How is prayer possible? How can we be certain that when we pray, God hears us? Find out in this excerpt of the Canberra Declaration’s new book ‘Power of Prayer’.

Order a free copy of Power of Prayer HERE.

Religion is the default mode of the human heart. People pray because they are made in God’s image, even if they don’t know who God is or how to properly relate to Him. God has put eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Every religion and spiritual practice is an attempt to bridge the gap between us and the transcendent. The very fact that humans strive for this is proof that such a gap exists. We yearn for reconciliation with God because, in our natural state, we are alienated from Him, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,” Paul declares in Romans 3:23. We are under God’s judgment for our hostility towards Him and our disobedience to His perfect law. But the good news is this:

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. (John 3:16-17)

In Jesus Christ, God has bridged the gap for us. We no longer need to strive to be in relationship with Him; we don’t need to impress God with good behaviour for our prayers to be heard. Ephesians 2:13 announces: “Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.” In our book Power of the Gospel, we gave this simple illustration to explain what God has done for us in Christ:

You stand before a judge. Your crimes have been laid bare for all to see, the best lawyers are unable to sugar-coat them. “Guilty!” the judge declares, along with your sentence—capital punishment. You hear the jangling of keys as police officers approach to take you away.

But then the judge stands up from his chair, removes his robes, presents his hands to the officer’s waiting handcuffs, and is led away in your place.

This is the gospel. God the Judge, holy and innocent, suffered the death we rightly deserved, in order to give us life. His life. We are forgiven, reconciled, declared free. More than this, we were lost and dishevelled orphans whom God the Father has adopted as His dearly beloved children.

Now the way is open. We can come directly into the presence of God because of the blood of Jesus: His precious sacrifice for us on Calvary’s cross. “There is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus,” says 1 Timothy 2:5. God hears our prayers because our relationship with Him has been restored through the perfect life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

When we pray, we are not talking to the ceiling or the great expanse of sky above. We are not conversing with some distant, unknowable deity. We are relating to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who welcomes us into His very near presence. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God,” writes the apostle John, “that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.” (1 John 5:14-15).

The way is open! God is listening. So pray, and pray often.

Order a free copy of Power of Prayer HERE.

Image by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash.