• How can I cultivate a consistently biblical prayer life? Question and Answer

    Matthew 6:9-13

    First of all, take the Lord’s model prayer in Matthew 6, “Our Father, who is in heaven, hallowed be Your name.” That was really given to be an outline to provide the structure for our prayers. It’s like the skeleton, and we now supply the muscles and the skin. I would take the Lord’s model prayer and use that as the tracks you run on in your own prayer life. You can take other prayers in the Bible as well. You can take Paul’s prison prayers, two in Ephesians, one in Colossians, one in Philippians, and pray those to God. … View Resource

  • How should we pray when natural disasters strike? Question and Answer

    The most important prayer is that whatever the providences of God may be, He will use them to turn people to Christ. It’s wholly appropriate that we should pray that God would turn back the fires, but beyond that, our concern is for God’s glory. If that means people are going to be awakened to think about eternal things when they’ve been consumed with the things of this world, then we pray that God will use them in such a manner. We believe that God will use these things to make people think about what really matters and what really … View Resource

  • Can our prayers change God’s will? If not, why pray? Question and Answer

    Numbers 23:19

    SPROUL: To ask that question is to answer it. What could I possibly say to God that would change His mind? Would I give Him information that He didn’t have before I talked to Him? Could I give Him counsel or wisdom that He lacked before I talked to Him? You and I both know that we are not God’s guidance counselors. We don’t change His mind. If we don’t change His mind, why pray? First of all, we pray because He commands us to pray. Second of all, through the instrument of prayer, we enter into communion and dialogue … View Resource

  • When we pray, should we only pray to the Father? Question and Answer

    No, although there is a general rule of thumb that we pray to the Father through the intercession of the Lord Jesus and by the help and strength of the Holy Spirit. Prayer, generally speaking, should be Trinitarian. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, saying, “Our Father, who art in heaven” (Matt. 6:9). It is, however, appropriate on occasion and in certain circumstances to pray directly to Jesus or to pray directly to the Holy Spirit, realizing some of the aspects that are peculiar to each person of the Trinity. But on Sunday morning in a pastoral prayer, I want … View Resource

  • Is there a prayer that God cannot hear or answer? Question and Answer

    John 14:13-14

    There is a prayer that God will not hear or answer, and that is a prayer that’s inconsistent with His will or His purpose or His plan. The prayers that are going to be answered are the prayers that are prayed consistent with the name of Christ, as John 14 says, “If you ask anything in My name, the Father hears and the Father responds.” That is why we encourage everybody to pray according to the will of God. You don’t really want to pray against the will of God. Rather, you want to find yourself lined up with the … View Resource

  • Based on Acts 16:31, can we ask God to save our household? Question and Answer

    Acts 16:31

    The Philippian jailer is one context. There you’ve got the head of the household who has come to faith in Christ. I was brought up in a family that never went to church. My mother and father never went to church until after I was converted. I remember praying desperately the Lord would work in my father’s heart, and kind of complaining to Him after six months because He didn’t seem to be answering my prayers. It was actually only years later when my dad started coming with me, and then my mom as well. It was only years later … View Resource

  • Is it a sin not to pray? Question and Answer

    We should always expand on these things a little bit. The Lord calls us to pray. There are many commands in the Scripture to pray. If we’re prayerless, it may reflect a kind of hyper-Calvinism that says, “God already knows everything He’s going to do, so why do I need to talk to Him about it?” And it misses that God’s whole relationship to us is meant to be a personal relationship. He doesn’t want anything mechanical to enter our minds about who He is or how we relate to Him. Prayer is this wonderful opportunity for conversation and communication … View Resource

  • Why should we pray if God has planned all things? Question and Answer

    In a way that’s a form of a bigger question that sometimes people who ask that question don’t ask, which is, “If God has planned all things, why should we do anything?” And we understand that what we do as Christians we do for a variety of reasons. One is because God has taught us to do it in His Word. So the bargain basement level answer to the question is that we pray because God has told us to pray, even if we don’t understand how prayer works and how He employs our prayer. The second thing is to … View Resource

  • How should Christians respond to the imprecatory psalms? Question and Answer

    GODFREY: It seems to me there’s a lot of confusion on this in part because Jesus has told us to love our enemies, to pray for them. And what we’re being reminded there is we are not to call down imprecations on people for personal reasons out of individual spite. We need to be careful about that. We need to be very conscious of trying—that part of what we’re called to be as the light of the world is people who love our enemies. Paul talks about how loving your enemies will further increase their punishment. So setting love of … View Resource

  • Since God is sovereign, what is the purpose of intercessory prayer? Question and Answer

    There are layers of answers to that. One purpose is obedience to God, because in so many different places we are urged to pray, and we are urged to pray without ceasing. So even if we were not able to explain why we should pray, we should pray because God has commanded us. That’s a sufficient answer. The second part of the answer is that God has decreed that much of what will take place will take place through the secondary causation of the intercession of the saints. That’s part of His purpose. With questions like this I often say … View Resource