Monday, January 26, 2009

Praying Bold Prayers

One of the ways we can pray is boldly. God knows our every need, even before we express them, but He longs for us to have the confidence to come to Him boldly with our requests, showing the strength of faith we have in Him.

The Greek word for boldly is parrēsia, which means:

1) freedom in speaking, unreservedness in speech
a) openly, frankly, i.e without concealment
b) without ambiguity or circumlocution
c) without the use of figures and comparisons
2) free and fearless confidence, cheerful courage, boldness, assurance
3) the deportment by which one becomes conspicuous or secures publicity

I have an uncle who has, in times past and more recently, battled melanoma. When I pray for him, I don't say, "Lord, please, if You can find time and have it in your heart, look upon Jimmy and heal him."

No, my prayers are bold for him. A recent prayer of boldness for Jimmy that I prayed was: "Father, Your Word shows time and again that You have the power to heal. I have seen You heal others and I praise You for this ability, and know that You are able. You know Jimmy's battle with cancer. You know that he is a good man, husband, father and teacher. He is a strong leader in the community and in Your church. I love him so much, Lord, and I pray that You would place a hedge of protection around him and keep cancer from re-invading his body. It seems to keep popping back up, Lord, but I know that when You act, nothing can penetrate the hedge of protection You place around those You love. Yours is the power and greatness to do this, Father. My heart trusts in You! I believe it would be just be a shame for those who love him to lose him to a disease that I fully believe You have the power to destroy. Using Your wisdom and knowing the plans for Jimmy's life, I pray that You would keep cancer far from him. Give him the wisdom and strength to withstand the drugs You have gifted others to make, and help him to live a long life, to see his boys grow up and to win more souls for Your kingdom and glory. Father, I ask in the Name of Jesus that You would reign victorious and display Your glory in Him. My choice would be that Jimmy would be with us for a long, long time. I trust You to make the right decision and that Your good, pleasing and perfect will would be done in His life. Lord, Jimmy needs Your healing and Your mercy. This is his greatest hour of need, and In the matchless Name of Christ I pray, Amen."

By boldly coming to the Lord in prayer on the matters of my heart, as in this example, I can trust God to provide the grace and mercy I need and that Jimmy needs in his struggle with this disease.

The Greek word for mercy is eleos, which means:

1) mercy: kindness or good will towards the miserable and the afflicted, joined with a desire to help them
a) of men towards men: to exercise the virtue of mercy, show one's self merciful
b) of God towards men: in general providence; the mercy and clemency of God in providing and offering to men salvation by Christ
c) the mercy of Christ, whereby at his return to judgment he will bless true Christians with eternal life

The Greek word for grace is charis.

1) grace
a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech
2) good will, loving-kindness, favour
a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues
3) what is due to grace
a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace
b) the token or proof of grace, benefit
1) a gift of grace
2) benefit, bounty
4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

At the time of this writing, Jimmy is cancer free. He is still taking chemotherapy pills and has undergone radiation treatment, but has no signs of melanoma!

Though God may not always answer our prayers in the way that we desire, He does desire for us to pray boldly to Him! We can find mercy and grace in our hour of need, no matter what His answer is.

"And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:7 (NIV)

Jesus gave the following example after teaching His disciples to pray:

"Then he said to them, "Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, 'Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.' "Then the one inside answers, 'Don't bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can't get up and give you anything.' I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs. " ~ Luke 11:5-8 (NIV)

Boldness in prayer comes from friendship with God. With certain friends, we are more bold than we are with others. Let's say that I get a call in the middle of the night (while my husband is out of town and my car is in the shop) and am told to come to the hospital immediately because my Daddy has been admitted. I have a new aquaintance who lives in my neighborhood that I see on occasion. We talk, we email and we even have walked together once. I'm just not that close to her, though. However, I have a best friend named Harriett who lives about 20 minutes away. I would not hesitate to call her in the dead of night and say, "I need you!" She'd be there in 15 minutes and knowing Harriett, would stay with me until we found out what was what. I can count on her because I have established a bond, a relationship with her, that allows me to be so bold.

Are you close enough to God to pray boldly to Him?

B - Believe God is able. "Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them." ~ Hebrews 7:25 (NIV)

O - Open your heart to grow in Him. "But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and forever! Amen." ~ 2 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

L - Look to the Lord for strength. "Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always." ~ Psalm 105:4 (NIV)

D - Deepen your intimacy with God. "My soul clings to you; your right hand upholds me." ~ Psalm 63:8 (NIV)

L - Leave it in God's hands. "Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. Selah" ~ Psalm 62:8 (NIV)

Y - Yearn to grow bolder in prayer. "My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God." ~ Psalm 84:2 (NIV)

Father, help us come to you boldly as we approach Your throne in prayer. Help us never to hesitate to ask for anything, trusting that if it is in Your will, You will not hesitate to provide it. Lord, I ask that You draw us closer to You, so that we will talk with You like the Friend You are to us. We respect You and love You and fear Your Name. Through Jesus, Your Son, we pray...Amen.


JesusRulzMe said...

Hey there gorgeous twin!

You know what my favorite thing is about your article today? It's that you not only share about coming with confidence (boldness) as a child of God to His throne of grace, but you make sure we understand that that doesn't mean we come with irreverence and "chummy" familiarity as if God were our "buddy".

I LOVE that you clearly express here that we are to come to God with boldness, reverence and full trust, b/c He alone is God and is Sovereign.


And I really, really love you!

Melanie said...

Love this verse, Laurie Ann! I have claimed this as mine for 2009.

I really like how you compared the ability to go boldly before God with how we approach people in our lives. It is so true... how can we REALLY go boldly before God when we don't have much of a relationship with Him? It just really can't be done. Good relationship with God, though, and we can be there boldly and with much confidence.

Love ya, girl!

LAURIE said...

Thank God for the report on your uncle and certainly the prayers of faithful prayer warriors as yourself were not gone unheard! It is my prayer that I could have the kind of boldness that you speak of - not only in my prayer time - but in my sharing time. -love, Laurie

Jennifer said...

Thank you for this very powerful post today, Laurie Ann. I needed it more that you will ever

PTL for Uncle Jimmy's report!!!

Love you,

Cheryl said...

Hey there my friend,

What a wonder post. I'm so very grateful and thankful that I can go to the Lord and bolding ask, like you do for Jimmy, his hedge of protection around Jan.

He is able to do anything.

Thank you so very much. I needed this today.


Debra said...

Laurie Ann

What a great and timely post! I love the comparison you made with the friendships and how we can boldly go to God. So glad I have that with my Jesus!

Blessings to you, sweet friend.

Peggy said...

Bless you Laurie Ann...I guess your
PERSECUTION post has caused the Holy Spirit to stir within you & write BOLDLY & such a POWERFUL message for PRAYER: intercessors & warriors unite!

Beautiful prayer for your uncle!
Beautiful respect & reverence!
Beautiful sense of TRUST!

All necessary ingredients in such a time as this! What a great explanation of a BOND being established!!! BELIEVING amen!!!
VICTORY!!! is Jesus' and we wait
to see it done according to His WILL & perfect TIMING! Hard to leave it in His hands at times
but that is our TRUST! Thank you again...another excellent teaching
and scriptures!

Denise said...

Such a great verse.

Tricia said...

What a great post on being bold in prayer, and I love the fact that we can be bold with God because we are close to Him... the friend story was a great illustration of that!

You have encouraged me to be more bold in my prayers for a certain loved one, thank you!

Vikki Wright said...

Thanks, Laurie Ann, for reminding me once again of God's mercy and unfailing love. It's amazing to remember that we can approach His throne as daughters of the King, and that He will grant us the desires of our hearts...which should be His desires if we are praying 'your will be done...'

My son has been sick for the last week and I just took him back to the doctor today for more medicine. Your praise about Uncle Jimmy has encouraged me to keep trusting God for His hedge of protection around my little Noah.
Bless you!