I heard a variety of resolutions to my conflict from a myriad of individuals. However, my struggle was only amplified when the answers I heard came into disagreement with each other. I began, with serious intent, to seek God's heart in providing answers to those questions.
There was no question in my mind about the importance of prayer, from God's perspective. It was clear to me that John 9:31 addressed the need of salvation in order for my prayers to be heard. (Of course, the prayer of repentance and faith unto salvation is always heard, according to Romans 10:13) James talked about how asking for willful interests of the flesh interrupts the communication lines with Heaven. In Psalm 66:18, David declared that resident willful sin in my heart results in my prayers not being heard.
I was very aware that the fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much, as seen in James 5:16. I knew that the Apostle Paul had taught us to pray without ceasing in 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Still the question continued to nag, wondering if it were truly possible to have confidence and assurance that the prayers of my heart are heard by the heart of God?
The day God spoke to my heart from 1 John 5:14 continues to bring comfort and peace regarding that long-standing question that I had. When I read "and this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, he heareth us.". I had learned from my spiritual mentors that the Word of God and the will of God were synonymous. Therefore, if I asked anything according to His Word, I could have confidence that He heard me.
I began praying the wisdom of God from James 1:5 for those who faced decisions; the joy of the Lord to be their strength from Nehemiah 8:10 when seemingly insurmountable difficulties lie ahead of them. It was an encouragement as the faithful God promises that no trial will be greater than what His grace will be sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9 and 1 Corinthians 10:13).
In the matter of peace in perplexities, I quit asking God to give them peace, but rather asking Him to help them keep their mind stayed on Him, that they might avail themselves of His promised peace (Isaiah 26:3)
Heard? I can affirm with confidence. Answered? Incredibly! As I began to share what God had taught me to others, first to a few, then to the many, each individual responded as I have described.
What a privilege to be able to, according to Hebrews 4:10, come boldly to the throne of grace, that we my obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
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