Thursday, May 22, 2008

Prayer - by faith and not by works, also

Just some observations on prayer.

One of the most comforting thought in prayer is that God hears our prayer which are prayed according to His will and asked for the sake of Jesus.

It is most comforting to know that God listens to the prayer of a sinner, a sinner who trusts that God will answer, not on the basis of anything meritorious in him or in himself, but on the basis of the merits won by Christ on his behalf. This again anchoring our prayers on the promise of God, or through faith in Christ. Answers to our prayer is again through faith and not by works.

The answer to our prayer is also extra nos, outside of us.

God is glorified when we realize that our prayers, which he answers, have nothing to do with us but all have to do with what Jesus has done. They are answered for the sake of Christ who has won this favor from God on our behalf. This is most comforting and heart warming indeed so we can come with boldness to God. Because we do not stand on our own righteousness but of the righteousness freely given by Christ to us, his righteousness, there is all the confidence in the world we could ever need.

How quickly faith is turned to works when we end our prayers with - "we will do this and that etc etc". It is like bargaining with God or playing tit for tat, a kind of "God, you scratch my back and I will scratch yours" deal. Again, this becomes of works and not of faith. Those words sound pious but insulting to the grace of God.

Luther is sometimes shocking but when he says - God should save us from our good works, we can appreciate why he said that.

Heb 4:16(A) Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


Dear friend, know and believe that God answers your prayer because Christ has paid for your sins, you got nothing to give to God that he should listen to you, stop doing what has been done, rest and trust rather on what has been provided by God in Christ - for you. Rest your prayer on someone else's righteousness - that of Christ, you will be comforted to know God hears it.

2 comments:

steve martin said...

Terrific post, L.P.!

You are so right! God has already done it all and will give us all (according to His will).

Pastor Tom Baker on the radio show' Law and Gospel' (KFUO), likes to say that God always answers our prayers with a 'YES'...whenever we pray properly...and that is to always add, 'not my will, but thy will be done'.
God will always do His will and therefore he will never deny you in that prayer for He cannot deny Himself.

Thanks L.P. Cruz!

- Steve M

L P Cruz said...

Steve,

The more I think about how Jesus has entered the way or has opened up the door to the Father, the more it seems to me that prayer is a joy.

In this sense too Christ has not left us alone, the door to the Father is open because of him so there is no reason to stay away.

On the basis of Christ, God listens to our requests and not because of us. Hence, a more reliable assurance.

LPC