—there are conditions attached. We must have confidence in our request, and our request must be relevant to our need. For instance, it might not be any use our asking for a top-of-the-range luxury motor car.
“Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him.” 1 John 3:21–22
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us–whatever we ask–we know that we have what we asked of him.” 1 John 5:14–15
Reward for effort
The apostle Paul did not have an easy life. He summed it up in a letter he wrote to the followers of Jesus in Corinth concerning those who had boasted of their greatness.
“Are they servants of Christ? (I am out of my mind to talk like this.) I am more. I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.” 2 Corinthians 11:23b–28
This listing was written before he had experienced the great shipwreck recorded in the Book of Acts. Yet despite all these difficulties in life, Paul was able to maintain a positive outlook on life.
“I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13
How was he able to continue under such pressure? What was his ultimate motivation? Paul explained the situation when he wrote to the Romans.
“I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.
“We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” Romans 8:18–24
The Bible’s offer is to provide liberation from our present body of decay, when our body will be changed to an immortal body, sharing fellowship with the God-fearing people of all ages for evermore.
“For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him.” 1 Corinthians 15:21–23
May the day of our Lord’s return be very close at hand, so that our days of trial may be shortened. God’s coming Kingdom will be fantastic!