Joseph Medlicott Scriven, the composer of the hymn, “What a Friend we Have in Jesus”, rightly points out that we forfeit peace and bear needless pains when we fail to carry everything to God in prayer. In line with Philippians 4:6, he admonishes us to see it as a privilege to take everything to the Lord in prayer.
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.” (New King James Version)
It is true that God is all-knowing (Omniscient) because He knows everything about our past, present and future (see Matthew 6:8), however, He has given us free will to make choices and express our heart desires. Not everyone who is sick desires healing as some may be looking for money. A case in point was the lame man at the gate of the temple in the book of Acts Chapter 3. In Verse 3 of Acts Chapter 3, the man asked Peter and John for alms instead of healing, but he later received his healing miracle. Another example is found in Luke 18:41; Jesus knew that the man who asked Him for mercy lost his sight, but He asked, “What do you want Me to do for you?” Then the man responded, “Lord, I want to see.”
God has asked His children to call upon Him and He will answer them (see Jeremiah 33:3). He feels jealous and insulted when His children ignore Him and take their problems to evil priests for solution. As we make our request known to God, the apostle Paul admonishes us to do so without anxiety, with a grateful heart and with reference to God’s Word.
When Jesus Christ taught His disciples how to pray, He emphasized the attitude of appreciation – thanking God for who He is and what He can do (see Matthew 6:9). The Psalmist advises us to enter God’s presence with thanksgiving and with praise (see Psalm 100:4). Reflecting on and thanking God for what He has done for us in time past, makes Him to do more.
Supplication is making your request known to God on the basis of His promises. The Word of God is full of God’s promises and prophecies for His children. In Psalm 34:9, God promises that those who seek Him shall not lack any good thing. When you seek Him in intercessory prayer, soul winning and sowing your time and other resources to advance the interest of His Kingdom, take that unwanted issue in your life to Him using that scripture. Locate the appropriate scripture as the basis for your petition – bringing forth your strong reasons (see Isaiah 41:21a).
It is important to believe God’s promises and prophecies about you. Do not let anxiety rob you of answers to your prayer. Jesus teaches us that when we pray, we should believe that we have received answers to our prayers and we shall have our requests (see Mark 11:24). We waist time and energy when we take our problems to God and at the same time doubt His integrity and ability.
“Have we trials and temptations?
Is there trouble anywhere?
We should never be discouraged,
Take it to the Lord in prayer.
Can we find a friend so faithful
Who will all our sorrows share?
Jesus knows our every weakness,
Take it to the Lord in prayer” – Joseph M. Scriven
Remember, before you take your problem to the Lord in prayer, you must let Him be your Father. Jesus started His lesson on prayer with, “Our Father, who art in Heaven….” So you must have a relationship with God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit to enjoy answers to prayers. If you are yet to have a relationship with God, say this prayer of salvation: Dear Lord Jesus, come into my heart. I accept You as my personal Lord and Savior. I believe that you died and rose again to save me. I declare that I am born again. I receive the gifts of forgiveness and righteousness. Thank You for accepting and glorifying me. Amen!