The Prayers of the Righteous

Every day we communicate to make contacts with others, cement relationships, and talk about our wishes, needs, and future plans. Human beings need communication as a way to stay connected, and our relationship with God is no different. Prayer is how we talk to God, but many people don’t understand just how powerful it is. It’s a two-way conversation with the Almighty, and it makes a supernatural difference in our lives.

When we look at prayer in the context of the Holy Bible, we see that God, our heavenly Father, dearly loves us, His children (2 Corinthians 6:18). What father wouldn’t be delighted to regularly hear from his children? Growing up, many of us may have been taught how to pray, and we were given a set of words to recite every night at bedtime according to the correct format. There’s nothing inherently wrong with saying our prayers, but repeating something from memory is just saying empty words.

Prayer isn’t a monologue or one-way presentation of our requests and petitions. It’s a heart-to-heart conversation with God. It’s going to Him with everything—the good, the bad, and the ugly—and having fellowship with Him. Like any father, He loves it when we come to Him, confide in Him, and talk to Him honestly and openly.

Prayer is an opportunity to thank Him for what He’s already done, declare by faith that we will see those manifestations, and praise Him for being Who He is. He welcomes our requests, and He promises to always answer us. “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours” (Mark 11:24, NIV). We don’t have to worry about being “good enough” to enter into His presence. God welcomes us regardless of our circumstances.

The devil will try to tell us that we don’t deserve a personal audience with God, and He won’t hear us when we call. But when we accept Jesus and His grace, we’re righteous in God’s eyes, and He’s always listening. “For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil” (1 Peter 3:12). Regardless of whether we read about this in the Old or New Testaments, God’s promises remain unchanged. “The Lord is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29).

Grace-based prayers differ from the prayers in the Old Testament because they acknowledge the finished works of Jesus. We don’t need to try to get Him to “do” anything, because it’s already been done. When Jesus said, “It is finished” (John 19:30) those words were eternal.

True prayer comes directly from the heart, and as God’s righteous children, we’re taught that grace-based prayer is powerful enough to claim the promises Jesus made available to us. Those promises include healing, peace, joy, abundance, and victory. Intercessory prayer, when we stand in the place of another and ask God’s mercy on their behalf, is especially powerful.

Some people think prayer is begging or entreating God, but we are His children, not beggars. Therefore, there’s no groveling involved. “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). Grace is undeserved favor from a loving God despite whatever it is we’ve done. Prayer based on this aspect of His personality removes any misconceptions that His acceptance of us is based on our works.

— Creflo Dollar