Prayer then is not a form of magic. We say the magic words, and somehow those words manipulates or transforms the universe. Prayer is not a magical incantation nor is the word ‘Jesus’ just one of those words used in a spell. Genuine prayer is simply talking to the Lord about different things. Our confidence is in the person that we ask and our relationship with him.
Therefore having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. (Romans 5:1, 2, NASB).
I know of a friend applying for a job. He put in an application. But he did something else. He knows of a good friend there in that company. He was talking to His friend about the job and was wondering if his friend can’t somehow talk to those in the hiring department and ask them to favor his application. My friend doesn’t have any connection with the personnel department or the managers. But he does know someone who does. So he asks that person who does have access to the managers to speak to them about his application. Not anyone can pray. Only those who come through Jesus Christ can speak to God. We pray in Jesus’ Name. There is no magic but only proper etiquette. Of course, if we do not know Jesus Christ, then we have no access to God the Father.
Why does the great Creator of the universe open Himself to our requests? It is a wonder. Jesus tells us that the father is wanting to reward and bless his children. “If he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?” (Mt 7:10). The Lord loves His children and wants to bless them. God sees us believers in Christ. So the blessing that He would give Christ is the same that He would give to usanything.
Prayer then comes from being forgiven by Jesus Christ and being identified with Him. This gives us access to heaven’s throne. Salvation also means that we become the children of God with whom God Almighty wants to share the blessings of this world with. Prayer is a privilege of Christians alone. Let us not debate with others about what true prayer is. There are more important tasks at hand, praying being one of them. But thoroughly enjoy your prayer times. They are crucial times. We are addressing God Himself.
Here are two other hindrances to effective prayer.
We also know that even if a person is a Christian, that if he hides sin in his heart that the Lord does not hear his prayers.
“But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He does not hear” (Isaiah 59:2).
We also know that James cautions us of asking Him things for the wrong purposes.
“You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:3).
Much more can be said about hindrances to prayer but John wants us to approach this topic positively. He mentions three keys to having an effective prayer life. Let's now look at this first key.