Manual The Prayers of the Righteous

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It was not too long ago that this very thing caused a rather big stir in the evangelical world. In the then sitting president of the Southern Baptist Convention, Dr. Bailey Smith, stated that the Lord does not hear the prayer of a Jew. He was speaking about this very idea. It was not a racial statement.

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It was a moral and religious statement. Smith ended up taking quite a bit of heat for that statement, both from Jews and a wide part of the population of the SBC. Jerry Falwell, who was a prominent evangelical leader at this time—a man who was the head of what has been known as the Moral Majority, initially came out in support of Dr. He, however, ended up changing his position and saying that God does hear the prayers of Jews.

He is quoted to have said that God is not a respecter of persons in this regard. Smith is right. When we pray, even if we do not use the words specifically, we pray in the name of Jesus. This is why we can pray and this is why God will not listen to anyone who does not pray in the name of Christ. Because there is only one means of access. Listen to these words from GI Williamson. All non-Christian prayer either is addressed to a non-existent god or attempts to approach the true God directly, without out a mediator, or through some other mediator than Jesus Christ.

What we learn in this passage is that God if you want your prayer to be heard, you have to be in submission to God. And submission to God means coming to Him through the means that He has appointed.

The Confident Prayer of the Righteous: Psalm 17

And that is through Jesus Christ. So if you are not acknowledging Jesus Christ as the Lord and mediator between God and man, you might as well keep your prayers to yourself. You need to be in submission to Christ. But for you and I who are in Christ, we can and should pray. We have this privilege and so we should use it as frequently as possible. We have the great honor of prayer—we have been granted this access, so we should give ourselves to prayer as much as is possible.

But we should be encouraged to pray, not just because of the privilege, but because of the prospects. The prospects of prayer The passage tells us that God hears our prayers. And the answer that they need is right here. God hears every utterance. No matter how faint or weakened it may be, God hears. Never is his ear deafened or turned away. He listens intently to our cries and is constantly mindful of every one of our supplications. I want you to really consider how tuned in God is to us.

Think about this: He hears us even if our prayers are inaudible. The people of God can be physically drained due to exhaustion, sickness, or disease. In this life we experience ills and sorrows and all kinds of afflictions—all of which serve to diminish our ability to speak, let alone pray. Beyond that, there are times when it is not conducive to pray out loud. You may remember that Nehemiah was in just such a situation. He was the cup-bearer to the king and the king had asked him one day why his face was so drab. We are told that Nehemiah prayed before he answered. It was most likely uttered only in thought.

But did that prayer go unnoticed? Absolutely not. God heard. No matter how badly our physic may be reduced, the smallest utterance will still come to the attention of God. A prayer may only be whispered in the heart—and though it be beyond all the receptacles of men to pick up, God still hears it.


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The inward, inaudible prayer is to God just as loud as the roar of crazed fans of a packed out professional sports stadium. But God not only hears our inaudible prayers, he hears our inarticulate prayers. God hears us even when our prayers are inarticulate We sometimes our prayers can lack volume, but there are other times when our prayers lack a lot of verbiage. Sometimes they are not very eloquent. This is one of the things that I experience as a minister. Everyone wants you to pray.

I recognize that it is part and parcel with the office.

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But there are other times when it is superstitious. But this is not so. God hears us, no matter how the awkward the limping of our tongues may be. Sometimes the only prayer we can offer is a clumsy one. But this is no matter. The reverence of the heart always is esteemed more than the chatter of the teeth. A good example of this is found in Peter. Peter is known for the shortest prayer ever uttered.

You remember that when he saw Jesus walking on the water, he asked the Lord to allow him to come and do the same. But as the wind churned up the waters, he began to sink. But it was enough. God heard and the Lord was moved to help. There once was a woman who had been bitten by a snake. The poisonous venom threw her into a terrible delirium. Despite not being able to have a clear train of thought, she prayed.


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Each believing prayer brings a step nearer the final victory. Give the Father time. He is long-suffering over you. He wants the blessing to be rich and full, and sure; give Him time, while you cry day and night. Because God exercises sovereign power over all things, He is able and determined to fulfill the requests of His elect. That is the way He carries out in time His program that was laid out from all eternity. He reveals His promises to His people; He creates faith in their hearts to believe those promises; He puts them in difficult situations in which they need to pray; and He sends His Spirit to stir them up to do so see Rom.

Thus, it is true that when there is much prayer, we can expect in our obedience much blessing, and when there is little prayer, we can expect little blessing. But that does not render the future uncertain in the slightest, or make God a hostage to prayerless Christians.

Our place is to be constantly at the mercy seat, pleading His promises. First published in Tabletalk Magazine , an outreach of Ligonier. For permissions, view our Copyright Policy.

Peace Beyond Understanding

Douglas F. The mission, passion and purpose of Ligonier Ministries is to proclaim the holiness of God in all its fullness to as many people as possible. Your gift enables our worldwide outreach. Donate Now. Fix that problem! We walk by faith, not by sight, remember? Pray for it, thanking God in advance for seeing you through. Pray for everything, be fearful of nothing, and thankful for anything.

Your world could be coming apart at the seams, and yet you can be a paragon of peace and strength to those around you because of these promises made by One who cannot lie or change His mind Num. See the conditions? Many Christians are big on knowing what God should do for them, but not so big on their responsibility to remain in fellowship. If we claim to be without sin we deceive ourselves and the Truth is not in us 1 John The Greek word for faith means to stake our lives on His promises.

The devil would like you to forget His promises, but faith requires that you remember them.

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Ours is not a blind faith, but one justified by His promises. She believed the Lord was calling her to missionary work there, so she went. But she had spent months confessing her sins, preparing her heart, and seeking His will in prayer. She had done her part and trusted the Lord to do His. Allison was a young woman so afflicted by epilepsy that it was literally ruining her life.

The Prayer of the Righteous, Lesson 1: Dr. Umar Abd-Allah @ SeekersHub Toronto