(James 5: 16, NLT)
16 Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
Righteousness and prayer go hand in hand. It just makes the most sense, doesn’t it? If you are a parent (especially parent to a teenager) then you probably already have a sense of this concept. I have a teenager, and I have to tell you, when he is pleasant, when he is following our rules, when he is being respectful and loving toward us, it makes us much more likely to listen to what he has to say when he is ready to ask for something or express his feelings to us. I’m just sayin’!
It works pretty much the same way with us and God. John 9:31 tells us, “We know that God doesn’t listen to sinners, but he is ready to hear those who worship him and do his will.” I am telling you now, when we come to God as petulant, disobedient children – when we should (and often DO) know better – He isn’t going to hear it! I’ve been there with my own child. When he is out of sorts, raising his voice and completely in the wrong, I shut him down immediately. I tell him to come back when he is ready to apologize and do the right thing. I love him so, my son, and because of that love, I know it is not in his best interest to allow that sort of exchange to take place between us. He must learn respect and humility, and when he is able to come back to me from a loving place, I am waiting with open arms and ears, ready to work with him and be a blessing to him in any way that I can – if that is what is best for him. There has to be a certain level of love, respect, and trust there.
Likewise, we must love God first – coming to Him with respect and honor, and humbling ourselves at His feet. We have to be willing, before anything else, to ask God for His grace – getting our failures and sins out of the way so that there is room for God to work within and bless our lives.
3 Trust in the Lord and do good.
Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the Lord,
and he will give you your heart’s desires.
5 Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.
(Psalm 37: 3-5)
Prayer: Heavenly Father, there is nothing that I want and need more than to be heard by You. Help me to keep myself humble and righteous so that You are able to listen to me. Amen.