Mark 11:22"Have faith in God," Jesus answered. 23"I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, 'Go, throw yourself into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. 24Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. 25And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins."
Prayer is not an end in itself. Prayer is to be combined with a power that enables the prayer to be answered positively. We link our prayers to God by faith in God. However, the role of faith in prayer is not to simply give us what we want. The object of prayer is not just to get what we want, but to link us to the divine- to communicate with God- to draw us closer to Him. So all barriers between us and God should be down in order to draw close to Him. The first barrier is unbelief- which closes our eyes but also our hearts to the God we communicate with. The second barrier is disobedience- not listening or heeding what He has already told us (why should God communicate with us in prayer if we are not listening to what He has already said). The thid barrier is lack of forgiveness. If we are not getting along with our neighbor, we also alienate ourselves from God (vs. 25 above). If we do not love our brother whom we have seen, how can we love God whom we have not seen. Prayer is about communicating- talking & listening to God, and we should not let anything get in the way of that. Prayer is not just talking to ourselves or meditating. Prayer's object is the God who is able to communicate with us.
Today is National Day of Prayer. Find someone (or a group) to pray with and join in today. Certainly in a time of oil spills, economic uncertainty, high unemployment, war, terrorism, we need to pray and call upon God.
Prayer: Lord, hear my prayer, and listen. Help our country- its leaders, its soldiers, its people. Help us, not just because we want your blessing. But bless us above all with yourself. You are not only our shield, but you are our hope, strength, and peace.