”Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32 NLT).
What a deal!
In fact, it’s the best news in the world. Heaven is a perfect place. You’re not getting there with all your badness. You’re only getting there with all of God’s goodness, but it’s already been paid for and it’s free—it’s a gift God offers you. Why? Because God is a good God. It’s the best deal you’re ever going to get!
Romans 4:25 says that Jesus “died for our sins and rose again to make us right with God, filling us with God’s goodness” (TLB).
So what does that have to do with prayer? It has everything to do with prayer. If you don’t understand this, you’ll never understand prayer.
What God did for you at the cross makes prayer possible.
The Bible says, “Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?” (Romans 8:32 NLT).
Do you see the logic of this verse? When Jesus Christ died for you on the cross, he solved your biggest problem. So any other problem you have in your life is small potatoes! If Jesus Christ, because of his goodness, died for you, don’t you think he loves you enough to help you with your bills and your health and your relationships? There is nothing you can’t bring to God in prayer.
If Jesus loved you enough to die for you, he loves you enough to answer your prayer.
DO NOT BE DISCOURAGED by the difficulty of keeping your focus on Me. I know that your heart’s desire is to be aware of My Presence continually. This is a lofty goal; you aim toward it but never fully achieve it in this life. Don’t let feelings of failure weigh you down. Instead, try to see yourself as I see you. First of all, I am delighted by your deep desire to walk closely with Me through your life. I am pleased each time you initiate communication with Me. In addition, I notice the progress you have made since you first resolved to live in My Presence. When you realize that your mind has wandered away from Me, don’t be alarmed or surprised. You live in a world that has been rigged to distract you. Each time you plow your way through the massive distractions to communicate with Me, you achieve a victory. Rejoice in these tiny triumphs, and they
will increasingly light up your days.
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
ROMANS 8 : 33 – 34
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has
been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.
HEBREWS 4 : 14 – 16
Times of Distance
Friendships are often tested by separation and silence; you are divided by physical distance or you are unable to talk. In your friendship with God, you won’t always feel close to him.
Philip Yancey has wisely noted, “Any relationship involves times of closeness and times of distance, and in a relationship with God, no matter how intimate, the pendulum will swing from one side to the other.” (Reaching for the Invisible God; Zondervan)
To mature your friendship, God will test it with periods of time when it feels as if he has abandoned or forgotten you. St. John of the Cross referred to these days of spiritual dryness, doubt, and estrangement from God as “the dark night of the soul.”
David probably had the closest friendship with God of anyone. God took pleasure in calling him “a man after my own heart.” (1 Samuel 13:14)
Yet David frequently complained of God’s apparent absence:
“Lord, why are you standing aloof and far away? Why do you hide when I need you the most?” (Psalm 10:1 LB)
“Why have you forsaken me? Why do you remain so distant? Why do you ignore my cries for help?” (Psalm 22:1 NLT)
“Why have you abandoned me?” (Psalm 43:2 TEV)
Of course, God hadn’t really left David, and he doesn’t leave you.