By Nicole Haye
We all pray at times in our life when we are going through a very difficult situation. Many times you may feel like God never hears your prayers because he doesn't answer them.
The first question that you need to ask is "Do I have access to God in order for my prayers to be answered?" If you don't know the answer to this question you may not have access to God. The word of God says: "In Him (Jesus Christ) and through faith in Him we may approach God with freedom and confidence." Ephesians 3:12 There is only one way to have access to God and have your prayers answered and that is through Jesus Christ. In order to grasp this concept you need to know what happened in the Garden of Eden. Adam and Eve were the first created human beings. They were made perfect and had communion with God. God gave man one command to follow: And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, "Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; 17 but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die." Genesis 2:16-17 We know as we continue to read the story in the bible that Adam and Eve disobeyed God. At this point sin enters the world also known as the fall of man. As a result of this sin they were driven out of the Garden of Eden. Now you may say, but they didn't die... Well, there are 3 types of death.
Physical death: Our physical bodies die as one aspect of God's judgment on sin. Thus we are separated from this world and all that is in it. This death is understood by all of us.
Spiritual death: This death is not easily understood. God created people with five physical senses so that we could relate to the physical world. He also created people with a spirit "sensor" so that they would be able to relate to Him, because He is not a physical being but a spirit being. God told our first parents that they would die if they disobeyed Him. When they sinned, God immediately rendered their spiritual sensors inoperative. Their spirits died. They were cut off from God and His life and thus were spiritually dead. This death has been passed down to all of us so that we were born with spirit sensors which did not work. We were not in a right relationship with God when we came into this world. This is spiritual death.
Eternal death: occurs after the final judgment when those who are not in a right relationship with God will be separated from Him and all His goodness and beauty. There will be nothing good from the hand of God forever and ever. Because we are born spiritually dead we do not have access to God. Therefore, He will not answer our prayers. But God is also love. He loves us and wants us to know Him and belong to Him forever and be in communion with Him. Through His love and power He made it possible for us to have life with Him, not through our own efforts, but as a gift from Him. This gift is Jesus. Many people have heard that "Jesus died for our sins." But they are not sure what this means. Yet the truth is at the heart of Christianity. Because Jesus was made sin for us (1 Peter 3:18), God the Father poured out His wrath on Jesus so that He took the final judgment for us. The death of Jesus was like no one else's. He died because He was being punished for all of our sins. Jesus died and His body was placed in the tomb. But death could not hold Him. Once Jesus paid for all of our sins three days later he was resurrected. His resurrection from the dead proves that He paid the complete penalty for all of our sins. If He had not paid for all of them, He would still be dead because sin results in death. Jesus overcame our problems of sin and death. He is the only One in the universe who has done this and that is why He is the only way to eternal life and true communion with God (John 14:6). The Bible says, "This is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins."1 John 4:10 Many people get caught up in trying to "earn heaven". They do this by donating money to charity, attending church at Christmas and Easter, performing acts of kindness, or just trying to be a good person. All of these good works does not gain heaven for anyone because God can only accept us if we are perfect and none of these good works makes us perfect. We all fall short in our thoughts, words, actions and this is called sin. Jesus had to die to pay for all of these sins that we committed in the past, present and future.
In summary, there are 3 basis points that we need to acknowledge to have access to God and live with Him forever:
* We do not and cannot measure up to God's standard of perfection.
* God is just and must punish us for our sins. The punishment is eternal separation from Him.
* Jesus Christ is God who became man, went to the cross and solved our problem of sin by being punished as our substitute. He solved our death problem by coming back from the dead. God is now able to offer you the gift of eternal life. You now have access to God and Communion with Him. How is this gift received? This gift is received through repentance and faith. Jesus said, "...repent and believe the gospel" (Mark 1:15).
What is repentance? Repentance involves a basic acknowledgment on your part, that you are not adequate to do that which is pleasing to God, that which would make you acceptable to Him. Repentance involves a confession to God of your sin problem and an attitude of mind which desires to turn away from your sins. Repentance involves a turning to Jesus in faith believing that He died and paid the penalty for your sins forever. Your Personal Commitment You can make your personal commitment to the Lord and express your faith to Him by praying: "Lord Jesus, I want to become a follower of Yours. I come to You acknowledging that I am a sinner. I know that I cannot make myself acceptable to You through my own efforts. I believe You went to the cross to be judged in my place. I trust You to save me from the judgment I deserve. I trust You to give me a new life. I believe that you are the only One who can give me a life that works. Thank you, Lord Jesus, for your love. Give me the strength and wisdom I need to learn Your ways so that I might follow You as my Lord. Amen." If you read, understood and made the personal commitment, you know that you have access to God's throne and he WILL hear your prayers. The Bible says, 16Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16 What should you do now?
* Think through what you have done and what it means to you. Because you have trusted in Jesus as your Savior and Lord, you are loved, forgiven and accepted by God. You are safe and secure in Him forever. You are now able to receive knowledge, wisdom and guidance from God's Word so that you can live God's new way of life. You now access to the God of all creation to hear and answer your prayers. You have the most going for you, all by God's grace.
* Read the Bible. Pray and ask God to reveal Himself to you now that you have access to Him.
* Find a church which centers on Jesus Christ and takes the Bible seriously and become involved.
* Grow in your love for the Lord, worship and enjoy Him, know that he is in control and that He is good, live close to Him, listen to Him, trust Him and do what He says.
* Grow in your love for others, working at building them up rather than tearing them down.
* Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know if you have any questions. We would love to hear from you.
Nicole Haye of Missionaries Of Prayer, a non profit 501(c)3 organization, comprised of interdenominational Christians committed to praying for the world and teaching prayer. http://www.missionariesofprayer.org