Every Monday we’ll post something to do with personal purity. Hope it helps.
3 Prayers with a Guaranteed ‘Yes’
I’m not big on terms like “deliverance” or “transformation”, though I believe in both. They’re both clearly commended in the Bible, and I celebrate them. But I think they’re too often misused as ways of pumping people up to get them to expect immediate, complete relief from whatever ails them. And that, both history and scripture show, is a set up for disappointment. Because although we have indeed been delivered from the power of death and sin through Christ, and are being transformed daily more and more into His image through sanctification, there are still earthly struggles and trials we’re called to face. So whenever someone says, “Here’s a way to pray away your problems”, I smell immaturity.
But I may swing the other extreme and be too cynical at times, because God unquestionably hears and answers prayer. There are three prayers in particular worth considering, all of which are crucial to any believer striving to maintain moral integrity. I’m sold on the power of these prayers, because they align nicely with what John promised:
“And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire of Him.” (I John 5: 14-15)
We can petition boldly, then, when we know that what we’re asking is in His will. So here are three prayers that qualify:
1.) “Today, please give me a hatred of sin; mine, especially.”
I’ve had to admit, over the years, that my acknowledgement of something being sinful doesn’t by any means nullify my affection for that something. I can know it’s wrong and still crave it, and no matter how much I hate craving it, my hatred of the craving doesn’t make it vanish. I’m left, then, somewhat like despondent Paul, moaning, ‘Who will deliver me from the body of this death? I hate what I love; I love what I should hate!’ That’s when I can throw myself on His merciful ability to instill in me feelings I could never generate within myself. He can, and does, cause me to hate the sin He despises. Not as much as He does, sadly, but more than I ever could on my own. That’s answered prayer, and it’s miraculous.
2.) “Please let me know when I’ve grieved Your Holy Spirit.”
Paul commanded us not to grieve the Spirit (Ephesians 4:30) a command sometimes hard; sometimes seemingly impossible. After all, being God, the Holy Spirit must be grieved at any sin, making no distinction between the big ones and the so-called minor ones. So how can I help but grieve Him? Every time I have a fleeting rude thought or make a snide remark, I’m toast. And that makes it all the easier for me to get accustomed to sin, comfortable and at peace with it as well. I need, then, a reminder – a quickening leash that pulls me up short when I’ve grieved Him. And, oh, how willingly He answers that request! Try it today, you’ll see.
3.) “Make me hungry to know You today.”
Jesus said, “If you love me, keep my commandments.” (John 14:15) Well, sure, and if I only loved Him more, I’d be more diligent about that. But my rebel heart isn’t always so keen on loving anyone, even Him, and my flesh gets settled in a compromised state pretty darned quick. But He can override all that by doing what the Shulamite asked her Beloved to do: “Draw me, and we will run after Thee.” (Song of Solomon 1:4) He always wants more intimacy with us, and will joyfully woo us, hour by hour while we’re going about daily business, by reminding us of His nearness, His love, our identity in Him, and the glory that’s still to be revealed. All of that comes, and more, when we simply ask, “Today, make me hungry to know You.”
Try these prayers today. I’m confident they’ll be answered in all our lives, and will bear lasting, abundant fruit.