Prayer To Know God
How to Know God Personally – Four Spiritual Principles
What does it take to begin a relationship with God? Devote yourself to unselfish religious deeds? Become a better person so that God will accept you?
You may be surprised that none of those things will work. But God has made it very clear in the Bible how we can know Him.
The following principles will explain how you can personally begin a relationship with God, right now, through Jesus Christ…
God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” 1
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly” [that it might be full and meaningful]. 2
All of us sin and our sin has separated us from God
We Are Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 3
We were created to have fellowship with God; but, because of our stubborn self-will, we chose to go our own independent way, and fellowship with God was broken. This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference, is evidence of what the Bible calls sin.
We Are Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God]. 4
This diagram illustrates that God is holy and people are sinful. A great gulf separates us. The arrows illustrate that we are continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through our own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion — but we inevitably fail.
Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for our sin. Through Him we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our life
He Died in Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” 5
He Rose From the Dead
“Christ died for our sins…He was buried…He was raised on the third day, according to the Scriptures…He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” 6
He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me.'” 7
This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf which separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.
We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives
We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name.” 8
We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.” 9
When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
We Receive Christ by Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him.” 10
Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be.
Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross for your sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.
You receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.
These two circles represent two kinds of lives:
Which circle best describes your life?
Which circle would you to have represent your life?
You can receive Christ right now by faith through prayer
Prayer is talking to God. God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:
“Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.”
If this prayer expresses the desire of your heart, then you can pray this prayer right now and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.
Does this prayer express the desire of your heart?
If yes, pray now and according to his promise, Jesus Christ will come into your life.
Fill out our form and we will send you helpful links and/or connect you with an email mentor. We want to help you grow in your faith in God.
by Dr. Bill Bright
Used with permission
Foot Notes: (1) John 3:16 (NIV); (2) John 10:10; (3) Romans 3:23; (4) Romans 6:23; (5) Romans 5:8; (6) 1 Corinthians 15:3-6; (7) John 14:6; (8) John 1:12; (9) Ephesians 2:8,9; (10) Revelation 3:20 Adapted from Have You Heard of the Four Spiritual Laws and Would You to Know God Personally, by Dr. Bill Bright, co-founder of Campus Crusade for Christ. © Campus Crusade for Christ. All rights reserved Copyrighted 1965, 1968 by Campus Crusade for Christ, New Life Publications. All rights reserved. Permission for use from the publisher, New Life Publications, P.O. Box 593684, Orlando, FL 32859
Can We Change God’s Mind with Prayer? A Bible Study
The Bible instructs us to pray. In fact, in the New Testament we are told to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). The Christian life is a life that is to be lived in constant communication with God.
We read that the prayer of a righteous person is powerful (James 5:16).
Nevertheless, the question is often asked, “Do my prayers really change God’s mind?” Let us look at this question and try to answer it from the Bible.
God is omniscient
The Bible indicates that God is omniscient. Omniscient means ‘all-knowing’. God knows everything; what was, what is, and what will be. Because of this, we know that God already knows what we need, and even what we are going to pray about.
Therefore, we can conclude that our prayers do not surprise God. It cannot be said that God intended to do thus and such but, as a result of our prayers, He decides to do something different.
[A discussion of God’s foreknowledge, election, and predestination are beyond the scope of this article]
However, God does respond to our prayers. Our interaction with Him affects His actions. He has told us, in His Word, how He will react to certain actions and attitudes of ours; and our prayers reveal what our attitudes are.When we come to Him in prayer, we are exhibiting our reliance and trust in Him.
And, just as an earthly father wants the best for his children who come to him in dependence, so God relates to His children who come to Him dependently.
The ‘real’ question
Many times, the real question behind the question, “Can we change God’s mind with prayer?” is “Do I, and my prayers, matter to God?” We want to know if God cares about us enough to pay attention to our prayers. Jesus asserts that God loves His children even more than earthly fathers love their children (Matthew 7:10-11). God loves us more than the most loving human father ever has or ever will.
God gives us some conditions that must be met in order for us to be in the right condition to have our prayers answered:
- our prayers must be grounded in faith in God (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24);
- we must ask in Jesus’ name (John 16:24);
- we must ask with the right motives (James 4:3);
- we must be persistent in our dependence on God (Matthew 7:8; Luke 1:10);
- we must keep His commandments and obey Him (I John 3:22); and
- our prayers must be in accordance with His will (I John 5:14).
This may seem a lot of things to do and remember in order for God to answer our prayers, but they are all wrapped up in the one commandment Jesus said is above all others, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Matthew 22:37 ESV; cf. Mark 12:30; Luke 10:27). When this is the condition of our heart, all the conditions for answered prayer are met.
When we are truly submitted to Jesus, and His Lordship, our relationship with Him will be such that He hears and answers our prayers as a loving father would answer the requests of his children, whom he loves dearly. David Platt, in his book Follow Me, compares the believer’s submission with the submission of earthly children to their earthly father,
“If my kids were to say me, ‘Dad, this week, we will do whatever you think is best for us,’ how do you think I would respond? Would I make their week miserable? Certainly not. I would honor their trust in me by leading them toward whatever is best for them.
Now I’m not perfect, and I don’t know what’s best for my children 100 percent of the time. But God does. He is a perfect Father, and he makes no mistakes. He desires our good more than we do.
So shouldn’t we gladly surrender our will to his? This is what it means to be a disciple” ( p. 130).
Whose mind is changed?
Most often, it is we who are changed when we come to God in prayer.
Often, when we come to God to ask Him for something, we have already decided what it is that we need. Too often, we pray to God to get Him to see things our way and to join the plan that we have envisioned.
However, quite often, God uses these times to teach us that He knows what is best for us. He will gently change our minds to see things His way, so that we end up participating in His plan.
Most often, it is we who are changed when we come to God in prayer.
The Prayer of Repentance
However, there is a special prayer that completely changes one’s relationship with God.
The Bible tells us clearly that, when anyone prays the prayer of repentance and becomes a follower of Jesus, God relates to that person in a very different way than He did while they were unrepentant sinners in rebellion to Him.Whereas before they were under God’s wrath and judgment, after they confess their sins and repent, they are forgiven and are no longer under His condemnation (Romans 8:1).
Nevertheless, this does not indicate that God changed His mind; rather, He simply responded just as He promised He would when anyone confesses and repents of their sin and turns to Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Have you confessed your sins and repented of them? It will be the most important prayer you’ve ever prayed.
Since God is omniscient (all-knowing) it cannot be said that, from His point of view, He ever ‘changes His mind’. Nevertheless, we are not omniscient, we know that God loves us, and we are instructed to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
In this way, we are always communicating with God and, as long as we are living as He wants us to, we can be confident that He hears our prayers and acts on them. The most important aspect of our prayer lives is to make sure that, in everything, we are living for Him and His glory.
So, does God change His mind? No…but He does respond to our prayers as a loving father responds to his children’s needs and requests…only better.
10 Awesome Bible Verses About the Power of Prayer
Resources – The Holy Bible, English Standard Version “Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.” Platt, David. Follow Me. Tyndale, 2013. video “On My Knees” by Jaci Velasquez.
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as: Bible Study, change God's mind, Prayer
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