Posted by: mikenicholsblog | January 30, 2011

in His name

Prayer is a fundamental part of the Christian life, and is a prominent word in the Christian vocabulary. Everybody prays, and at some point even quotes the Lord’s Prayer. But to most, prayer is underused, misunderstood and often only important when our lives hit crisis mode. In fact, a friend and I had a discussion about “why pray if He already knows everything?” just last week. Then, there are those times when we pray intently, really believing God is going to answer with an affirmative to our well thought-out important request. But He doesn’t!

These less than powerful experiences with prayer may have left you feeling that, “it’s not worth it”. But God has designed for all Christ followers to pray, and His purpose is more than just our petitions.

Just this week in praying with my daughter, I wanted God to give us the answer we wanted. I even enlisted friends to pray. She had traveled across the country for a great opportunity, and then got very sick. She was not even able to attend the function. It would be easy to question the Lord about not coming through for us. But He did come through in His way. God’s purposes are good, and sometimes He uses affliction for our good. You have probably had similar experiences.

It’s imperative for us to have a strong sense of God’s control in our lives, because when prayer requests aren’t answered our way, the “why even pray?” thoughts can emerge.

In my reading last week from the book of John, prayer was a prominent theme. One of the confident prayer promises was found in John 14:13-14.

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Is Jesus giving us carte blanche in our prayer lives? No, but He is giving His credibility in going to the Father. Praying in His Name means that we are praying as Jesus would pray, and praying for what would be in line with the Father’s will. There will be times when He answers as we are hoping, and we consider those God moments. God moments also come when He answers differently than our personal desires. The key to effective prayer is in His Name.

God’s design for our prayer life is not that we just petition. Our prayer life should be much deeper than that. Larry Crabb in his book, The PAPA Prayer gives what I feel to be the missing link in our struggle with prayer. He says. “The chief purpose of prayer is to get to know God, to deepen our relationship with Him, to nourish the life of God He’s already placed within us, and to do it all to satisfy His desire for relationship with us.” Relationships take time, and Christ followers struggle with giving God what He deserves. It’s no wonder that prayer is underused and misunderstood.

So where is your prayer life? Today you can begin to pray as Jesus would, in His Name. You can also determine that prayer can be a special relationship between you and the Father. Give Him the time He deserves! Remember, His purposes are good, He wants to bless you and He wants you to pray. He knows how to answer, and He knows best.


  1. Just curious how the evening turned out with your daughter

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