by Glen H. Jones
A lot of authors write on the principles of prayer. Bob Russell writes on the practice of prayer. Prayer is not an exercise to make us feel better. It is a God-ordained command that places us in communion with our God and Savior. The Russells show us that God is a loving Father who encourages us to seek those prayers that honor and glorify Him.
In order to rightly approach God, we must be in right relationship with the Son of God, Jesus Christ. He is the Mediator, the one who translates our prayers into the language of heaven. We must pray in faith-that is, we must believe that God can and will answer our prayer. And, of course, our prayers must be in conformity with the revealed will of God.
We know that God dramatically answered prayers that are recorded in Scripture-including prayers for healing. Can He do the same today? Do we need to utilize the services of doctors? Yes, the authors say. We should utilize every avenue that God has placed at our disposal. Yet, when these avenues fail, God can and does answer prayers that seem impossible. The authors include several anecdotes that demonstrate the modern-day dramatic power of God.
But what if God does not answer our prayer? The authors posit three possible solutions: One, we should examine ourselves to see if we are blocking the way for God to bring honor to Himself. Second, if we know we are praying in the will of God and are in right relationship with Him, continue to trust Him. In His wisdom He may have chosen to delay the answer. Third, if God still does not answer our prayer, look to eternity. Our limited wisdom cannot hope to match the unlimited wisdom of God. He will reveal His reasons for denying our prayer when we meet Him in eternity.