What Does the Bible Tell Us About Prayer?
Many people pray. People of all religions, people in desperation, people wishing for a miracle.
We all deeply desire to be heard, because we know that to be listened to is to be loved. And oh if the person listening to us were able to help, to put love in action, to meet our needs (Mark 1:40)!
Dear friend, we’re here to tell you good news. When we open the Bible and begin to read, we find a love deeper than anything we can find on Earth. Love that wants to listen to you, can take your cries and change the world around you, love that will answer you, if you merely believe (Isaiah 30:18; Mark 11:23).
Your heart was knit in such a way that it longs to have deep relational intimacy (Psalm 139:13). You were created by a Designer who himself is a relational being, who reveals himself as Father, Son, Spirit—The Almighty, the Brother, the Great Lover (Proverbs 18:24; Revelation 1:8).
Your anxious heart beats faster, wondering with whom to share your worries. Your mind flexes with frustration, aching for vent from someone who can relieve the pressure. Your wearied will longs for strength when all is spent.
All this, my friend, is the design of Love, who made it impossible for you to live independent of him, so that in these moments of desperation you would cry for help, seek him, and find him (Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:26-27).
Prayer is an invitation to courageously approach the Unseen Lover (Hebrews 4:16). You don’t need to be on your knees. You just need to—need (Psalm 40:17). And believe enough to cry for his help. Cry for help to the Creator. He’s waiting on your voice, eager to come to your rescue (Psalm 91:15).
Can we tell you what he’s done for you? He knew you wouldn’t come to him, so he came to you. He came into our world, lived a life worthy of God’s reward, and chose to die for every sin you regret (John 3:16).
And he extends his hand to you, asking that you believe he loves you, believe he forgives you, and draw near to him in faith (Romans 10:9). Jesus Christ came to earth and died for your sins so that you could know God as your Father, Christ as your brother, the Holy Spirit as your ever-present help. It was his joy to remove the sin that stood between you and God so that he might be close to you, and you to him (Hebrews 12:2).
God knows that what would most satisfy your heart is if you were able to pour it out to a person who loves you and who also has the power to answer your cries for help, so he stands ready to receive your every cry, every need, most precious desires (Psalm 62:8).
And he wants to tell you his plans, and the things on his mind, so he’s given us his Word. And he gave you his Spirit so you can pray to him. He tells you to pray, welcomes you to pray, waits on your prayers. In fact, your prayers are part of his plan to accomplish big things in the world that will prove his power and love.
God the Father sent his Son Jesus to die in your place, because Father, Son, and Spirit want to heal your heart, and invite you into his plans for the world. This is how Christians pray—not to merely get something—but to know someone, and to be fully known. Prayer is the reflex of our needy heart to speak to God.
Believe today that you have a heavenly Lover, who hasn’t only spoken in the Bible, but he’s condescended to listen. He hears. He hears you.
But will he answer? We all wonder. God’s Word is full of stories that all whisper his answer: Try me.