Part 1

The Friendship Factor

God delights in the prayer that comes from the sincere heart of His children. Pr. 15:8 says “The LORD detests the sacrifice of the wicked, but the prayer of the upright pleases him”  (see also v.29).  Not only that he hears the prayer of the righteous, but He also loves to draw near to all who call upon Him in truth (Ps. 145:18).

From the beginning, God delighted in fellowshipping with man.  Bible says, in the Garden of Eden, God came down “walking in the garden in the cool of the day” (Gen. 3:8).  Abraham was called the “friend of God.”  Others like Moses and David enjoyed the friendly communion with the God of the universe.

Jesus treated His disciples as friends and revealed to them what He heard from the Father (John 15:15).  This proves to us that sinful man who is transformed by the power of God’s grace can have real life intimacy and closeness with the God of heaven through His only begotten Son.  Jesus becomes that friend “who sticks closer than a brother” to us (Pr. 18:24) who trusts us with the things that are in the heart of His Father.

When we lived in sin, we were the enemies of God.  But through faith in the atoning work of Christ’s cross, we are born again and we have become a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17).  How can simple faith in Christ bring radical change in a sinner?  It is nothing but the power of God’s amazing grace that makes it possible.  People who were once liars and thieves and wicked were renewed by that grace to become the faithful and loyal friends of Jesus.

It is even more amazing that those who have such relationship with God know His will very well because Jesus makes that known to them.  Jesus is the revealer.  He is the one who reveals the Father to us and the Father’s will for us.  In Jn. 15:15, Jesus said “for all things that I heard from my Father I have made known to you.”  (See also Jn. 17:8).

Now you may ask, then what is the role of the Holy Spirit today?  Jn. 16:13-15 says,“But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come.

He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you.

All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”  Holy Spirit guides, counsels and reminds us all the things Jesus Christ revealed about the Father and His will, and leads us in all truth (Jn. 14:26).

Knowing God’s will and praying for that will to be done on earth as it is heaven is the most effective prayer.  Who can truly know what is in the heart of God?  Only the friends of Jesus to whom He reveals it.  Therefore our prayer becomes an effective prayer because of the “friendship factor” in prayer.

(More on prayer in Part 2)

– Pastor J.A.

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