O Lord, oppose those who oppose me. Fight those who fight against me. Take up shield and armor; arise and come to my aid…. Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me. My thoughts trouble me and I am distraught. (Psalm 35:1-2, 55:1-2)
If you missed it, you can go back and read Bold Praying (Part 1).
David Livingstone (1813-1873) was Scottish physician and pioneer Christian missionary to Africa. He loved the African people and longed to see them turn from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead—Jesus, who rescues us from the coming wrath.1
In March 1872, Livingstone wrote in his journal, “God will keep His word—the gracious One, full of grace and truth—no doubt of it. He said, ‘All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away….Whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.’2 God will keep His word. So I can come and humbly present my petition, and it will be all right.” David Livingstone had rock-like assurance that God keeps His promises. We too can exercise trust that God will not deny our requests when they are in keeping with His revealed will in Scripture.
Building on Part 1, here are some ways Scriptures says we can pray with freedom of speech:
1. We can pray boldly, because as Christians, we are God’s adopted sons and daughters.
Romans 8:14-18 Those who are led by the Spirit of God are God’s children. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption. And by Him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.
God (the Father, Son, and Spirit) has lovingly chosen, saved, and put His Holy Spirit in Christ’s followers. So we can come to Him anytime, anywhere, and ask for His help. Jesus brought us into a forever family relationship with God, so we are free to approach Him through Christ our Mediator. A U. S. President’s children have access to the Oval Office in Washington, where their Dad is in charge. God’s children have better access—to the Throne of Grace in Heaven. Believers are totally accepted with God in connection with Jesus, His Son. The Lord gave us eternal value, worth, identity, and security with Jesus, so don’t let fear hold us back from praying. We approach God with confidence in Christ, not in ourselves.
Come boldly to the throne of grace, you wretched sinners come.
And lay your load at Jesus’ feet, and plead what He has done. (Fanny Crosby)
2. We can pray boldly because God hears us.
Micah 7:7 I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will hear me. 1 Peter 3:12 The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous (Christ’s justified and sanctified ones) and His ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.
Friends were fickle to Moses, King David, and King Jesus in Bible times. Our friends may be disloyal to us, but God will never be. Even though our family forsakes us, the Lord will receive us, take us in, care for us, and listen to us.3 Christ is our Best Friend Forever, who loves at all times, especially in difficult times.4 The Lord listens because we are precious to Him. He hears every word we say and we are safe pouring out our hearts to Him. I regret times I was too busy or distracted to pay attention to my children when they tried to tell me something. Our Heavenly Father never fails this way. When we feel alone, Jesus promises, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you,”5 and He means it.
Come boldly to the throne of grace, though lost and blind and lame.
Lord Jesus is the sinner’s Friend, and ever is the same. (Fanny Crosby)
3. We can pray boldly because God will answer us.
Psalm 91:1,2,14-16 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty. He alone is my refuge, my place of safety; He is my God, and I trust Him…. The Lord says, “I will rescue those who love me. I will protect those who trust in my name. When they call on me, I will answer; I will be with them in trouble. I will rescue and honor them. I will reward them with a long life and give them my salvation.
The Lord will either give us what we ask or give us what we would have asked if we knew everything He knows…. Our perspective on timing compared with God’s is like a two-year-old with an adult. The Lord has good reasons for making us wait a long time to see some prayers answered (Tim Keller). “God answers prayer in three ways: yes, no, and wait awhile.” (Norman Vincent Peale) The Lord always answers prayer, not always the way we expect. He loves us too much to satisfy our foolish desires, but He doesn’t ignore us. His delays are not always denials, so let us hang on to Jesus and keep on praying until His answers come. Ultimately, all prayer is for God’s glory. The best answer He can give to any prayer is whatever answer brings Him the most glory. (Stephen and Alex Kendrick)
Come boldly to the throne of grace, for Jesus fills the throne.
And those He calls He makes alive, He hears their sigh and groan. (Fanny Crosby)
Jesus taught us to ask, seek, and knock on Heaven’s door because our Father loves to give good things to those who ask Him!9 Let us come to God humbly but confidently with our requests for His help.
To be continued.
Notes (various translations used): 1 1 Thess 1:9,10. 2 John 6:37;15:16. 3 Psalm 27:10. 4 Prov 17:17. 5 Heb 13:5. 6 Matt 7:11; Luke 11:13.