Praying With Boldness And Humility
Listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes... Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that." James 3:13-14; 4:15
It’s not a cop out to say “If it is the Lord’s will...” when you pray. If God has not made the outcome known, it would be presumption not to. Cultivate humility when you are praying about a job, health or the salvation of a loved one. We know its God’s will that people should be saved, but we do not know which people will be saved, so pray with humility. That will keep you from blaming yourself and from resenting God.
This is important when we pray for our nation. God’s purpose in the rise and fall of nations is kept hidden from us, “The secret things belong to the Lord” (Deuteronomy 29:29). God may give us a nation that wanders from Him, and He may do this to keep us from becoming conceited, because of the surpassingly great blessings He’s given us. He may say, “My grace is sufficient for you, my power is made perfect in weakness.”
Pray with assurance for what God has revealed
“Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.” Isaiah 1:18
Cultivate boldness in your praying. God may make his purpose known through a promise of Scripture or a prompting of the Spirit. When God has spoken a clear promise for all people, you can pray with great assurance. The Bible is full of such promises, like a field of buried treasure, and prayer digs up the promises of God. Imagine owning a field that’s full of buried treasure and never digging. That what it’s like if we don’t pray.
When you come to God to ask for forgiveness, you do not need to say, “Lord, forgive my sins, if it be Your will.” He has already told you what His will is! Christ has come, Christ has died and Christ is risen. Christ calls you; He invites you to come to Him. Christ’s blood is shed for you.
The promises of God open the door to a faith that prays with great assurance and boldness, “Let us… come boldly into the throne of grace that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:15 AV).
This is how faith operates in prayer. You take God at His word, “Lord, You have said, ‘Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be white as snow.’ Lord, You sent your Son into the world for sinners. I am that sinner and my sins are like scarlet. So, now I believe your promise. I embrace, receive and rejoice in what You’ve said is mine.”
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Colin currently serves as Senior Pastor of the The Orchard Evangelical Free Church in Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is committed to preaching the Bible in a way that nourishes the soul by directing attention to Jesus Christ.