Not by good performance
Read Psalm 37:1-8.
How is your prayer life? God answers prayer. Do you believe that? But suppose your mind is not very clean today, will He answer your prayer? Some people say: God will answer my prayer because I visited someone in the hospital, I had my morning devotion, I visited a lonely person, I went to church etc. Do you need 10/10 or less in your performance in order for God to answer your prayer?
Some people have to memorise something (like a rosary, novena etc) in order that their prayers are answered. By the grace of God (all by grace) God answers your prayer, only because, (and only because) of Jesus Christ. He who is full of grace and truth, who is the personification, embodiment of all grace and truth had already bought that answer to your prayer 2000 years at the cross of Calvary. God answers that prayer on the basis of His grace. Not because of merits and demerits. Not because of your good performance.
But someone may argue: “Pastor, sin hinders our prayer.” True, but the only thing to do is not perform “Christian acts” to gain points, but to humble yourself and confess. Realising that forgiveness and cleansing of your heart is an act of God’s grace. Jesus did not only purchase our salvation, but also bought every blessing and every answered prayer you will ever receive.
To me this is a very liberating thought. The work is all done for you by the merit of another Person, Jesus Christ. But our problem is-we are afraid to tell ourselves that we don’t have to work anymore. We are afraid that we might go slack in our Christian life and Christian duties. But I believe that the heart of the problem is this—we don’t really believe that we were (are) totally bankrupt spiritually.
Let us be reminded, that having come into the kingdom of God by the merit of Another (Jesus Christ), let us not try to pay our debt by way of performance. Because if we still try to pay, we have not declared total bankruptcy. The bad consequences are discouragement frustration, hurts and anger. Why do we get angry? Because of frustration! The Bible says we are totally bankrupt. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom.3:23).
We have to accept total bankruptcy. We are His and He is ours by grace alone. And everything we do is the working of His grace in us and through us. I hope this will challenge your perspective of life, Christian service, and about prayer life. May there be a change because of His grace and the understanding of this truth. It is by His grace not your performance. All by grace and grace alone! (To be continued).