Sunday, August 2, 2009

Effective Prayer

Hebrews 4:16 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.

Jesus is our holy and sympathetic high priest. He lived on this earth, experiencing all of the temptations that plague us daily, yet He NEVER, not once, sinned. He is holy, holy, holy...yet He is sympathetic - He understands our weaknesses; He knows our frame.

This Jesus was appointed by God His Father to suffer so that we would receive the gift of eternal salvation. And what a gift! We are saved in time and eternity - given the right to be called the sons (and daughters!) of God. Adopted into God's family; preserved and guided and helped by His grace.

The encouragement to “draw near” to God's throne implies that Christians have the privilege of a personal relationship with God. We are told to have confidence - boldness & courage - as we speaking before God Almighty - this Holy One of greatest rank and power in the Universe. We are so privileged, because God expects us to come before Him and speak plainly and honestly and reverently, without fear that we will incur shame or punishment by doing so.

The Irish Calvinist wrote about this. He said that he wakes up and his mind goes immediately to what he needs to accomplish that day - and he is aware that what he does do will not be done flawlessly.

Yet, God graciously reminds him of Hebrews 7:24.

Hebrews 7:24 [Jesus] holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. 25 Consequently, he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.

Jesus intecedes for us before the throne of grace. God the Father graciously helps those who need forgiveness and strength in temptation.

It is a good thing to pray for one another. We Christians are urged to do so. The effectual, fervent prayers of a righteous man availeth much, James tells us. We are called to pray, taught how to pray by Jesus Himself, and commanded to continue steadfastly in prayer (Col. 4).

We often ask others to pray for us, and that's a good thing, too. Paul asked for prayer. He didn't ask to be delivered from prison, or spared the lash, or given creature comforts. He asked for prayer that God would help him in communicating the mystery of Jesus Christ to the world.

Colossians 4:3At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.

This is one of the mysteries: Jesus intecedes for us!

So, the next time you are weary in well-doing, the next time you battle the flesh, the next time you struggle with temptation and wonder if you'll ever get it right, remember:

Jesus is praying for YOU.

There is no one more effective. There is no one more fervent. Jesus will never fail, and He knows exactly what to pray on your behalf.

Amazing, astounding grace.


  1. This is the grace for which, at the end of the day, I give thanks. Some days I need reminding of it more than others.


Remember that you will give an account for every word. Respond with wisdom and grace, please.