May 7, 2021

Boldness in Prayer

Lead me in your truth, and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all day long.

Psalm 25:5
An excerpt from R.A. Torrey's classic, How to Pray, originally published in 1900:

The passage 1 John 5:14,15 is one of the most abused passages in the Bible: And this is the boldness we have in him, that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have obtained the requests made of him. The Holy Spirit beyond a doubt put it into the Bible to encourage our faith. It begins with “This is the boldness that we have in him,” and closes with “we know that we have obtained the requests made of him.” But one of the most frequent usages of this passage, which was so manifestly given to beget confidence, is to introduce an element of uncertainty into our prayers. 

Oftentimes when one waxes confident in prayer, some cautious brother or sister will come and say: “Now, don’t be too bold. If it is God’s will he will do it. You should put in, If it be your will.” 

Doubtless there are many times when we do not know the will of God, and submission to the excellent will of God should underlie all prayer. But when we know God’s will, there need be no “ifs”; and this passage was not put into the Bible in order that we might introduce “ifs” into all our prayers, but in order that we might throw our “ifs” to the wind, and have “boldness” and “know that we'll have the petitions which we have asked of him.”
✙ adapted
Prayer after thinking about today's devotion:
When your will is clear, O God, give me confidence in my prayers.
✙ 
After your own thanksgivings & petitions, close with the Lord's Prayer.
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