Dec 1, 2020
|From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham
Q: What is the most important aspect of prayer, and why is it important to pray for our enemies? — P.W.
A: Consider what Jesus teaches about prayer. He tells us to pray for those who persecute us (Matthew 5:44). We are to plead for our enemies — just as Jesus prayed for His crucifiers — asking God to lead them to Christ and, for His sake, to forgive them. Jesus also tells us to pray for the conversion of sinners. Prayer is key to our effort in communicating the Gospel that wins men and women to Christ. Nothing is more important than to pray for lost souls; for the Bible tells us that God desires that all people be saved (1 Timothy 2:4).
Another lesson Jesus teaches is the victorious assurance that God answers every true petition (although not always the way we wish He would). We need to trust in the promise of John 15:7: “If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire.” And we must trust the intercession of the Holy Spirit. “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:27). We also need to remember that with God nothing is impossible. No task is too arduous, no problem too difficult, no burden too heavy for Him.
However, it is vital that we pray not our will but the will of the Father in Heaven. We cannot insist on our way. In doing so, we are saying that we know best, and this is not true. Learn to pray as Jesus Himself prayed: “Not My will, but Yours, be done” (Luke 22:42). It greatly pleases the heart of God when His people seek after His will, for it is the height of trusting in Him.
(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)
©2020 Billy Graham Literary Trust. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
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