Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
The Lord encourages each of us to pray to Him alone; Jesus gave us permission to address His Father as "our Father which art in heaven." We are to pray in the name of His only begotten Son: "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it" (John 14:14). Big promise!
But sometimes it seems that He doesn't hear us or answer us. We beg Him to tell us why. John may help: "This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (1 John 5:14). "His will" is love for our souls; it's possible we are asking for something that in the end would harm us, because we don't know better (or it might harm someone else).
Then John explains further: "And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him" (vs. 15). The "if" is important. Some dear people spend a lifetime trying to understand, but you can "fast forward" your understanding if you will choose to believe that He loves you as an individual, that He does hear you, and that He will grant you whatever is best for you, to be realized when you need it.
But there is something about answered prayer we must not forget: "If two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven" (Matt. 18:19). Praying by yourself may not be good enough! You'd be surprised how rare it is to find two individuals (even in a church) who are totally in heart unity. Not that one must be a clone of the other, but the Holy Spirit just has trouble "convicting" two people alike; one seems always to be breaking away from heart unity in some way. If only "two" could fulfill that promise "in Christ," they could turn the world upside down--let alone their church.
The prayer of Christ's heart still is for His disciples "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me" (John 17:21). With His church fragmented, it may seem that even Christ after 2000 years can't get His prayers answered when He prays by Himself! But don't give up your faith: Christ's prayer must be answered, or He must lose the great controversy with Satan! Pray with Him, on His side, that His people may be brought into that true, blessed one-ness "in Him."
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: February 9, 2004.
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