"During the days of Jesus' life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission." Hebrews 5:7
Oh Lord, how often do I come to you and my prayers feel as if they have hit the ceiling and come smashing right back down on my head? There are times I feel this way whether it actually happens or not, I don't know. I am not here today to get in a huge theological discussion of whether He hears some, all, or even none of our prayers. What I want to discuss is the kind of prayers I know He listens to or possibly something in us or out of us that causes Him to bend His ear to us...a little closer maybe? (I think that is the point - I believe He hears them all, but maybe just doesn't listen to them all.)
So often I know I come to you Lord with all my requests, favors, and beggings too! I am willing to make them known, but may not always be willing to hear You out. Forgive me. Even if I do hear You out, I may not be willing to do as You say. Again, forgive me! This verse above speaks loudly to my sorry, selfish, lazy, no passion, did i say selfish, not good for much prayer life.
The end of the verse says that "he was heard because of his reverent submission." That reverent submission was just the healthy fear of being willing to do as the Lord asked. The healthy fear of not saying yes to the Lord and doing as you please and reaping the consequences!
James 5:16 "The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective."
So it seems to me that prayers that the Lord listens to - at least in these 2 verses - are ones that will be received with a heart ready and willing to respond with a yes no matter what the call. And also a prayer that is spoken by one that is righteous.
This all brings me back to the grace of our Savior. How am I righteous - not on my own, but by the blood of Christ. Only by the filling of the Spirit, the shed blood of Christ, and my admission of needing a Savior makes me righteous. So after all this, I realize Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father interceding for me (Romans 8:34), and the Spirit makes groans for me (Romans 8:26). So when I do stink it all up and totally screw up or just lax in my prayer life, i know that the best are still going to the Lord Almighty on my behalf! Does that give me an excuse to lay low and stay the same - no way!!!!
Father - help me to prayer more fervently and more effectively! Help me to put action to my talk more often than not. Help me to be more passionately in love with You and Your Word. Train me more and more my Lord. I need you!