"This is the confidence we
have in approaching God that if we
ask anything according to his will, he hears us."
(1 John 5:14)
We can find that people use cellular phones quite a bit. It is a very convenient gadget that we can use to contact someone promptly whenever we are in an emergency. Children may also use this.
But the cellular phone of the heavenly kingdom is the convenient instrument, which can be used without any special device. All people, the poor and the rich, can use this.
The blind and the deaf-mute can also use it. It doesn't need a battery or antenna. And we don't have to turn on the switch or dial the numbers.
Do you know what it is? It is prayer.
Prayer is talking with God. Prayer is like a cellular phone that we can use to talk with God. Prayer is better and more efficient than any other cellular phone in the world.
It is because our voice is transmitted to the God of heaven through prayer. We don't have to talk loudly when we pray to God. Although we pray with small voices or only in our heart, the prayer will be transmitted to God.
Experience of prayer-Elijah
This happened long before Jesus was born in Bethlehem.
The prophet, Elijah lived in Israel. In those days the king and people of Israel worshiped images of Baal and Asherim instead of God. Elijah knew that the Israel had forgotten God and he was very sad. Elijah said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, and there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word"(1 Kings 17:1).
There was no rain or dew after he said this. So the Israel fell into a great famine.
Elijah hid in the cave of a mountain during the famine and lived on bread and meat that a crow carried for him.
At last three years passed. Elijah visited the king, Ahab. Ahab thought that Elijah brought this calamity on Israel so hated him very much.
Elijah said, "Because you did not serve God, a famine had set in" And he proposed, “Let’s see who the true God is." All Israel would gather on Mount Carmel, they would build two altars and offer sacrifices, one to God, and another to Baal. And they agreed, "Let's worship the god who send fire from heaven and consume the burnt offering as true God."
At last the day came. Ahab gathered all Israelites, regardless of sex or age, to Mount Carmel.
He built two altars on the top of the mountain. Promptly, the four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal and the four hundred prophets of Asherim entered in an orderly manner.
But Elijah stood alone before the altar.
Elijah asked the people, "How long will you waver between two opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him, but if Baal is God, follow him"(1 Kings 18:21).
Elijah said, "Lay bulls on this altar now. And let’s serve the god who answers by fire as the true God." Many people agreed to it.
Then Elijah said to the prophets of Baal, "Choose one of the bulls and prepare it first, since there are so many of you. Call on the name of your god, but do not light the fire."
The prophets of Baal prayed first. They called on the name of Baal from morning. "O Baal, answer us!" they shouted.
"O Baal, answer us!" But although it was already noon, there was no answer. They danced around the altar as if they were mad men. And they hurt their bodies until their blood flowed.
Elijah mocked them, "Shout louder!" he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened”(1 Kings 18:27).
Prophets of Baal shouted even more excitedly to their god. However, there was no answer at all even though it had become sunset.
Now it was Elijah's turn. Elijah stood up and gathered them around the altar. And he rebuilt up the broken altar of God with twelve stones firmly.
And he dug a trench around it and filled it with water and poured it on the wood and the burnt offering. And he stepped forward and prayed "Oh Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known today that you are God in Israel and that I am our servant and have done all these things at our command. Answer me, Oh Lord answer me, so these people will know that you, Oh Lord, are my God, and that you are turning their hearts back again"(1 Kings 18:36, 37).
Then the fire of the Lord fell on and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. When all the people saw this, the fell on their faces and cried. "The Lord- he is God! The Lord- He is God!"(1 Kings 18:39).
It was a great victory. Elijah's God was the true God. God answered Elijah's prayer promptly and let the fire fall from heaven. When we pray according to God's will, God answers it instantly.
Experience in the den of lions-Daniel
Do you remember the story of Daniel who was protected in the lion's den by angles?
Daniel was praying earnestly. And before he finished his prayer, the Angel Gabriel appeared to him.
"Daniel I have now come to give you insight and understanding. As soon as you began to pray, and answer was given, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed"(Daniel 9:2, 23).
God heard Daniel's prayer in heaven at the moment he began to pray. And He sent the angel to Daniel immediately. The throne of God is higher than the stars. Then the angels came from heaven to this world with the answer faster than light.
Is there any better celluar phone than this one?
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective"(James 5:16).
When Jesus was on this earth, how many people were helped and treated?
Jesus cured lepers, revived the daughter of Jairus and treated a woman who had suffered from a hemorrhage for twelve years. Of course, you remember them, don't you?
Jesus answered their prayers. Then will He answer our prayers as well?
Of course He will. God's love and power never change, not in the past and definitely not now. Jesus surely listens to our prayers as He did Daniel's.
The apostle John said, "This is the confidence we have in approaching God that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us”(1 John 5:14).
Jesus also said, "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you"(John 15:7).
But there is another thing; we must keep in our mind when we pray.
"And receive from him anything we ask, because we obey his commands and do what pleases him"(1 John 3:22).
God is willing to supply our needs.
Therefore, whatever we do, we must do it all for the glory of God.
There are many people who think that there is no need to pray. They don't trust God and think they can do anything by themselves.
What do you think of it? Can we do everything by ourselves indeed?
No, we can't. God gives us breath everyday. So, without his grace, we can't live even a day. God promised us eternal life.
And He forgives our every sin. Don't repeat our forgiven sins twice. The life of prayer is the life of victory.
“Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God"(1 John 5:5).
A soldier can't win a victory in a battle. By the orders of a general, when all the soldiers put their power together, they can have victory. Jesus is our general and captain. We should follow His commands.
David said, "Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray. In the morning, Oh Lord, you hear my voice”(Psalm 5:2, 3).
Like David, let's pray to God in the morning.
Like Daniel, let's pray at the noon, and in the evening. Let's pray everyday, continuously.