I’m in the midst of a bible study called Wonderstruck by Margaret Feinberg (#livingwonderstruck). In one particular session on prayer, I was struck by a verse that I’ve read so many times before, but never noticed the phrasing.
“Father, I thank you that you have heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe you sent me.” (John 11:41-42 NIV)
That’s where the prayer began—that you have heard me. Do you realize the implications of that sentence? Jesus has verbally confirmed what will later be said in Romans 8:27, “And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.” (NIV) Jesus didn’t verbalize his prayer to raise Lazarus from the dead. He knew that God had heard the cry of his heart and thanked him accordingly.
I have to ask myself if I have that same confidence in my prayers. Do I thank God that he has heard the cries of my heart long before I can formulate the words to reflect them?
There is something so great and so inviting about the confidence that this can give believers. As Jesus wept at the news of his friends death (John 11:35), God heard his request. Through his tears and anguish, Jesus’ heart requested that he might use the power of God to raise Lazarus from the dead, proving to those around him that he was in fact sent by God. It wasn’t a selfish desire to simply restore life to his friend, but an opportunity to show the glory of God that those who were there might believe.
We are given this same confidence. God wants us to be audacious in our prayers. He wants us to continue to ask Him for the impossible. But He also wants us to ask in the right mind (heart) set.
Do you have confidence to pray impossible prayers?
Do you believe that God has heard the desires of your heart before you are even able to speak them?
Are you asking for your own benefit or for the glory of God?
Prayer is such an amazing and powerful gift from God. It’s a direct line to speak with Him. USE IT! And know that even if you are unable to verbalize your prayer, God has heard the cries of your heart. Believe in confidence as you approach the throne knowing that He loves you desperately and longs to hear from you and speak directly to you, wherever you’re at in life.