The Privilege of Prayer
You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. (James 4:2, NLT)
It is my firm conviction that some Christians today don’t have God’s provision, healing, or blessing in their lives simply because they haven’t asked for it.
I’m not saying that God will give us everything we ask for. But I am saying that many of us are going through life, missing out on many of the things God has for us. The Bible says, “You do not have because you do not ask” (James 4:2).
Some Christians pray only as a last resort, when everything else fails, after they’ve called all their friends and all their relatives. When no one can help them, they say, “What else can I do? All I can do now is pray.” But prayer should not be a last resort. It should be our first resort, the very first way we turn.
The old William Cowper hymn says, “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” The simple fact is the Devil doesn’t want you to pray. He will do everything he can to distract you, divert you, or discourage you from turning to the Lord in prayer. Why? Because he is afraid of the power that can be exercised through prayer. He whispers, “Don’t pray. Try this. Try that. You aren’t worthy to pray. God won’t hear you. Prayer is boring, anyway, and you’re no good at it.” He will do anything to keep you from approaching the throne of God.
The Lord gave us this invitation in the book of Jeremiah: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV).
Prayer is a privilege given to the child of God. God will hear the prayer of an unbeliever who calls out to Him for forgiveness, but only a person who has put his or her faith in Christ can have a prayer life. So pray with fervor. Pray with energy. Pray continually. Don’t give up, because you never know what God will do.
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