John 14:13-14--"Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it."
I am scared to write this post. I fear what it says about me because, frankly, it reveals weakness. I struggle with prayer. Specifically, private prayer. I have difficulty with intimacy with my heavenly Father. If an outsider would look at my quiet times, he may see that I desire to know God, but he may wonder if I want God to know me.
Corporately, I have never minded praying. I feel connected with those whom I am praying with and with God, but individually my prayers somehow become apprehensive and awkward. Even when I am able to filter out the intrusive thoughts of a restless mind, many questions enter into my consciousness. "Does God really care about my individual prayers?" "Am I asking for things selfishly?" "Am I praying the right way?" But the question that scares me the most, the one that drives me to tears is this:
"What if I ask for something and God says 'no'?"
Over and over in the book of John (14, 15, 16), Jesus exhorts his disciples to "ask the Father in his name" and "it will be given." That is a bold promise from someone with the power to back it up.
Yet I falter. Those nagging thoughts such as "If the answer is 'no' I must not be faithful enough," "maybe I am not praying right," or "there must be some unconfessed sin keeping this prayer from being answered" assault my assurance.
Recently, I find myself in a place where I am placing an audacious request at the foot of the throne for Heather to be healed completely, but I am also asking God to boost my confidence in His ability to answer my prayers and to deepen my prayer life.
In essence, I am placing my hope in the words of Jesus from John 14--that I ask boldly in Jesus name, that He does it, that His will is done, and that God receives all the glory.
Ephesians 3:20-21 "Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." (NIV)