Let me introduce you to my college roommate, Larry. Larry had a deep love for Jesus that sometimes made my Christian friends find him a bit peculiar.
And truth be told, he was indeed a unique character. There were moments when Larry seemed lost in his own world, sharing laughter that seemed to come out of nowhere. When we asked him about it, he would simply say that Jesus had shared a joke with him.
Sometimes, he would abruptly leave our group in the middle of a conversation, only to return later and explain that Jesus had prompted him to speak to someone. It made me wonder if Larry had a special connection with Jesus or if he was simply crazy.
As his roommate, I had the opportunity to witness Larry’s quirks up close. But despite his idiosyncrasies, he was far from crazy. Larry genuinely had a special relationship with Jesus, and his life reflected that in a remarkable way. He desired for everyone to know Jesus, and within just one semester, he individually shared the message of Jesus with over 500 people in our dormitory.
Watching Larry’s life taught me two profound truths that can revolutionize our prayers and bring us closer to God.
1. Obedience is Evidence of Our Love for God.
When we truly love Jesus, our actions align with His desires. Our obedience is not a means to earn favor with God but rather a visible manifestation of our love. As James 2:18 reminds us, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.”
Our obedience should overflow from a heart filled with love. Jesus Himself said, “If anyone loves Me, he will obey My teaching” (John 14:23). By obeying God’s commands, we position ourselves to abide in His love.
How does this apply to prayer? Oftentimes we are praying for God to act when He has sent us to be the answer. The disciples encountered a crowd in Bethsaida and asked Jesus to send them away to find food. Surprisingly, Jesus told them to feed the people themselves (Luke 9:10-13).
Our prayers generally ask God to heal loved ones, pull them out of bad situations, or lead them to the Gospel. Again, this is what He sent us out to do (Luke 9:1-2). By approaching prayer with a mindset of stepping forward in faith, rather than solely asking God to move, we can experience greater freedom in our prayer life.
2. Revelation is Evidence of God’s Love for Us.
The second truth that revolutionizes our prayers is understanding that God reveals things to those He loves. Many of us think it is difficult to hear from God, thinking that He no longer speaks or only communicates with special people on rare occasions. However, the Bible tells us that God’s love is evident through His revelations and actions (John 5:20).
Out of love He opens His heart to us that we may grow more intimately acquainted with Him. God desires to reveal His plans, thoughts, and joys to those He loves. He shares secrets, jokes, music, poetry, friends, etc. He intends to be a real friend, not some distant God. If you love Jesus, you will be loved by the Father, and Jesus will also love you and show Himself to you (John 14:21).
If you have said yes to Jesus and opened your heart to Him, He sees your love and wants to start revealing more of Himself to you. You don’t have to struggle to hear God speak. His desire to communicate is greater than our lack of ability to hear. We have open access to His throne. He invites us to come.
Prayer is meant to be a partnership where we exchange our hearts, ideas, desires, and our entire lives with one another. Prayer becomes exciting when we stop trying to make God act and instead listen to Him speak. He doesn’t always share those earth-shattered truths that just blow you away and leave you trembling. More than often, He just tells you how much He likes you. He may share something He thinks is funny to get you to laugh.
Do you know what God thinks is funny? Here is a short list: the things you worry about, the plans of the enemy, and the lies you believe. He never makes you feel bad about any of these, but He will show you each one from His vantage point, and then you start to realize how funny those things really are. This paragraph may be a bit off topic, but it is a topic God seems to like to talk about. Once you start listening to Him, you will experience such freedom.
Revolutionize Your Prayers
Let’s remember that Larry’s extraordinary life is not meant to be an anomaly. God desires to be our close and trusted confidant. As we allow these two truths to take root in our minds and actions, they will revolutionize our prayers. No longer will prayer be a struggle; instead, we will walk in the privilege of constant communication with God. Abiding in God’s love will no longer be a foreign concept but a foundational truth upon which the rest of our lives will be built. Let’s nurture our love for God, and His love will become increasingly evident in our lives.
The life of my college roommate, Larry, is not meant to be abnormal. God wants to be a close, personal confidant with you. As you start to allow these two truths to sink into your mind and actions, they will revolutionize your prayers. No longer will prayer be a struggle, but you will walk in the privilege of communication with God. Abiding in God’s love will no longer be a foreign concept; it will be a foundational truth where the rest of your life will hang. Let’s let our love grow and God’s love to become more evident.