When I talk about grace, I usually mean the whole message of God’s love and provision. Grace is the activity of God’s love. Because God loves us, He reaches out to us and brings us in. He provides all we need for salvation, sanctification, justification and more. Forgiveness, victory, and Heaven are ours because of His initiative and His work.
If we remember that God loves us and acts for our good, then prayer becomes a positive thing in our lives.
Many of us were led to believe that confession was the most important part of prayer. Whenever we prayed, even if it was an emergency, we were supposed to stop to confess our sins first. We had to confess that there was no reason God should hear us because we were so evil in our hearts.
So, think about that. How easy is it for you to go to someone and apologize? How easy is it to ask forgiveness? It’s hard work, isn’t it? I am not saying it isn’t important, but it certainly isn’t easy or pleasant. And how easy is it to build a relationship when you constantly have to apologize? Especially when you believe the other person is angry with you?
When many people pray, they feel they have to come to Lord groveling and shamed. They are supposed to recount as many of their sins as they can remember since the last time they prayed and always know that they have missed some. Then they have to ask God for mercy and hope that He doesn’t hate them as they ask for what they need. How sad!
Grace tells us that God already loves us. Grace tells us that He has already forgiven us. Grace tells us that we are already accepted. It is good to come to Him. Grace turns prayer into something positive.
You see, God already knows about your sins and He has already forgiven them as you trusted Christ. Those who belong to Him never have to worry about their sins separating them from Him. We don’t have to confess in order to be forgiven. In those times when we feel the need to talk about what we have done, we simply agree with Him that it was wrong and thank Him for working in our lives to move past it. Forgiveness of sins—past, present, and future—was accomplished at the cross.
So you and I can come to the Lord as we would come to our very best friend. We know that He loves us and it is good to focus on our heart connection again. We will never be separate from Him, but sometimes we let ourselves get distracted. Then we talk with Him again and feel His love and peace.
No wonder Paul encouraged us to pray without ceasing. This is walking with Jesus. It isn’t a difficult thing at all. Prayer is a wonderful lifeline that keeps us connected to the Lord who loves us.