Summary: In everything we ought to pray
The apostle Paul writes, Be careful [anxious] for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God (Philippians 4:6). Paul is telling us, Seek the Lord about every area of your life. And thank him ahead of time for hearing you!
Pauls emphasis is clear: Always pray first! We arent to pray as a last resort going to our friends first, then to a pastor or counselor, and finally ending up on our knees. No Jesus tells us, Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you (Matthew 6:33). Were to go to the Lord first before anyone!
Why is it so hard for Christians, in times of crisis, to seek God for their desperate needs? After all, the Bible stands as one long testimony that God hears the cries of his children and answers them with tender love:
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry (Psalm 34:15).
The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles (verse 17).
This is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him (1 John 5:14-15).
...The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much (James 5:16).
All things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive (Matthew 21:22).
...the prayer of the upright is his delight (Proverbs 15:8).
The Lord...heareth the prayer of the righteous (verse 29).
He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer (Psalm 102:17).
Listen to Davids great boast: In the day when I cried thou answeredst me, and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul (138:3). David said, Ive proven you, God! In all my trials, I turned to no one else. I sought only you and you heard me, answered me, and gave me strength for the battle I was facing! Thou calledst in trouble, and I delivered thee; I answered thee... (81:7).
These promises and testimonies are overwhelming evidence of Gods care. And theyre so varied, profound and numerous,
Yet when it comes to prayer, the Bible gives us more than promises. It also gives us warnings about the danger of neglecting prayer: How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation... (Hebrews 2:3). The Greek word for neglect here means of little concern; to take lightly.
The context of this verse is a discussion of things related to our salvation and prayer is obviously one of these. God is asking, How do you expect to escape ruin and devastation in the dark times coming, if you havent learned to commune with me in prayer? How will you know and recognize my voice in that day, if you havent learned to hear it in your secret closet?
Jeremiah writes: Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire? Yet my people have forgotten me days without number (Jeremiah 2:32).
Here is my big question the one thing I simply cannot understand: How can Gods own people who are under constant attack from hell, facing trouble and temptations on all sides go week after week without ever seeking him? And how can they claim to love him and believe in his promises, yet never draw near to his heart?
The Writer of Hebrews Calls Us to Draw Near to God!
Hebrews 10 contains an incredible promise. It says Gods door is always open to us, giving us total access to the father:
Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water (Hebrews 10:19-22).
A few verses later, were warned the day of the Lord is fast approaching: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (verse 25). God is saying, Even now, as the time of Christs return draws closer, you must seek my face.
I believe were already seeing the signs that prove were close to a meltdown of our financial system: Violence and immorality are on the rise. Our society is pleasure mad. False prophets angels of light have already deceived many with their doctrines of demons. Yet, before all this happens, the writer of Hebrews says: