Furthermore, having looked at the basis upon which a
child of God stands before Him and gives service to Him,
‘How does a child of God approach Him in prayer and
hope to obtain an answer?’ We know that God is not
obligated to anyone, neither is He restricted from
hearing the prayers of anyone. He may hear the prayers
of His children or even of those of whom He has no
relationship with. He heard the cries of Sodom and the
prayers of the heathen Cornelius, as well as the prayers
of Israel and the prophet Elijah. Even the plants and
animals, rocks and dirt cry out to Him, and He hears
them. However, to those who are in Christ, He leads them
to a special place, a higher plane of intercession,
prayer, and petitions.
Gen 18:20 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom
and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very
21 I will go down now, and see whether they have done
altogether according to the cry of it, which is come
unto me; and if not, I will know.
3:9 Now therefore, behold, the cry of the children of
Israel is come unto me: and I have also seen the
oppression wherewith the Egyptians oppress them.
Acts 10:1 There was a certain man in Caesarea called
Cornelius, a centurion of the band called the Italian
2 A devout man, and one that feared God with all his
house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to
3 He saw in a vision evidently about the ninth hour of
the day an angel of God coming in to him, and saying
unto him, Cornelius.
4 And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said,
What is it, Lord? And he said unto him,
Thy prayers and thine alms
are come up for a memorial before God.
James 5:17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as
we are, and he
prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained
not on the earth by the space of three years and six
Because the old man—our self-life—has now died in
Christ, we do not come to Him with bribes of self-works,
nor are we refused because of our sins, faults, and
failures. We come to Him purely in the name,
righteousness, and person of our Saviour, the Lord Jesus
Christ—“in Whom all the promises of God are ye and
amen.” Even if we feel condemned and unworthy
because of our sin, we still have the blessed hope of
being heard, when we come only in Jesus name. This is
what is called “the prayer of faith”; and because
it is “of faith” we have the promise that we
“shall” be heard by our Heavenly Father. Just
as we are saved through faith and we walk by faith, so
we must pray in, by, and through faith in our Lord Jesus
Christ. Just as we come to God, owning nothing of
ourselves, but our righteousness is all of Christ, even
thus we pray. Woe to them who come to God in prayer
presenting their own goodness and works—because
“whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Woe to them who
beseeches God in their own name and person, thinking the
name of Jesus Christ to be just some meaningless
formality—“for let not that man think that he shall
receive any thing of the Lord.” Those who approach
God in their own name and righteousness shall receive
nothing, but more chastening until they see and
acknowledge the truth. Our iniquities can separate us
from God, and our sins can hide His face from us that He
will not hear—when we come before God in our own person
and works. However, the only sin that can truly separate
a child of God from his Father, and cause his Father not
to hear him, is not coming in the faith and name of
Cor 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea,
and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Jam 5:15 And the prayer of faith shall save the
sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have
committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.
John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name,
that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in
Rom 14:23 And he that doubteth is damned if he eat,
because he eateth not of faith:
for whatsoever is not of
faith is sin.
Isa 59:1 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that
it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot
2 But your
iniquities have separated between you and your God, and
your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not
However, this is not—as some would try to make it to
be—a blank check that allows us to ask and receive
anything from God that we would lust after. God is not
going to feed our flesh by giving to us anything we want
of the things of the world—for that would only turn our
hearts away from Him. To pray in the name of Jesus means
also to pray in the spirit of how Jesus prayed. Jesus
came to do the Father’s will, and He always prayed for
the Father’s will to be done. He could have prayed for,
and received all of the glory and riches the world had
to offer—but that was not the will of God for Him. In
His examination before Pilate, Jesus said, “My
kingdom is not of this world”; and He was not
enamored by anything that this world had to offer Him.
James 4:3 Ye
ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may
consume it upon your lusts.
John 18:36 Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this
world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would
my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the
Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.
John 6:38 For I
came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the
will of him that sent me.
in the Garden, as He faced the agony of all that was
about to happen, He prayed for the cup of that hour to
pass, but He added, “nevertheless not my will, but
thine, be done.” Even in this prayer however, He was
not asking to be delivered from the cross—for He knew
that was His great purpose in coming. Jesus prayed
thusly because the suffering of that hour was so great—“his
sweat was as it were great drops of blood.” He
feared He was not going to survive the physiological
stress of that hour, and live to be crucified.
Therefore, because He so yielded Himself to whatever the
Father’s will might be—He “was heard in that he
feared”; and “an angel” came
“unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”
John 12:27 Now
is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save
me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this
Luke 22:41 And he was withdrawn from them about a
stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed,
Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me:
nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven,
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and
his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling
down to the ground.
Heb 5:7 Who in the days of his flesh,
when he had offered up
prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears
unto him that was able to save him from death, and was
heard in that he feared;
are truly in Christ, abiding in Christ, and walking in
His Spirit, the desires of our hearts should be the same
as His—for the Father’s will to be done. Thus He taught
his disciples, in the model prayer, to say, “Thy will
be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” When we walk by
faith, and are filled with the Spirit of Christ, our
desires will not be for the things of this world, but
for the things that will glorify Christ—that which will
bring about His kingdom and the Father’s will. We will
not be always praying for things that satisfy our
sensual desires and bring glory to the flesh—things that
we want only for our own earthly pleasure and enjoyment
in this life. When those kinds of requests dominate our
prayer life, we have a problem, because we are not
walking in the Spirit. This is not to say we should not
pray for our earthly needs, for Jesus also taught us to
pray “Give us this day our daily bread.” Those
needs include many things besides just food: they
include clothing, shelter, money to pay our bills, have
vacations, take our family to a restaurant, send our
children to Christian schools, and etc. The Apostle John
wrote to his friend Gaius, “Beloved, I wish above all
things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even
as thy soul prospereth.” However, he could say this
because he had also heard about Gaius, that
“thou walkest in the
Luke 11:1 And it came to pass, that, as he was praying
in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples
said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also
taught his disciples.
2 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father
which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will
be done, as in heaven, so in earth.
James 4:3 Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss,
that ye may consume it upon your lusts.
4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not
that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?
whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the
enemy of God.
Cor 4:18 While we look not at the things which are
seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the
things which are seen are temporal; but the things which
are not seen are eternal.
Matt 6:11 Give
us this day our daily bread.
John 1:1 The elder unto the wellbeloved Gaius, whom I
love in the truth.
2 Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest
prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.
3 For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and
testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou
walkest in the truth.
Matt 6:31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall
we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall
we be clothed?
32 (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:)
for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of
all these things.
33 But seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all
these things shall be added unto you.
some may ask, ‘do we know what to pray for that is
according to the will of God?’ Again, Jesus told His
disciples, “If ye abide in me, and my words abide in
you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done
unto you.” To know what to pray for is to know the
Father’s will, and to know the Father’s will is to know
His Word. We must have His Word abiding in us so that
the Holy Spirit might lead us to the things we should
pray for. Knowing His Word is vital because there are so
many spiritual forces at work in our lives; therefore,
we must discern between their voices and the voice of
the Spirit of Christ in knowing what to pray about. The
Holy Spirit will never lead us to desire, or to pray for
something that is contrary to the Word of God. The more
we grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ, the more
our senses will be “exercised to discern both good
John 15:7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in
you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done
Jude 1:20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on
your most holy faith,
praying in the Holy Ghost,
John 4:1 Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try
the spirits whether they are of God: because many
false prophets are gone out into the world.
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know
them, and they
Heb 5:14 But strong meat belongeth to them that are of
full age, even
those who by reason of use have their senses exercised
to discern both good and evil.
will still be, however, many times in our lives when we
are faced with situations that are indeed perplexing to
us. Even after we have meditated upon God’s Word, prayed
for His will to be done, and waited upon Him to lead
us—we still do not know what to specifically pray for.
It is in these times that “the Spirit also helpeth
our infirmities,” and He “maketh intercession for
us with groanings which cannot be uttered.” We do
not always know the will of God, and we do not always
know what we truly have need of; but, “He that
searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the
Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints
according to the will of God.” Furthermore, our High
Priest, the Lord Jesus Christ, is in heaven making
intercession for us. Still more, God the Father knows
what we have need of better than we do, and has
they call, I will answer.”
Psa 1:2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD;
and in his law
doth he meditate day and night.
Psa 119:15 I will meditate in thy precepts, and
have respect unto thy ways.
Psa 27:14 Wait on the LORD: be of good courage,
and he shall strengthen thine heart:
wait, I say, on the LORD.
Rom 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our
infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as
we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession
for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is
the mind of the Spirit,
because he maketh
intercession for the saints according to the will of
Heb 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the
uttermost that come unto God by him,
seeing he ever liveth to
make intercession for them.
Isa 65:24 And it shall come to pass,
that before they call, I
will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will
others may still ask, ‘How can I be sure that God
will answer my prayer?’ As we have already said, God
is never obligated to answer anyone’s prayer; but if we
honor Him by obeying the truth, He will honor us by
granting our petitions. Every prayer that Jesus ever
prayed was answered by the Father, because He honored
the Father in all that He did. As believers, we have the
Spirit of Christ within us, transforming us to be like
Jesus in everything we do; so that our lives, through
Christ, may honor God also. So then if, first of all, we
have seen Christ as our Saviour, we must also abide in
Him and be filled with His Spirit. Furthermore, we must
know His will through the Spirit leading us in His Word;
we must pray for His will to be done; and we must make
our requests only in the name and righteousness of Jesus
Christ. When we are thus lead to pray we can be sure of
an answer from the Father. Remember, that repentance,
salvation, sanctification, understanding God’s will, and
having a desire to pray, are all brought about because
“it is God which worketh in you both to will and to
do of his good pleasure.” No one is more eager to
see our prayers answered than God Himself. He wills for
us to pray; He delights in our prayers; and He delights
to answer our prayers.
“O thou of little faith,
wherefore didst thou doubt?”
John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and
where I am, there shall also my servant be:
if any man serve me, him
will my Father honour.
John 11:41 Then they took away the stone from the place
where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his
eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but
because of the people which stand by I said it, that
they may believe that thou hast sent me.
Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons,
God hath sent forth the
Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba,
Cor 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a
glass the glory of the Lord,
are changed into the same
image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God
be for us, who can be against us?
32 He that
spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all,
how shall he not with him also freely give us all
Mark 11:24 Therefore I say unto you,
What things soever ye
desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and
ye shall have them.
John 5:14 And
this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we
ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we
know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
Phil 2:13 For it
is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of
his good pleasure.
Matt 7:7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek,
and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he
that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall
9 Or what man is there of you, whom if his son ask
bread, will he give him a stone?
10 Or if he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent?
11 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children,
how much more shall your
Father which is in heaven give good things to them that
Matt 14:31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his
hand, and caught him, and said unto him,
O thou of little faith,
wherefore didst thou doubt?
simplest way to look at prayer is that we are coming
before the Father as if we were Jesus—because He truly
is in us and we are in Him. When we approach Him in
prayer, God does not see us, but He sees only His Son.
We are given a beautiful picture of this in the story of
Jacob stealing his brother Esau’s blessing. We can view
the story as an allegory about prayer, with Isaac, Jacob
and Esau’s father, representing God the Father; Esau
representing Christ, who deserves the blessing of the
Father; Jacob, who represents the sinner coming to the
Father; and Rebekah, a type of the Holy Spirit, who is
leading us to the Father. The Biblical account says that
Rebekah “put the skins of the kids of the goats upon
his (Jacob’s) hands, and upon the smooth of his
(Jacob’s) neck”; then she clothed Jacob in
the garments of his brother Esau, and prepared
“savoury meat” for him to give to Isaac—so that
Jacob might receive Isaac’s blessing intended for Esau.
The elderly Isaac discerned that it was Jacob’s voice
who requested the blessing, but the smell of Esau’s
clothes, the hairy skin, and the food offering made
Rebekah’s deception effective in stealing the blessing.
Even so, the Holy Spirit does the same thing for
poor, undeserving sinners, who are in Christ. When we
bring the proper offering, the “savoury meat,” to
the Father—which is the sacrifice of the innocent Lamb
of God; and we put on the “goodly raiment” of
Christ our brother—His robe of righteousness—“we are
unto God a sweet savour of Christ.” Now, God is not
an aged father who cannot see well, and is fooled by our
trickery; contra-wise, He is the one who made a way for
us to come before Him. The prayer we pray may be the
voice of a sinner, but God accounts it as coming from
His Son, and grants us the blessing that we seek.
Cor 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into
one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we
be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into
Christ have put
Gen 27:1 And it came to pass, that when Isaac was old,
and his eyes were dim, so that he could not see, he
called Esau his eldest son, and said unto him, My
son: and he said unto him, Behold, here am I.
2 And he said, Behold now, I am old, I know not the day
of my death:
3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy
quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me
4 And make me savoury meat, such as I love, and bring
it to me, that I may eat; that my soul may bless thee
before I die.
5 And Rebekah heard when Isaac spake to Esau his
son. And Esau went to the field to hunt for venison, and
to bring it.
6 And Rebekah spake unto Jacob her son, saying, Behold,
I heard thy father speak unto Esau thy brother, saying,
7 Bring me venison, and make me savoury meat, that I may
eat, and bless thee before the LORD before my death.
8 Now therefore, my son, obey my voice according to
that which I command thee.
9 Go now to the flock, and fetch me from thence two
good kids of the goats; and I will make them savoury
meat for thy father, such as he loveth:
10 And thou shalt bring it to thy father, that he may
eat, and that he may bless thee before his death.
11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, Behold, Esau my
brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth man:
12 My father peradventure will feel me, and I shall seem
to him as a deceiver; and I shall bring a curse upon me,
and not a blessing.
13 And his mother said unto him, Upon me be thy curse,
my son: only obey my voice, and go fetch me them.
14 And he went, and fetched, and brought them to his
mother: and his mother made savoury meat, such as his
15 And Rebekah took goodly raiment of her eldest
son Esau, which were with her in the house, and put them
upon Jacob her younger son:
16 And she put the skins of the kids of the goats upon
his hands, and upon the smooth of his neck:
17 And she gave the savoury meat and the bread,
which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
18 And he came unto his father, and said, My father: and
he said, Here am I; who art thou, my son?
19 And Jacob said unto his father, I am Esau thy
firstborn; I have done according as thou badest me:
arise, I pray thee, sit and eat of my venison, that thy
soul may bless me.
20 And Isaac said unto his son, How is it that thou hast
found it so quickly, my son? And he said, Because the
LORD thy God brought it to me.
21 And Isaac said unto Jacob, Come near, I pray thee,
that I may feel thee, my son, whether thou be my very
son Esau or not.
22 And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he
felt him, and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the
hands are the hands of Esau.
23 And he discerned him not, because his hands were
hairy, as his brother Esau's hands: so he blessed him.
24 And he said, Art thou my very son Esau? And he said,
25 And he said, Bring it near to me, and I will eat
of my son's venison, that my soul may bless thee. And he
brought it near to him, and he did eat: and he brought
him wine, and he drank.
26 And his father Isaac said unto him, Come near now,
and kiss me, my son.
27 And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled
the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said,
See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field
which the LORD hath blessed:
28 Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the
fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine:
29 Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee:
be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow
down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and
blessed be he that blesseth thee.
Cor 6:9 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not
inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither
fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor
effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
10 Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor
revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of
11 And such were
some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified,
but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and
by the Spirit of our God.
Cor 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew
no sin; that we
might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Gal 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into
Christ have put on Christ.
Eph 2:18 For
through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the
Eph 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and
supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto
with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;
Cor 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ,
in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
Phil 4:19 But my
God shall supply all your need according to his riches
in glory by Christ Jesus.