Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 ESV
Confidence. As with many things we approach in life, including the throne of grace, having confidence is often the deciding factor between success in getting what we desire or failure. In the verse above the writer of the book of Hebrews underscores the importance of praying with confidence. This truth is stated even more emphatically later in the book, where he substitutes the word “faith” for “confidence.” “Without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him” (Hebrews 11:6 NIV Emphasis added).
Since confidence is such a critical requirement when it comes to prayer, what can a person do who lacks faith or confidence? The good news is when you don’t have it, God has provided ways to get it. To begin with, it helps to identify the things that rob us of our confidence. At the top of the list are such issues as condemnation, confusion as to will of God and mischaracterizations of God. When a person lacks confidence, clear ways can be found in the Bible to address these faith robbers and increase our confidence.
With this in mind, here are three ways you can increase your confidence in prayer.
1. Apply the Blood of Jesus – Nothing erodes confidence more than condemnation. As the antithesis of confidence, condemnation is rooted in a consciousness of sin and unworthiness. Being conscious of failures and short comings locks people in a prison of guilt, and hinders the freedom and boldness with which God desires us to approach Him. On the other hand, being free from condemnation increases confidence, and the resultant probability of answered prayer. “If our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive from him anything we ask” (1 John 3:21-22 NIV Emphasis added). Thankfully there is a biblical antidote for condemnation and it is the blood of Jesus. The blood of Jesus is God’s provision to cleanse and purify from all unrighteousness and bring those who feel far away from God near to Him (1 Peter 1:12, 1 John 1:7, Ephesians 2:13). The blood of Jesus is God’s nuclear weapon designed to obliterate every self-condemnation and enemy accusation of the devil, and make us confident overcomers (Revelation 12:10-11).
The power of the blood of Jesus as a confidence builder in entering God’s presence is best explained in the following passage from Hebrews. “Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus . . . let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience (vs. 19, 22 Emphasis added). Applying the blood of Jesus to “cleanse us from a guilty conscience” is as simple as choosing to confess our sins, and then stand upon the promise that “He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (I John 1:9 NIV).
This purification process by the blood of Jesus, is the only means by which we can be made righteous and acceptable in God’s sight. It alone is the sure and certain foundation of our confidence in approaching Him. Any thought, reliance, or appeal that our access to His throne room presence is based upon our own self efforts at righteousness is folly. The great hymn “Just as I am” penned by Charlotte Elliott way back in 1835, says it so eloquently.
Just as I am without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidd’st me come to thee
O Lamb of God I come, I come.
If you have been wrestling with a lack of confidence in prayer due to condemning thoughts and/or a sense of unworthiness determine right now to apply the blood of Jesus to your heart and mind. Make the following confession a declaration of victory in your life:
Through the blood of Jesus, I am redeemed out of the hand of the devil. Through the blood of Jesus, all my sins are forgiven. Through the blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Son, I am cleansed continually from all sin. Through the blood of Jesus, I am justified, made righteous and just-as-if-I’d never sinned. Through the blood of Jesus, I am sanctified, made holy, set apart to God. My body is a temple for the Holy Spirit, redeemed, cleansed, sanctified by the blood of Jesus. Therefore, Satan has no place in me, no power over me, no unsettled claims against me, all has been settled through the blood of Jesus (Taken from “Secrets of a Prayer Warrior” by Derek Prince).
More on “3 Ways to Increase Your Confidence in Prayer” in the next blog post. To be continued – stay tuned.