“There are only three classes of people in the world today: those who are afraid, those who do not know enough to be afraid, and those who know their Bibles.” —Author Unknown
The Essential Word
In everything we do, the Word of God is essential. It is the lamp that lights the path upon which we walk, it is the standard by which right and wrong are weighed, and it is the means through which we hear our Lord whisper for our ears only. Perhaps nowhere, however, is knowing the Bible more crucial than when it comes to prayer.
A prominent religious leader once said: “I have never had an unanswered prayer.” This same man was rarely seen praying without an open Bible on his lap. No petition was lifted up without a thorough search of the scriptures before-hand and no petition departed his lips until he could support it with appropriate chapter and verse.
Abide In Me
Jesus admonished His disciples saying, “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” —John 15:7.
Ask whatever you wish and it will be done for you.
In other words, Jesus is promising the petitioner that his request will be honored. But it would be wrong of us to take away from Jesus’ words the mistaken notion that every prayer will be answered no matter the request. Jesus puts a condition on the asking, and that condition is crucial to the fulfillment of the promise.
The Right Attitude
John 15:7 states it clearly. If we are to have the guarantee of answered prayer, the prayer must be accompanied by the right attitude. We must be in Jesus and we must remain in Him—it’s an ongoing, continuous state of mind. Jesus is our first priority, our heart’s desire is to please Him in all we do, and simply put, we want what He wants. Our will is congruent with His. That’s the first condition.
The second is that the living, breathing Word of God is dwelling in our hearts. These two conditions are inseparable. If one exists, it follows that the other will also.
We make it all happen by first nourishing our souls with the Word of God, studying it and knowing what it says. Then we bring the words of scripture directly into our prayer life. We pray with an open Bible before us—and only after diligently searching for the Father’s promise regarding our petition. It’s important to use words from the scriptures and tell God how His promise applies to our request. When we pray according to His will we have the assurance that our prayer will be answered.
This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked from Him. —1 John 5:14-15