Let It Be Or Let It Be? (ATP)
When should we pray for things again or multiple times in a period of time, and when should we just pray for things once and let it be?
This is a question and one that has so many Christians filled with a bit of anxiety. How do we pray, what is the right way?
The first and greatest thing we have to remember about prayer is what it is. Now prayer is a word that encompasses many different things. If you picture prayer like an airport it can make a lot more sense. When you go to an airport (prayer) you have a destination in mind. That destination will not be reached by going to just any terminal, and each terminal is different. The first key to getting anywhere in prayer is showing up. Just like at the airport, if you aren’t sure you are going to get anywhere you might not go. When we go to prayer we need to go with as much assurance as we would the airport when we travel. I have a destination, I’m coming here because I know it will get me there. On the other hand, if you thought the plane was going to crash, you would stay as far away as you could. You won’t crash when you go to God. Also, He understands that flying can be confusing, which is why He gave us the Holy Spirit to help. He is that inward voice that leads us.
Many people come to prayer unsure. This is often why they pray multiple times, pleading for something to come to pass. The most important thing we should remember is Hebrews 11:6. It says, “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God MUST believe that He is, and that He IS A REWARDER of those who diligently seek Him.” Pray with confidence! Go to God with the assurance that He desires to help you.
That said, prayer also depends on what you are praying for. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” Are you praying for you or someone else? Praying for someone else would be a type of prayer called intercession, because you are interceding on behalf of someone else. To intercede is to stand in on behalf of. This type of prayer is done a bit differently.
Think about it like this, God has given us all free will and choice. This ability to choose is also the ability to choose wrong. People who don’t know God need someone to bridge that gap between them and Him because they don’t have place to come to Him. When you intercede on behalf of someone you may need to often or continually go to God on their behalf. 1 John 2:1, “My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.” Jesus intercedes for us because He has a place with God. This enables us to have place with God so we can intercede for others. Sin by its nature makes us less confident which is why someone who lives in sin, even Christians who do, lack confidence in prayer, and rightfully so. I am not talking about a Christian who loves God but misses it. I am talking about people who continually, and purposely live in sin.
Now, if you are praying on your own behalf, you will pray differently. Why? Because unlike someone one who doesn’t know God, you do. You know God hears you, therefore you can have confidence when you pray. Philippians 4:6-7 gives us the perfect instruction, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Don’t worry (be anxious), pray and ask (supplicate), and be thankful. Thanksgiving is the key to praying with assurance.
Once you’ve put it before God, concerning things you know He wills for you, just be thankful. When you think about it, thank God it’s working, you don’t need to “pray” again. Whenever it comes up, rejoice that it’s coming to pass. Christians often fail to let peace reign because they never get thankful. Being thankful as we wait for what we’ve asked for is what ushers in peace to our lives. Unfortunately, what many Christians do is pray scared prayers.
If you have confidence when you ask you know you don’t need to ask again. It’s anxiety that says we need to continually ask God for what we know He desires for us. How do you know what He desires? What does His word say? If you don’t know, it is your duty to find out and then trust Him. When you trust, you go to the terminal, get on the plane, and relax until you arrive. That’s peace, and that’s righteous prayer.
Though prayer can be a complex subject with many terminals, it’s not hard. They key is faith and faith can on be built by knowing God. We learn Him better by learning His word. He doesn’t lie. He’s told us the truth.