Are your prayers powerful? When you pray are you certain that God hears you? Do you have the confidence to know that your Father will always answer your prayers? What do powerful prayers sound like, anyway?
Jesus tells an analogy about prayer in Luke 11:11-13. He likens prayer to the relationship between a father and a baby. When a baby is in need of food their first instinct is to cry out to their parents. After all, as far as a child is concerned that’s where food come from. Jesus uses this analogy to illustrate the relationship between God and his children in prayer.
I think there are three aspects of praying with great power:
The ear of God
This statement should sound a little strange to you. God doesn’t have ears. God doesn’t have a human body. So what does it mean to say prayers that capture the ear of God? It simply means that all our prayers are sincere. It’s the way that Micah prayed (Micah 7:7).
God of course hears every word that every human being says. He knows every thought that goes through our minds. But is it possible that God chooses not to hear some of our words? This is exactly the scenario described in Isaiah 29:13. God knows our heart. And, when our mouth does not line up with our heart God also knows that. So a prayer that captures the ear of God is a prayer that comes deep from within our hearts. Don’t just mouth the words… Mean the words that you pray. Jesus described this kind of prayer as hypocrisy in Mark 7:6.
The heart of God
What is the purpose of praying if not to capture the heart of God? This is the way Jesus prayed in John 11:42. When Jesus prayed he had confidence that God heard his prayers. He believed God always hears his prayers. Where did this confidence come from? Jesus knew the heart of God. Jesus prayed in accordance with the heart of God. So Jesus could have confidence that God was ready to answer those prayers.
I want you to think about prayer as a heart exercise. Imagine it like you’re going to the gym to strengthen the muscles of your heart. God is the strength coach for your heart. He is the one that is helping your heart to get stronger. In fact, he is conditioning your heart to become exactly like his heart. I think this is the whole idea Jesus is communicating in Luke 11:3. He wants our heart to perfectly mirror the heart of God. He wants our heart to reflect back the heart of God in our prayers. The prayers that perfectly reflect the heart of God are prayers with great power!
The will of God
The real goal in prayer should be for our heart to line up to the heart of God. When our heart is aligned with his – then we can pray the will of God. When I know that my heart is perfectly matched with God’s heart, then I can ask for all that my heart desires know that God will give me what I asked for. He longs to give me what I ask for, because what I asked for is what he wants for me.
There is a relationship aspect of prayer. It can’t be done without a relationship. It’s like the intimacy between a father and child. When a son knows the will of his father that son can make a bold request of his father. He can be confident that his father hears those requests. That child can take to the bank that his father will meet his requests because he knows his father…. He knows his father’s heart… And he knows his father wants to bless the child.
For those of you who are walking in intimacy with God your Father, pray big prayers. Pray bold prayers. Pray with confidence knowing that your Father hears them. Pray with power knowing that your God honors your prayers because your prayers honor God.