How To Connect With God by James Merritt

James Merritt

1. In a Newsweek cover story entitled, "Talking to
God", a Gallup poll reported that 91% of women and 85%
of men say they pray regularly. That includes 94% of
blacks and 87% of whites; 57% of Americans say they
pray at least once every day.1

2. This survey went on to say that 32% of the people
who pray, report that praying gives them a deep sense
of peace; 26% said they sense the actual presence of
God in their prayers.2

All of that sounded encouraging until I read this
final statistic: Only 15% regularly receive definite
answers to their prayers.

3. Now that tells me something. A lot of people are
praying, but very few people are connecting. I am
reminded of a story about a children's Sunday School
class, who adopted as a project to write letters to
foreign missionaries.

4. The teacher told them that these were real live
missionaries and they were very busy, and might not
have time to answer their letters. So you can imagine
the surprise of one missionary when he received this
letter from one of the girls in the class:

Dear Rev. Smith:
We are praying for you, but don't worry, we're not
expecting an answer.

5. Well, God not only wants us to pray, but He wants
us to pray in such a fashion that we will indeed
expect, and get, an answer. It is one thing to
emotionally experience prayer; it is still another
thing to verbally express prayer. But we must learn
to spiritually expect prayer to be answered.

6. Let me give you a thought that will shake you to
your roots-God never does anything apart from prayer.
R. A. Torrey once said, "Prayer is the key that
unlocks all the storehouses of God's infinite grace
and power. All that God is, and all that God has, is
at the disposal of prayer. But we must use the key.
Prayer can do anything that God can do, and since God
can do anything, prayer is omnipotent."

7. I believe Dr. Torrey was right. But if the key to
getting God to work is prayer, what is the key to
getting prayer to work? Well, the answer to that
question is found in two beautiful verses in 1 John
that may make up the greatest prayer promise in all of
the Bible. John gives us three surefire, fail-safe,
foolproof principles that will help us get on God's
wavelength and connect with God every time we pray.

I. Confidence In The Person Of God

1. "Now this is the confidence that we have in Him."
(v.14a) Now the word confidence is a word that
literally means "freedom of speech." In the Greek
language it was a political term, and it referred to
the freedom to speak your mind in an open assembly.
The prayer that connects with God is, first of all,
confident; confident that God will hear and that God
will answer.

2. It is also transparent. It is willing to talk to
God about anything-big things, little things, great
things, small things, not ...

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