Today I read Hebrews 11. The heading in my Bible says "Great Examples of Faith." And boy, is it ever. From Enoch and Abraham to Moses and Rahab, this is a very powerful chapter in the Bible. Today verse 6 jumped out at me. It says that whoever comes to God must believe. It's a simple concept to read, but is it so simple to put into practice. Essentially it is saying that when we go to God in prayer, we must believe that he will answer that prayer. We must believe that he is our God and will hear our prayer, see our hearts, and respond with an answer. But do I believe enough? How does God measure faith? Do I have to have enough for him to answer my prayers? Looking in the Bible, we see some guidance to help us when we pray and ask God to meet our needs. Here are 5 truths the Bible says about prayer.
1. We must come in faith, believing that there is a God who will hear us and reward us. (Hebrews 11:6)
And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to him must believe that God exists and that he rewards those who sincerely seek him.
2. We must willingly let God examine our heart, confess our sins, and repent. (Psalms 139:23-24, 1 John 1:9, Acts 3:19)
"Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting."
19"Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,"
3. We can pray even if we feel that our faith is small. (Matthew 17:20)
"He replied, "Because you have so little faith. I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you."
4. We must consider if there are any relationships in our lives that need mending. Then we need to go and make them right. (Matthew 5:23-24)
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to your brother; then come and offer your gift.
5. We must come to prayer by asking in Jesus' name and for his sake. Will the answer to this prayer glorify his name? (John 14:13)
And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father.
The beauty of all of this advice is that the more we practice it, the better we get at it. Prayer is one of the many disciplines I mentioned the other day. By following these 5 guidelines we can have the life of faith so overwhelmingly displayed in Hebrews 11. And the end result of all of this? Check out Hebrews 11:39
"All of these people we have mentioned received God's approval because of their faith."
God's approval would certainly be a great reward.