Prayers, or Positive Thoughts?

I have seen and heard people make statements similar to this: “I’m sending love and positive thoughts.” If I may, I’d like to share some of my thoughts about this.

I understand the sentiment of “sending love”, which would convey the idea that the person making the statement did so out of love for the recipient. But what are “positive thoughts”, and what comfort do they bring? At other times, well-meaning people offer to pray for a situation and I wonder, do they pray to the God who answers prayer, or do they even know Him?

Let’s look at some scriptures concerning prayers that God hears.

Proverbs 15:29…”The LORD is far from the wicked but he hears the prayer of the righteous.”

1 Peter 3:12… “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” James tells us ‘the prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” (James 5:16).

The righteous person, as defined in the Bible, is one who is in right standing with God. Right standing with God is obtained only by placing one’s faith in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. Romans 1:17 reminds us, “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written, “the righteous will live by faith”, also, in Galatians 3:11, Hebrews 10:38, and others.

I believe the only prayer of an unbeliever God is obligated to answer, is the prayer of one who confesses his sin, asking God for forgiveness, and accepting Jesus as his or her Savior. My purpose in writing this devotional is to cause us to stop and consider whether or we have that relationship with God that makes our prayers truly effective.

As always, your questions or comments are welcome.

In His love,

Pastor Jerry

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