Quips and Quotes
"We do not earn or merit anything by taking refuge in God. Hiding in something makes no contribution to the hiding place. All it does is show that we regard ourselves as helpless and the hiding place as a place of rescue." John Piper

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Why Does He hear Me?

"...the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and believed that I came from God." John 16:27
In my praying I am constantly battling the thought that I am earning "merits" so to speak - the thought that because I pray God is pleased with me and rewards my good behavior by answering my prayer. The negative side of that thinking is also present - that if I could word my prayer just right or pray longer or more often, then I could move God's heart to act.

Nothing could be further from the truth! God's answer does not depend on how good I can make my prayer or how often or long I pray. I am not earning kudos every time I bend my knee. The only reason He hears me in the first place is because of Christ's goodness. Jesus has made me righteous and acceptable in God's sight (Phil. 3:9). I cannot come to the Father except through Jesus (John 14:6).

So then, what is the dynamic of prayer? Why does God hear and answer me? He answers for His Son's sake - to glorify Himself and the Lord Jesus Christ. God is pleased to hear and answer me because I come in the name of Jesus. What I do will not impress God. How can I compete with the perfection of Christ or why would I want to? He hears me because I love His Son. That is what pleases God.

When I come into God's presence with adoration for my Savior, that gets God's attention. And I cannot fake that love. God knows when my heart is fervent with love for Christ. He also sees when I come with self-gratifying motives. Jesus said in John 16:27, "...the Father Himself loves you because you have loved Me and have believed that I came from God."

God's love for me is real. He loves me - the Bible tells me so! He delights to hear from me when I come to Him with such sincere devotion to Christ. Would you not love the one who adores your own child, the one who desires to see your child benefited and spoken well of to others? Would you not love the one who avails himself to see that your child's plans succeed because he regards those plans as good, needful and important? Would you not then offer to that friend your resources knowing that your child would be greatly honored ultimately?

This is why God avails His resources to me. I long to see Christ glorified, lifted up, benefited through my life, my body, my all. This is why God hears me. He knows when my heart is truly set on loving His Son and that is when I pray according to His glorious will. And He answers the prayer that is according to His will (1 John 5:14-15). When I pray this way God sees that my heart's motive is love for Christ's sake. He answers my prayer for His Son's sake - for His glory. He loves to hear and answer the prayer that is carried into His presence on the wings of love for Christ. It is music to His listening ear.

Praise be to God for this precious truth! Lord, may I love Your Son in this manner. May my every prayer be influenced, permeated and saturated with sincere adoration for the One through whom I come.

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