The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. -- James 5:16b
When God decides it’s time for a change in us, He knows how to prod us into obedience. I felt God’s nudging to make prayer an active part of my morning. That meant pulling away from my toasty flannel sheets and down-filled pillow and literally getting on my knees. The problem is that after four surgeries, my knees weren’t willing participants. Submission works better from the kneeling position, but any pressure on what used to be my right kneecap brought tears. I was also less than thrilled with the idea of arising earlier; I’m not a morning person. Needing confirmation, I asked God if He would be my alarm clock. Not only did He give me divine wake-up calls precisely at the requested time, He wouldn’t let me fall back to sleep. After two weeks of prayer with my elbows on the bed supporting my weight while gingerly allowing my knees to touch the carpeting, God withdrew all of my knee pain.
God rewards us when we try to be obedient. He wants us to pray. His Word tells us to “pray without ceasing” and to “devote ourselves to prayer.” However, we need to have genuine faith and trust in God in order to pray sincerely. We must believe He hears us and is willing to respond. “When you ask, you must believe and not doubt.” While we examine how much faith is in our prayers, we may ask God for assurance if our prayers are in His will. God looks at our hearts and motives when we make our requests. As we see our prayers being answered, our desire to pray intensifies because our expectant faith grows.
Some wonder why we should pray since God knows our needs and everything about us. They forget that He desires a personal relationship with us and wants us to communicate with Him. God answers our knee-mail. The more we talk with Him, the closer and more intimate we become, which generates more love for Him. The phrase, “To know him is to love him” applies! Remember, Jesus said the greatest commandment of all is to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Do we love Him enough to desire quality time with Him? He does with us.