Save Yourself Some Pain
Ten Tips for New and Growing Christians
4. Prayer—“Wait For A Minute.”
It has been well said that God always answers prayer. Sometimes He says, “Yes.” sometimes He says, “NO.” Sometimes He says, “Wait for a minute,” and a day to the Lord is a thousand years to us (2 Peter 3:8). That means that a ten year wait for us, is 14 minutes and 24 seconds to God, so ask in faith, but rest in peace-filled patience.
Surveys show that more than 90% of America prays daily. No doubt they pray for health, wealth, happiness, etc. They also pray when grandma gets sick, and when grandma doesn't get better (or dies), many end up disillusioned, and some end up bitter. This is because they don't understand what the Bible says about prayer. It teaches that sin will stop God even hearing our prayers (Psalm 66:18). It teaches, among other things, that if we pray with doubt, we will not get an answer (James 1:6-7).
Here's how to be heard:
Pray genuine heart-felt prayers, rather than vain repetitions (Matthew 6:7).
Make sure that you are praying to the God revealed in the Holy Scriptures (Exodus 20:3-6).
How do you "pray with faith?" Someone once said to me, "Ray, you're a man of great faith in God," thinking that they were paying me a compliment. They weren't. If I said to you, "I'm a man of great faith in my doctor? It's to the doctor. If I have great faith in him, it means that I see him as being a man of integrity, a man of great ability—that he is trustworthy. I give “glory” to the man through my faith in him. The Bible says that Abraham "staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, being fully persuaded that, what He had promised, He was able to also perform" (Romans 4:20-21). Abraham was a man of great faith in God. Remember, that is not a compliment to Abraham. He merely caught a glimpse of God's incredible ability, His impeccable integrity, and His wonderful faithfulness to keep every promise He makes. His faith gave “glory” to a faithful God.
As far as God is concerned, if you belong to Jesus, you are a VIP. You can boldly come before the throne of Grace (Hebrews 4:16). You have access to the king, because you are the son or daughter of the king. When you were a child, did you have to grovel to get your needs met by your mom or dad? I hope not.
So, when you pray, don't say, "Oh God, I hope you will supply my needs." Instead say something like, "Father, thank you that you keep every promise You make. Your Word says that you will supply all my needs according to Your riches in glory, by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19). Therefore, I thank you that you will do this thing for my family. I ask this in the wonderful name of Jesus. Amen"
It was the great missionary, Hudson Taylor, who said, “The prayer power has never been tried to its full capacity. If we want to see Divine power wrought in the place of weakness, failure, and disappointment, let us answer God's standing challenge, ‘Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things of which thou knowest not of’.”
How do you get "clean hands a pure heart?" Simply by confessing your sins to God, through Jesus Christ. His blood cleanses from all sin (1 John 1:7-9). When you confess them to God through Jesus, God will not only forgive your every sin, He promises to forget that sin (Hebrew 8:12). He will even justify you, on the grounds of the sacrifice of the Savior. That means He will count it as though you have never sinned in the first place. He will make you pure in His sight—sinless. he will even “purge” your conscience, so that you will no longer have that sense of guilt that you sinned in the first place. That's what I means “to be justified by faith.” That's why you need to soak yourself in Holy Scripture—to read the letters to the churches and see the wonderful things that God has done for us through the Cross of Calvary. If you don't bother to read the will, you won't have any idea of what has been left for you.
How do you pray “genuine heart-felt prayers?” Simply by keeping yourself in the love of God. If the love of God is in you, you will never pray hypocritical or selfish prayers. In fact, you won't have to pray selfish prayers, if you have a heart of love. When your prayer-life is pleasing to God, the Bible says that He will reward you openly (Matthew 6:6).
How do you know that you are praying to "the God revealed in Holy Scripture?" Study the Word. Don't accept the image of God portrayed by the world, even though it appeals to the natural mind. A loving, kind fatherly-figure, with no sense of justice or truth appeals to guilty sinners. Look to the thunderings and lightnings of Mount Sinai. Gaze at Jesus on the cross of Calvary—hanging in unspeakable agony because of the Justice of a holy God. Such thoughts tend to banish idolatry.
Warfare—Praise The Lord and Pass the Ammunition
Important principles that can save a great deal of pain
- Feeding on the Word—Daily Nutrition
"A healthy baby has a healthy appetite. If you have truly been “born” of the Spirit of God, you will have a healthy appetite…" [Read more]
- Faith—Elevators Can Let You Down
"…in a world where we are continually let down, we can totally rely on, trust in, count on His promises… He will never, ever, let you down…" [Read more]
- Evangelism—Our Most Sobering Task
"You probably have a limited amount of time after your conversion to impact your unsaved friends and family with the Gospel… Here's some advice that will save you a great deal of grief…" [Read more]
- Prayer—"Wait For A Minute."
- Warfare—Praise The Lord and Pass the Ammunition
"When you became a Christian, you stepped right into the heat of an age-old battle. You have a three-fold enemy—the world, the flesh, and the devil… Let's look at these three resistant enemies…" [Read more]
- Fellowship—Flutter by Butterfly
"Pray about where you should fellowship… Don't become a ‘spiritual butterfly.’ Send your roots down…" [Read more]
- Thanksgiving—Do the Right Thing
"For the Christian, every day should be Thanksgiving Day. We should even be thankful in the midst of problems…" [Read more]
- Water Baptism
- Supporting God’s work and workers—The Last Frontier
"It was once said that the wallet is the “last frontier.” It is the final area to be conquered—the last thing that comes to God in surrender…" [Read more]
- Troubleshooting: Cults, Atheists, Skeptics
“When cults tell you that you must acknowledge God's name to be saved, that you must worship on a certain day that you must be baptized by an elder of their church, don't panic. Merely go back to the Instruction Manual…” [Read more]
Why aren't my prayers answered? Answer
Why and how should we pray and act for the suffering church? Answer
Author: Ray Comfort of Living Waters Publications. From the booklet Save Yourself Some Pain. Edited by Films for Christ. Web page Copyright © 2001, Living Waters Publications, All Rights Reserved—except as noted on attached “Usage and Copyright” page.