The first privilege of having an intimate relationship with God through prayer is that you get to know God. Consider what a great and awesome honor that is — to know the One who not only created all that exists but also directs it from His mighty throne.
This is an amazing thought when you consider how often we long for favor from those in authority over us or to have help from someone powerful enough to change our circumstances. We see it every day in the way people clamor for the attention of the powerful, famous, skilled, and wealthy. It can seem that we are subject to other people’s biases, evil desires, mistakes, and faulty reasoning. We may even fall into the false belief that our futures are dependent on their help and their decisions.
So even though we may acknowledge that God exists, it’s possible that we feel responsible to resolve difficulties on our own or seek earthly assistance rather than taking our troubles to Him. From our narrow, earthbound points of view, perhaps we see no hope in our situations, no solutions to our dilemmas, and no end to our sufferings. When we go before Him, we may do so with our own limitations and the hope of help from other people in mind.
But Proverbs 29:26 reminds us,
Many seek the ruler’s favor, but justice for man comes from the Lord.
Your deliverance — regardless of the vessel used to achieve it — always comes from God Himself.
In fact, nothing can touch your life without first being allowed by the hand of your Creator, who formed you in your mother’s womb and ensures that what you experience will work for greater purposes when you follow Him (Romans 8:28).
That’s what makes the gift of prayer so powerful and impactful — the One to whom we pray. We are interacting with the Almighty, our Lord, Maker, King, Mighty Warrior, Redeemer, and faithful High Priest. He is the true source of our help!
The Father proclaims,
Behold, I am the Lord, the God of all flesh; is anything too difficult for Me? — Jeremiah 32:27
No, there is absolutely nothing too challenging for Him to overcome!
But perhaps you are wondering, Why should I pray to God to know Him? Will it really make a difference? Does He really care about me? Can I really trust Him?
It is normal to have these kinds of questions, especially if the people in your life have disappointed you, have been dishonest, or have acted in a manner contrary to your best interest. But you can be certain that the Father will unfailingly do what is good, loving, and righteous on your behalf because He loves you and always does the right thing (Numbers 23:19; Psalm 22:3-4). And as you interact with Him in prayer, you understand this in increasingly profound and wonderful ways.
This is why the writer of Hebrews proclaimed,
It is impossible for God to lie. Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. — Hebrews 6:18 NLT
When the Father says He cares for you, it is not a trick; it is the truth. He will never lead you astray but will always be honorable and guide you in the best way possible. So yes, you can trust the Lord’s wonderful character. And the more you know Him, the more you will trust Him.
Of course, the next questions you may have are, Can God help me? Is He able to make something of my situation? After all, the value of any promise is based not only on the character of the person making the guarantee but also on the capacity to fulfill it.
Let me assure you, God has never failed to keep His word. Solomon proclaimed in 1 Kings 8:56,
Blessed be the Lord… not one word has failed of all His good promise.
He is absolutely capable of fulfilling your needs — sufficiently wise, strong, and loving to help you, no matter how overwhelming your circumstances may seem.
This is because God is sovereign; He is the majestic Ruler of all creation. He set the laws of nature in place. Matter, space, and time are in His hand and under His authority. Psalm 103:19 tells us,
The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, and His sovereignty rules over all.
What does this mean for your situation? First, the Father is omnipotent — He is all-powerful. He can literally move heaven and earth to accomplish His will for you because He put them in place and guides their every movement (Psalm 104). As you fellowship with Him in prayer, He not only fills you with His strength but supernaturally clears away obstacles for you.
Also, the Lord is omniscient, which signifies He is all-knowing and completely wise. He sees your past, present, and future and understands everything about your situation, even details you could not possibly discern. He identifies exactly what you need and how to provide it, but He also uses your difficulties to build you up and mature your faith (Romans 8:28). As you engage in the gift of prayer, not only does God give you His supernatural insight and wisdom, but you experience the astounding manner in which He teaches you and navigates your path in brilliant ways you could never have figured out on your own.
Additionally, God is omnipresent. He is outside of time, and everything that exists is in His presence, so He is always with you in every moment, no matter where you go (Joshua 1:9). Nothing in your life escapes His notice. He is able to rally resources and influence circumstances that you don’t even know exist in order to solve the problems you’re facing, regardless of what they are. So as you come before His throne of grace, you not only have the assurance of His awesome presence, but you become aware that
neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. — Romans 8:38-39
Even if something is completely out of your control, it is still in His, and therefore you are safe in His care.
Luke 1:37 affirms,
Nothing will be impossible with God.
No matter how complicated, confusing, untenable, or overwhelming the trials you face, the living Lord is greater and can lead you to victory in them (John 16:33). So again, the response is yes, the Father really is able to help you.
Of course, the final question on your heart may be the most personal and even the most painful one: Does God really want to help me?
This is the question many of us struggle to answer. Although we may accept that God is trustworthy and capable of delivering us from our troubles, we are not certain that He is willing to do so. These doubts often stem from feelings of inadequacy. We doubt we are worthy of His love and presence.
First, understand that the Lord accepts us based on Christ’s death on the cross, not because of what we have done or have failed to do (Ephesians 2:8-9). As I said in the previous chapters, you and I can have a relationship with the Father only through the salvation Jesus provides. However, once we trust Christ as our Savior, we are always able to approach the throne of grace (Hebrews 4:14-16). Jude verse 24 promises that Jesus
is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of His glory blameless with great joy.
You don’t have to feel shame or unworthiness before the Father — Jesus took care of your shame on the cross. He is your adequacy. Of course, you should always repent of your sins, but that is to keep your fellowship with God unhindered, not so you can earn His approval.
Second, understand that as well as being omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, the Father is also omnibenevolent, which means He is unconditional and perfect in His love for you. The Lord’s love isn’t based on what you do — it is based on His own unfailing character (1 John 4:8-10). The Father is completely kind and compassionate toward you because He cannot be otherwise — it is who He is. And as we just saw in Romans 8:38-39, absolutely nothing can separate us from His love.
So there is no need to wonder if the Lord is willing to help you — He is! Romans 8:31-32 declares,
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
Friend, God is not only prepared to help you but is actively calling you to cast “all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you” (1 Peter 5:7). So if you are wondering if you can trust the Giver of this great gift of prayer… if He can truly help you… and if He is truly willing to help you… know for certain that the answer is unquestionably and resoundingly “Yes!” to all three questions!
The One who beckons you to His throne is worthy of your attention. Whereas earthly help will often fail you, He absolutely never will.
Lord Jesus, You are the One I need. Thank You for this great gift of prayer in which I can know You, experience Your presence, and receive Your aid. Oh Lord, You are God! You are omniscient — knowing and understanding every working of everything in all creation. You are omnipresent — going where I cannot go and raising solutions I don’t even realize exist. You are omnipotent—accomplishing all I am powerless to achieve in my strength. And You are loving — always providing what is most beneficial for me. You are the sovereign, everlasting King of kings and Lord of lords. And You love me. You are not only able to help me but are always willing to deliver me. I have absolutely no reason to fear. You will not fail or forsake me. No one who trusts in You is ever put to shame. Thank You, Father, for being greater than all my troubles and always helping me. I can always count on You! In Your holy name I pray, Jesus. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from The Gift of Prayer by Charles Stanley, copyright Charles Stanley.
* * *
Friends, the more we read about Who we pray to, the more in awe and overwhelmed we become. None of us know everything that happens when we pray, but we can rest assured that something shifts. Something in our hearts, something in Heaven, bondage may fall off, a circumstance might change – the list could go on. We’d love to hear how prayer has impacted your life. Come share your thoughts on our blog!