“Answer me when I call to You, O God who declares me innocent. Free me from my troubles. Have mercy on me and hear my prayer.” – Psalm 4:1 (NLT)
Why is it that in our church culture today, so many people are afraid to pray? And even some that are not as shy to pray, they tend to shy away from praying boldly. Why is that? Why are we so afraid to approach the throne of the Lord with our petitions and our praises? And this isn’t a fear of the Lord that keeps us away from this, but it is a fleshly fear that restrains us.
David was not afraid of going before the Lord with prayers and petitions and praises. As can be seen in the above passage, David not only prayed boldly, but he went so far as to demand an answer from the Lord. A mere man, who wasn’t even of priestly lineage. And this is the Old Covenant! This was a time when the only people who were really allowed and approved of for bringing sacrifices and petitions before the Lord were the priests. Yet David, in all of his undignified love and infatuation with the Lord, boldly approached the throne of the Father and demanded an answer from Him. He was not satisfied with anything less.
He was not only bold, but he was confident that the Lord would answer him. “You can be sure of this: The Lord set apart the godly for Himself. The Lord will answer when I call to Him” (Psalm 4:3).
Again I ask, why is it, under the New Covenant, that we are so afraid of praying bold prayers to the Lord? Does it make us uncomfortable? Does it make us squirm? Or are we just that caught up in our flesh that we fear the exposure of our hearts that comes before the Lord? Let me tell you, He already knows. He already sees. There is nothing you have done or can do that the Lord doesn’t already know about. Yet, just as Adam and Eve did way back in the Garden, we allow the lies to keep us from being with Him. And we have the audacity to question why it is that we see so few effective Christians these days!
You see, David understood something that very few understand in our culture today. He understood the importance and the power of prayer. He understood that he could go directly before the Lord with whatever was on his heart and the Lord would hear him and answer him. As already mentioned, he had this understanding under the Old Covenant. And now, under the New Covenant, we as believers have direct access to the throne room of Heaven. Hebrews 4:16 tells us, “So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive His mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.” This is a New Testament concept that was better understood by those under the Old Covenant than it is by majority of believers today! This realization should grip our hearts. No wonder the Church is so powerless. I’ve heard this said by many different people, but a prayerless church is a powerless church.
Do we realize the gravity of that statement? Do we understand that our lack of prayer is the very reason why we lack triumph over our troubles and struggles? Prayer is not a gift that only a few people walk in. Prayer is a concept and a regular practice that ALL BELIEVERS are to live in and from. Do you want to see that mountain move? Pray. You want to see the sick healed and the dead raised? How can we see that if we don’t even know how to ask for it? These things do not come by praying weak, timid prayers.
I believe that our prayer life is reflective of our level of faith. If our prayers are weak, our faith is weak. If our prayers are timid and lack substance, then our faith is timid and lacks substance (which is literally the opposite of what faith is). And if this is the case in our lives, then do we truly believe what we claim to believe?