by Julia Bruce
“Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us at the proper time.” — Hebrews 4:16
So many Christians seem to struggle with prayer. Maybe it feels awkward to talk to someone you can’t see. Maybe because of experiences in your life you feel inadequate to come into the throne room of God and ask anything of Him. Maybe the lifestyle you’re living now keeps you out of the throne room. Maybe you prayed once, but it seemed as if God wasn’t listening and you gave up. Whatever it is that keeps you from “praying without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17), you need to put it down and run to the throne because God longs to speak to you. (click to tweet)
Through the writer of Hebrews, God tell us we can come boldly to the throne. Praying boldly means we should be able to approach the throne of our Heavenly Father in a confident and courageous way, demonstrating a willingness to take steps of faith to be obedient to Him. (click to tweet) The Greek word used here refers to having freedom of speech in such a way that we can speak our mind in a straightforward manner with great confidence. We can be frank with God and tell him exactly how we feel and what is going on in our lives. We don’t need to “sugar-coat” it. We don’t need to try to paint it up with religious words. When you think about it, God who is omniscient, knows everything. We can’t hide anything from Him – so we might as well be honest with Him. We can’t be too frank, too bold, too honest, too outspoken, or too blunt. (Click to tweet) He wants us to bare our hearts and soul to Him. We do need to come to him in reverence, but also with the whole and complete truth laid out before him.
What hinders us from praying boldly?
- Rejection – most of us hate being rejected. We hate the word “no” all the way back to our two-year-old temper tantrums. So we come before God with hesitancy instead of boldness and confidence. We often associate “no” with not being liked. We tell ourselves that if God loves us he would answer this prayer the way we want Him to. We seldom ever consider that God’s no is for our best because he can see what’s in store for our future and that thing we think we want so badly we only cause us pain. Don’t be afraid of God’s “no.” Instead know that God has something even better in mind.
- Doubt – sometimes when we pray – we ask, but either expect God to say no or we don’t have the faith that God can do what you’re asking Him to do. Prayer and faith cannot be separated. Instead, we need to ask with expectancy and we can only do that if we have first taken the time to seek His will. James 1:5-7 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.”
- Sometimes we feel as if we come to God so often that we must be pestering Him. In our mind we might see Him rolling His eyes and saying, “you? Again?!” But we have to remember that in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to “pray without ceasing.” We can’t pester God too much.
- Fear of being demanding. Sometimes we treat God like a genie in a bottle ready to do our every command. But if we have a healthy fear and respect for God, then we understand that we can’t “demand” our way and get it. Instead, we need to be sure that we have taken the time to seek His will, make sure our request does not go against scripture, and then bring our requests to Him – not our demands.
- Unconfessed Sin – Psalm 66:18 says, ““If I had cherished iniquity in my heart, the Lord would not have listened” If you feel like God isn’t hearing you, ask Him to reveal any unconfessed sin in your life and then confess it, repent, and seek His forgiveness.
- Wrong motives – James 4:3 says, “You ask and don’t receive because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your evil desires.” We must ask in accordance with God’s will as revealed in the Bible. We must ask only for things that are consistent with the character and nature of God. We must ask for things that are for the spiritual benefit of ourselves or for the person on whose behalf we pray. God will not answer our self-centered, self-serving prayers.
- Ignoring Bible study – Proverbs 28:9 says, “If one turns away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” It is impossible to have our will and motives aligned with God, if we don’t know what His Word says. Without Bible Study, prayer is like a one-way conversation with you doing all the talking. But if we can’t take the time to listen to God and His instructions through His Word, God will not honor our prayers.
- Harboring unforgiveness – In Mark 11:25 Jesus says, “And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.” Harboring unforgiveness makes you angry and bitter – and God will not listen to your prayers.
Why can we have confidence to pray boldly. Here are 11 verses that tell us why we can come to the throne of God boldly and with confidence.
- Nothing is impossible for God (Luke 1:37)
- God keeps His promises (Joshua 21:45)
- God cannot lie (Numbers 23:19)
- We are a joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:17)
- God cannot fail (Deuteronomy 31:8)
- God has good plans for us (Jeremiah 29:11)
- God loves us with an everlasting love (Jeremiah 31:3)
- When our hearts are right, our motives are right, and we have confessed any sin, we can know that God hears us. (Micah 7:7)
- Our prayers make a difference (James 5:16)
- We have been made righteous through Christ (Proverbs 15:29)
- God will do more than we can think or ask (Ephesians 3:20-21)
How can we pray more boldly?
- Seek His will – 1 John 5:14-15 says, “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: Whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears whatever we ask, we know that we have what we have asked Him for.” Seeking His will can be time consuming and it’s hard work. But we have to understand that this verse does not promise that we will get everything we want. We have to ask according to His will and you don’t know His will if you don’t seek for it. But when we pray – knowing that our prayer aligns with His will – then we can pray with confidence – and that prayer will be heard and He will answer it – in his time, not yours.
- Be Persistent – In Psalm 88:1 we find that David cried out to the Lord day and night. 1 Chronicles 16:11 tells us to seek the face of God continually. Jesus told the parable about a widow woman who wanted justice and she sought the chance to plead her case to the judge, but he ignored her. She came every day until the judge gave in and she received justice. (See Luke 18). In Acts 1, the apostles were continually devoting themselves to prayer. If you know your prayer aligns with God Word and His will, then be persistent. Too often we give up praying just one prayer before God answers and therefore we never see the answer.
- Make sure that your prayers align with God’s Word. If what you are praying for does not match up with Scripture, then you can bet God won’t answer the prayer. For example, if you ask God to help you come up with a good lie to tell your boss so you can skip out of work today, God won’t answer that prayer because His Word says, “Thou shalt not lie.” If it feels like God isn’t hearing or answering your prayer, search the Scriptures and be sure it aligns with what God says in His Word.
- Pray God’s Word back to Him – Once you have searched the scripture and found that your prayer does in fact align with Scripture – pray that verses back to Him.
- Have an attitude of humility – not entitlement. Jesus told a parable in Luke 18:13-14 about the Pharisee and the Tax Collector. Both prayed, but it was the Tax Collector’s prayer that was heard. In these verses, Jesus said, “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’ I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
- Pray with confidence – not doubt or expecting God to say no.
- Be willing to be patient – God’s timing is not always our timing. Psalm 40:1 says, “I waited patiently for the Lord, and He turned to me and heard my cry for help.” Trust His timing. He’s never late and He is always working everything out for your good and His glory. Sometimes the best things come to those who wait.
- Be willing to be obedient – Remember that our omniscient God already knows everything. He knows that if you are not going to obey Him, so if he knows you’re not, then why should He answer your prayer. If you are asking Him if you should take Job A or Job B and Job B pays more and should more exciting, but in your heart you’ve already selected Job B, then why should He answer our prayer – you’ve already answered it for Him without knowing what he knows. The company of Job B might be heading down financial disaster and a year from know it will fold and close it’s doors forever. God already knows that and so he might want you to take Job A while trusting Him to provide and meet your every need. Be willing to be obedient.
Whatever is holding back your prayers from being bold and confident, seek God’s wisdom, forgiveness, and ask Him to grow your faith. As His child, you have instant access to Him and He’s waiting now for you to come to Him in prayer.
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This event helps couples understand why the daily activities found in the book will equip them to build a stronger marriage and the book provides them with 365 intentional activities to take what they learn at the event and apply it on a daily basis. Through the event, couples will discover the Biblical “why” behind the categories of activities found in the book and the “how” these activities are important to building a stronger marriage. Focus points of the event includes :
- How memorizing scripture together and studying God’s Word together as they study, meditate and apply scriptures related to marriage and life issues will help them develop marriages that honor God.
- Why utilizing fun conversation starters that spark meaningful conversations will keep interest alive as they continually learn new things about each other.
- Why keeping romance alive is essential to intimacy and connectivity.
- How making memories and working together builds relationship investment bonds and how these investment bonds can become the knots that keeps them together through the tough times.
- How they can understand what they are or are not contributing to the marriage as well as how they might be contributing to problems or potential problems within the relationship through the use of targeted, intentional personal reflections
- Why it is important that couples never stop dating and how group dates with Christian friends can be both an encouragement and accountability to their own relationship.
During the event, couples will be given an activity from each focus point to do together, making this event an interactive, fun, and engaging event with practical, hands-on learning. Unlike other couple events that are over when the event ends, couples who attend the GLMW event will be able to apply what they learn when utilizing the book on a daily basis for a year. Since the book is not dated, couples are able to reuse the activities year after year to continue being intentional in strengthening their relationship with each other and with God as they strive to live out God’s design for marriage every day.
Learn more about hosting this event at your church or conference site by clicking here.
About the book: The GLMW book contains 365 daily challenges for couples to strengthen their relationships to each other and with God. Couples will complete activities such as Scripture memory, conversation starters, relationship builders, learning about Biblical marriage, romance builders, personal reflections, and date ideas. Click here to purchase your copy. (This link will open a new widow and take you to Westbow Press’ bookstore.) It is also available at Christian Book Distributors, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble
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T-shirt Fundraiser Event: We have a product line of Christian apparel and accessories available in our Teespring Store and our Spreadshop Store. You’ll find tee shirts, hoodies, tanks, socks, leggings, tote bags, mugs, iphone cases and more. Here’s a peek at what’s new:
We’ve added a fall line to our Spreadshop Store! Order today because it will be gone soon as we gear up for the upcoming Holidays. Christmas items available soon.
Thanksgiving items will be available on November 1.
All proceeds go to the advancement of Wellspring Christian Ministries.
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Looking for a speaker for your next ministry event? Julia is now booking for 2019 and 2020 Christian events for women’s and couples’ ministries for both small and large events.
Book with us now.
Julia is CEO of Wellspring Christian Ministries, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people and couples develop a passionate relationship with God. A public speaker, conference trainer, event planner, and blog writer, Julia is a two-time graduate from Grand Canyon University with a bachelor in Psychology and a masters in Professional Counseling. Saved as a child and raised in church and in a Christian home and private Christian School as a Pastor’s kid, Julia has taught Sunday school, led music, played the piano, served as Children’s Director, and engaged her gifts in many other areas of church life. Previously employed with the Florida Baptist Convention, Julia organized events and led conferences for church ministry assistants.
Julia enjoys sharing her journey as a growing Christian with others looking for a deeper connection with God. Through Bible study and her own life experiences, God has given Julia a passion to help couples understand God’s design for marriage while they learn to place God first in their marriage, cultivate meaningful relationships, build intimacy, and address the tougher issues that come in every marriage so that they can experience a marriage that honors and glorifies God. Julia also loves mentoring, teaching, and working with women to help them learn to live as Godly women.
With her history and experience growing up in both small and large churches, Julia enjoys bringing top level quality events to churches of all sizes. Her father largely pastored small churches and therefore she understands that these vital parts of the believing community need to be good stewards of the resources God provides them with. This knowledge inspires her passion for being available with a fresh perspective for those who want to provide their congregations with meaningful spiritual growth opportunities, regardless of size.
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Affiliate links for The Case for Christ by Lee Stroble:
|The Case for Christ, Updated and Expanded, Mass Market||By Lee Strobel / Zondervan||If you were a journalist, how would you investigate the top story in human history? Join the award-winning former legal editor of the Chicago Tribune as he cross-examines scholars to uncover incontestable evidence supporting Jesus’ claims. Includes updated archaeological material, an interview with Strobel, and more. A powerful defense of the Christian faith! 464 pages, softcover from Zondervan.|
By Pure Flix Entertainment, LLC
A hard-driving journalist, Lee Strobel was exactly where he expected to be at work: on top. His award-winning investigative reporting recently earned him a promotion to legal editor at the Chicago Tribune. But things weren’t going nearly as well at home where his wife Leslie’s newfound faith in Christ went against everything Lee believed—or didn’t believe—as an avowed atheist.
Utilizing his journalistic and legal training, Lee begins a quest to debunk the claims of Christianity in order to save his crumbling marriage. Chasing down the biggest story of his career, Lee comes face-to-face with unexpected results that could change everything he knows to be true.
Starring Mike Vogel (The Help, Cloverfield), Erika Christensen (Parenthood, Flightplan), Faye Dunaway (The Thomas Crown Affair, Chinatown), and Robert Forster (The Descendents, Jackie Brown). Rated PG. Approx. 113 minutes.
Includes Blu-ray, DVD and CD
- “The Heart of The Case for Christ” Featurette
- Intro to the Museum of the Bible, Washington, DC
- 11 Music Videos from “The Case for Christ” Album
- Interviews with Lee & Leslie Strobel, Cast, and Crew
- Deleted Scenes
- English and Spanish subtitles
Bonus CD included:
- The Case for Christ – Songs Inspired by the Original Motion Picture