In the aftermath of September 11, we have witnessed many people in prayer. That raises the question: To whom were they praying? Or to make it more personal: To whom should I pray?
Prayer is the Christian’s daily opportunity to have a heart-to-heart talk with God. A Christian asks; he gives thanks; he praises the God of heaven. Prayer–it is as natural and vital for the Christian as the taking of a breath or the beating of the heart.
Our God hears prayer. God the Father is not cold and impersonal. He is not the Great Someone out there somewhere. Jesus taught us to pray to him as “Our Father who art in heaven.” Our prayers are not addressed to “Occupant” in heaven. Rather our heavenly Father cares for us and cares about us. We can approach his throne of grace without fear and trembling. After all, through faith in Jesus, we are his dear children.
Our God is always in. He’s never sleeping, out to lunch, or taking the day off. We will never get his answering machine or a busy signal. Our God listens!
Having Spirit-worked faith in Jesus is basic to prayer. Only when we trust in the merits of Jesus as our Savior do our prayers touch the heart of God. Only in that way are we in a right relationship with God. He hears because he loves us–not because we have some right to be heard.
The God of Scripture has revealed Himself as the Triune (3 in 1) God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Prayer is an act of worship, and he alone is worthy of such honor. Only the Triune God is able to hear and grant our requests.
In I Kings 18 the false prophets of Baal “prayed” long and hard to their gods, asking then to send fire from heaven to consume their sacrifice. But God did not hear nor recognize their requests. Any prayer not addressed to the one true God, in Jesus’ name, is idolatry–the breaking of God’s First Commandment. In a similar way, saints cannot hear our prayers (see Isaiah 63:16) and angels do not merit worship (see Revelation 22:8,9). Prayer is to be addressed only to the Triune God.
To whom should I pray? God waits to hear from his believing children. With the simple trusting faith of a child, God invites you to approach Him as our Father in heaven.