“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile.” (I Cor. 15:17)
Joyce sounded desperate when she called our ministry office. “I don’t know what to do,” she sobbed. “My daughter has turned against me, and won’t let me see my granddaughters because she doesn’t want me to talk to them about Jesus. What do I do?”Would it be insincere—a cop out—to tell Joyce to not give up, but to pray?
Should not prayer be the first and most important thing we do, and not only when there is a crisis? Why do we not pray more? Is it because our prayer life is not shaped by the reality and power of the Gospel?
When you pray, do you not know the Resurrection changes the game? If He is not risen, not only is my faith futile, but so are my prayers. Yet, now we know the risen Lord always intercedes for us (Heb. 7:25). We enter with confidence the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus (Heb. 10:19) where our prayers rise like incense before the Father (Rev. 5:8; 8:4).
How, then, ought this truth shape how we pray? Here are five ways the reality of the resurrection ought to impact our practice of prayer:
- Confidence: Confidence is not the same as arrogance. Arrogance is rooted in pride. It’s all about me. The Resurrection gives me confidence in the One who has power to answer my prayers and guarantees me the privilege to enter God’s presence knowing our High Priest, Jesus, intercedes for us. It frees me from anxiety about the outcome (Phil 4:6), and fills me with confidence that God hear us, delights in our coming to Him, and alone can do it.
- Awe and Wonder: The Resurrection not only give me confidence in Christ who can do all things, but who is over all things. Christ, our High Priest, has Supremacy and power over all whether visible or invisible (Col. 1:15-20). Because of Who He is and what He has done on our behalf brings an overwhelming sense of awe and wonder in my prayers. Hallowed be Thy Name!
- Humility: Because of the Cross and Christ’s Resurrection, I am driven to my knees in complete gratitude that I, who once was the object of His wrath (Eph. 2:3), am now invited into his Presence. The Resurrection changes my prayers from selfish demands and self-justification to pleas for mercy and grace for myself and others. My praying reflects the attitude of Christ (Phil. 2:5-11).
- Hope: Because He is risen, hope is alive in my praying. My hope is in Him, not my circumstances, and I find peace and encouragement in that hope. Hope is an “anchor for the soul, frim and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf” (Heb. 6:19).
- Submission: Christ’s resurrection frees me to submit to His authority and will. Knowing the Spirit searches my heart and intercedes for me, I also know that in all things God is working for the good of those who love Him (Romans 8:26-28). My praying becomes an act of submission to the will of God. And why not? If He is for us, who can be against us? And that brings us back to confidence.
What better way to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ than to give thanks to Him who has granted us access to the throne of God. It will change why you pray and how you pray.
My prayer for you is that “the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelations, so that you may know Him better… and that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of His glorious inheritance in the saints, and His incomparably great power for us who believe” (Ephesians 1:17-19).
I pray also that you will have “confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, and since we have a great priest of the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith” (Hebrews 10:19-22).
P.S.: Listen to the podcast with Sherry Schumann about guarding our hearts so that our prayers will be powerful and effective. Click here to listen to this podcast.