Prayer is the unique difference between the Christian Faith
& all other world religions. It is unique to the Christian faith.
that we can communicate with our Creator,
that we can actually talk to Him,
is the big difference.
God is very interested in our prayers,
and in the relationship that results
from that communication with Him,
and it’s important that we understand
that there are different kinds of prayer,
and that certain types of prayers
require certain things
in order to be heard.
There are at least 4 prayers that are unconditional,
and 4 others that are conditional.
Not realizing this can lead to
discouragement and misunderstanding.
The prophet Isaiah told us that if we had sins and iniquities
our prayers would not be heard.
And ‘The Psalmist’ told us the same thing.
So what prayers are they talking about here?
Special Request Prayers is what he’s talking about.
Isa 1:15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
Ps 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:
Ps 66:18 If I cherish evil in my heart… (World English Bible paraphrased)
Special Request Prayers are conditional prayers.
God does not hear ‘Special Request Prayers’
that come from people He doesn’t know!
People who have no ongoing relationship with GOD
will find that their “Santa Clause” god!
is out of town & can’t be reached!
Devotional Prayers are Unconditional.
GOD hears all prayers
from every repenting sinner
who is seeking forgiveness from sin,
and a new or renewed relationship with HIM.
That’s an unconditional type of prayer.
That’s a High Priority Prayer!
It makes the “Answer
this first” box
Prayers of Repentance & Forgiveness are Unconditional
and King David gives a good example
of what praying unconditional prayers
can do in a person’s life…
Ps 32:5 “I acknowledged my sin unto thee,
and mine iniquity have I not hid.”
“I will confess my transgressions unto the LORD”;
and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin.
Ps 38:18 For I will declare mine iniquity;
I will be sorry for my sin.
Ps 51:1-3 ¶ Have mercy on me, God,
according to your loving kindness.
According to the multitude
of your tender mercies,
blot out my transgressions. (WEB)
2 Wash me thoroughly from mine iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin. (KJV)
3 For I know my transgressions.
My sin is constantly before me. (WEB)
Ps 85:2 Thou hast forgiven the iniquity of thy people,
thou hast covered all their sin. Selah.
Ps 119:133 ¶ Order my steps in thy word:
and let not any iniquity have dominion over me.
Ps 34:4 I sought the LORD,
and he heard me,
and delivered me from all my fears. (KJV)
Prayers of Thanksgiving & Praise are Unconditional Prayers.
I believe God Loves to hear them.
Don’t we ALL!
When someone says to you,
“Wow, you really did a great job on that,”
“You have no idea how much that helped me,
Thank You So Much!”,
How does that make you feel?
You were made in God’s image,
I’m sure it’s just as nice for Him when He hears it
as it is for you when you do.
Remember, prayer is
the ½ of a conversation with God
where YOU are talking
and hope that
Don’t forget the other ½.
A one sided conversation is like two legs missing on a three legged stool.
Pretty useless when it lacks balance aye?
A great example of a prayer of Praise is in…
Intercessory Prayer is Unconditional Prayer, Unselfish Prayer!
Have you ever had someone say to you, would you please pray for…
and then they go on to describe a person in need,
or a situation that needs a solution that appears out of reach,
or a struggle of some sort taking place that needs
‘Intervention from on High’
to reach a positive conclusion.
In other words,
A good example is Moses prayer for the people.
Moses is certainly unselfish when praying this prayer, offering up his life for the lives of the children of Israel, just as Jesus actually did for all of mankind many hundreds of years later…You can be sure that the Heart of God was moved with compassion and He spared the people.
I believe that this is one of Gods favorite kinds of prayers.
Here are some conditional prayers.
Prayers of Request.
(These prayers are all conditional based upon your relationship with God.)
In John 9 the story is told of the man born blind, whom Jesus gave him his sight. The interesting point made at the very beginning of the story is that the disciples wanted to know who had sinned causing this man to be blind.
If they knew he was born blind, why would they ask if it was his parents that sinned or if it was the man that sinned? How does a baby sin before it is born? Jesus said that no one had sinned, but that the man had been born blind so that “the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
That’s pretty amazing that this man had suffered blindness his whole life just so that this ‘lesson’ could be taught! But it is obvious that he was greatly blessed to the point that he considered those years of blindness as if it were nothing.
John 9:7-33 …and [Jesus] said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Si-loam” (which means “Sent”). So he went away, washed, and came back seeing. So the neighbors, and those who saw that he was blind before, said, “Isn’t this the man who sat and begged?”
Some were saying, “It’s him.” Still others were saying, “He looks like him.” He said, “It’s me.” So they asked him, “How were your eyes opened?” He said, “A man called Jesus made mud, anointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to the pool of Si-loam, and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.”
Then they asked him, “Where is he?” He said, “I don’t know.” So they brought the healed blind man to the Pharisees. And it was on the Sabbath day when Jesus made the clay, and opened his eyes. Now the Pharisees also asked him how he received his sight, and he said, “He put mud on my eyes, I washed, and now I see.”
Because it happened on the Sabbath, some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, because he doesn’t keep the Sabbath.” Others said, “How can a man who is a sinner do such signs?”
There was division among them, and so they asked the blind man again, “What’s your opinion of this man since he healed you?” He said, “He is a prophet.”
So the Jews decided that the man must be lying, so they called his parents and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind, and if so, how does he now see?”
His parents answered them, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but, we don’t know how he was healed, or who healed him. He is of age. Ask him. He will speak for himself.”
His parents said this because they feared the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that if any man would confess Jesus as Christ, he would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore his parents said, “He is of age. Ask him.”
So they called the healed man back in, and said to him, “Give glory to God. We know that this man is a sinner.” So the healed man answered, “I don’t know if he is a sinner. One thing I do know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
They said to him again, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I told you already, and you didn’t listen. Why do you want to hear it again? You don’t also want to become his disciples, do you?”
Then they insulted him and said, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses. But as for this man, we don’t know where he comes from.”
Now, I love the answer the man gives the Pharisees!
30 The man answered them, “How amazing! You don’t know where he comes from, yet he opened my eyes. We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but if anyone is a worshiper of God, and does His will, He listens to him. Since the world began it has never been heard of that anyone opened the eyes of someone born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing”.
This was the whole purpose of the mans blindness,
to bare witness to the leaders of Israel that Jesus came from God.
No one throughout history had given sight to a man born blind!
Pr 15:28 & 29 The heart of the righteous weighs answers, but the mouth of the wicked gushes out evil. ¶ The LORD is far from the wicked: but He hears the prayer of the righteous. See also: Psalms 66:18, Proverbs 1:28, 28:9, Micah 3:4
So, God does not hear the wicked.
God will not force Himself onto man.
If a man chooses to live his life apart from God, then God will NOT “hear him” when he asks for “special requests”, like healing, a new car, a new job, a new home or for guidance when making a decision.
But God WILL hear the prayers of the Righteous,
so who are the Righteous?
The Righteous are those who have repented their sins, asked God for forgiveness, and now enjoy a daily, ongoing relationship, with GOD! Why are they Righteous? Their sinful life has been exchanged for, or covered by, “The Robe” of Christ’s Righteousness.
You don’t ignore a gift like that!
Arguing with God.
Some of the Prophets of the Bible argued with God. We can argue with God because of what we already know about him, like Joel did…
Morris says that,
“The, argument of the Cross, is a mighty argument to use with God
as to why he should answer our prayers? I’m not quite following this one.
What was he praying for that he would feel a need to do that?
The argument, “You have promised!” is a strong argument to use. Another is, “You’ve done it for others, so why not this time as well?”
It is no secret what God can do.
If he’s done it for others, He can do it for you.
“You have done it for me before so why not now?” is another one. “You have asked us to come to you with these requests, so here I am.” “I am not asking for myself, but for someone else.”
Then there is Dialog Prayer.
Moses had this kind of prayer with God often, where they were talking back and forth about whatever it was that God wanted him to do. This prayer is rare, but I’m certain that Enoch also had dialog prayer with God.
Then there is Prayer and Fasting.
Jesus was talking here about casting out devils, as the disciples had declared that they had been unable to cast out devils when Jesus had sent them out by twos.
Morris says that it is possible to have
“an attitude of fasting without actually fasting.”
It means that if I ever have to make a choice of eating or having a prayer that I’ll always chose prayer. It means that I’m always more interested in my relationship with God than I am even having a meal.
Then there is Prayer and Cherished Sin.
Well what about the disciples?
They had a relationship with Jesus but they also had sin in their lives (pride), according to Morris, and yet Jesus didn’t throw them out and pick 12 new ones. No. He continued to walk, and work, and pray with them.
So what does that tell us?
It is possible to have a relationship with God while still having a known sin in your life! So take hope from this. God will continue to work with you if you are willing to be worked with. You are the one who must walk away from a relationship with God. You must reject Him because He is always inviting you to become friends.
This is a very difficult principle for a LOT of Christians to accept, but it is possible to have a known sin in your life and still be in a saving relationship with God!
How does this work? Here is why!
Sooner or later, one of the two will have to go, and that is very good news! If I continue to hang onto God through it all, then I am promised that it is the sin that is going to go.
However, if I eventually scrap my relationship with God over that sin, then that is when it has truly become a cherished sin. It is not a cherished sin until it separates me from God. It is a sin that is part of my struggle with the imperfect human nature, but eventually, one or the other will go.
Morris uses the example of Judas,
saying that Judas chose the sin & scrapped his relationship with Jesus.
It was his greed for money.
Greed was the sin he cherished
rather than to maintain his relationship with Jesus.