0

Prayers that God loves to hear - James C. Bell

I believe that God loves to hear our prayers. He is pleased that we have faith enough to pray and expect Him to hear us. We should also expect Him to answer our prayers, and He will answer in one of three ways -- yes, no, and wait.

Probably the most important prayer all should pray is what we call the sinner's prayer. This comes initially when we hear Him calling us to believe in Him, to put our faith and trust in Him and ask for His forgiveness of our many sins. When one sincerely admits sin is present in his life and feels guilty and sorry for ignoring God and rebelling against Him, and in prayer, asks God to forgive him in the name of Jesus Christ, He will forgive him.

(See John 3:16, Romans 10:9,10, Second Chronicles 7:14, and First John 1:9.) At the point of forgiveness, God gives us His great gift of eternal life and we are Heaven bound from that moment on.

God's Son, Jesus Christ, made this possible for all mankind when He died on the cross, was buried and rose again on the third day. Ephesians 1:7a says: "In Him (meaning Jesus), we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins." Please read Ephesians 1:3-14 to learn of spiritual blessings in Christ.

Now the born again sinner has a basis for growth and relationship with the Lord. He or she can pray any prayer and be sure the Lord will hear and answer.

The prayer of Jabez is popular today, due to several books being written on the subject. It is found in First Chronicles 4:10 and is one of many spiritual prayer models. Psalm 8 is a treasure of patterns to follow as we prayerfully praise God for His glory and grace. When we are guilty of sin and know we must ask for forgiveness, Psalm 51 gives us models we can follow to confess our sins to God.

When we pray for others, a good model to follow is found in Ephesians 3:14-21. Jesus Himself gave us instructions for prayer in Matthew 6:5-14. Included in these verses is the model prayer of Jesus, verses 9-13.

I said earlier that God answers prayers in three ways -- yes, no, and wait. But in reality, He answers our prayers in much more detail. I recall asking Him to help me to become a witness for Him sme 20 years ago, when I first got into a witness-training program in our church. I remember praying intensely and waiting for Him to answer. He answered by calling to my mind a truth I had known and had apllied to my life several times before: If you want to be a witness, you must witness! Of course! I thought. If one wants to be good at anything, he must practice, practice, and practice.

It's true in sports, in music, in exercise for being in shape or bodybuilding. To be good at anything, one must work at it. Practicing and witnessing for the Lord, or praying to the Lord successfully is the same.

We can all pray to the Lord and know He loves to hear our prayers. I try to start my prayers with praise and thanksgiving for His grace and love, and then ask for His forgiveness for all my sin. I ask for blessings for my self and my family and friends, for the sick (by name) and for the lost.

I pray for my pastor and our church with special emphasis on my fellow prayer warriors serving in the prayer room and in the Faith program. I close, thanking God for Jesus Christ and my salvation.

Have you prayed the sinner's prayer and established your personal relationship with God? Please call us at (770) 603-PRAY, and allow someone there to pray for you. Ask for me, Brother James, leave your name and phone number, and I will be glad to call you back and discuss with you how to become a Christian.

May God bless you!