How to Connect with God by James Merritt

How to Connect with God
James Merritt
Matthew 7:11; Romans 5:2


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 just some things or most things, but all things.

3. When you pray God is not nearl ...

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