Your Prayers Have an Impact
“[God] hears us whenever we ask him; and since we know this is true, we know also that he gives us what we ask from him.” 1 John 5:15 (GNT)
Do you ever wonder if prayer really works? You’re praying about something and Satan whispers to you, “This is a waste of time. Forget it! Who do you think you are? What do you think you’re doing? God isn’t listening. Don’t waste your time.”
Prayer works because God is in control. The basis of all miracles is God’s sovereignty. Why does he do one and not another? Because God is in control. We have to trust his wisdom and his goodness.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “God . . . is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of—infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes” (TLB).
Prayer can do whatever God can do. His resources are available to you. Twenty times in the New Testament it says, “Ask.” It’s encouraging to know that the things out of my control are not out of God’s. I may not be able to change a situation, but I can pray, and God can change it.
I know exactly what some of you are thinking right now: “If I can pray and ask God to change things, and if God is really in control of everything, why don’t I get everything I pray for?” Good question. Here are three reasons:
God is not a genie. You don’t just put in a prayer and get whatever you want. If every prayer were answered, we’d be spoiled brats. Do you give your children everything they ask for? I hope not. You know what’s best for them. You can see the bigger picture. If you can see the bigger picture for your kids, how much bigger is the picture God can see?
Sometimes Christians pray in conflict. If two Christians are praying at the Super Bowl for different teams, who’s God going to answer? Obviously, God can’t answer every prayer at the same time.
But I think the real reason is this:
God knows what’s best, and you don’t. If you think you do, that is very presumptuous. The Bible tells us, “We are sure that [God] hears us if we ask him for anything that is according to his will” (1 John 5:14 GNT). Look at the phrase “according to his will.” The attitude of your prayer needs to be: “Lord, this is my prayer request, but thy will be done.” That’s what Jesus prayed in Luke 22:42: “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done” (NIV).
Talk It Over
Why is it important that God is good and sovereign?
“Prayer can do whatever God can do.” How do your prayers reflect what you believe about God’s sovereignty?
How can you show God that you desire and trust his will and not your own?
Why Wait Any Longer to Trust Jesus?
We don’t have to earn God’s love or work our way into heaven. The Bible says, “It is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast” (Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV).
The Bible says we can only get to heaven by trusting in God through his Son, Jesus Christ.
If you haven’t trusted in Jesus and committed to following him, why wait any longer? If you’re ready to step across that line and make a decision to believe in Jesus Christ and follow him, pray this prayer:
“Dear Jesus, you have promised that if I believe in you, everything I’ve ever done wrong will be forgiven, I will learn the purpose of my life, and you will accept me into your eternal home in heaven one day.
“I confess my sin, and I believe that you are my Savior. You have promised that if I confess my sin and trust you, I will be saved. I trust you when you say that salvation comes by grace, through faith, and not by anything I do. I receive you into my life as my Lord. Today I’m turning over every part of my life to you. I want to live my life the way you want me to.
“Jesus, I want to relax in your love. Thank you that I don’t have to earn it or work for it. I want to use the rest of my life to serve you instead of serving myself. I humbly commit my life to you and ask you to save me and accept me into your family. In your name I pray. Amen.”
If you just prayed to accept Jesus, please email me at Rick@PastorRick.com and let me know about it. I’d like to send you some free materials to help you start your journey with Jesus.
This devotional © 2020 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.
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