Love Again | Begin Again | Prayer
“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:25
Prayer is popular. Most people say that they pray, even those who have no idea who they are praying to. In ancient cultures, people prayed to wood and stone idols. In modern cultures, people pray to an invisible “god” that looks and acts a lot like them. Psychologists tell us that the very act of prayer, regardless of what we’re praying to, has some emotional benefits. But if we’re interested in more than emotional benefits, if we want to know that our prayers are being heard and responded to by a real God who listens, then there are some qualifications that must go along with that prayer for it to be received and answered.
First of all, real prayer is addressed to a real God. Unless we learn who God is, we’re simply talking to our ceilings. God invites us to come to Him through His Son, Jesus (John 14:6). So in order to be confident that our prayers will be answered, we must be in right relationship with Jesus through faith and repentance (Prov. 28:9). Second, we must humble ourselves and ask in line with His will for our lives (1 John 5:14). Third, we must forgive those who hurt us. Fourth, we must pray in faith that God will hear and answer (Mark 11:24). And finally, spouses must treat each other with love and respect or their prayers will be hindered (1 Pet. 3:7). God cares how we treat each other and He highly values marriage. Forgiving each other lets us enjoy God’s forgiveness.
Final Thought: Are you holding on to a wrong committed against you? Give it to God so He can bless your prayers.
Prayer: Father, maybe this is why I wonder if my prayers are being heard. You know the hurts I carry. Give me strength to forgive so I can enjoy the feeling of being forgiven by you. I will forgive because you’ve forgiven me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.