“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD. Isaiah 1:18b (NASB)
Appealing to God to answer prayer can be likened to the ways in which children learn to convince their parents to act on their behalf. There are certain approaches that are more effective than others. In fact, the basis from which appeals are made can make a huge difference in how a request is answered.
When my firstborn son was three he loved going to the park near our home where there was a playground. Like many parents, I was sometimes too preoccupied to give him the attention he desired and occasionally found myself procrastinating in doing the things I had promised him. One day my little guy came up to me holding in his left hand a small bible we had given him. With his right hand he was pointing to it emphatically and looking me directly in the eyes he pleaded “Go park!”
Since my conversion to Christianity the year of his birth I have always unashamedly made the Bible my handbook for life. My son knew that from seeing me studying it daily, searching its pages for guidance, using it for family devotions, and teaching from it as a pastor. Needless to say his words and actions immediately melted my heart and without hesitation I put aside what I was doing in order to take him to the playground. Kid’s know how to touch their parents (and grandparents) hearts don’t they?
How much more can we as children of our Heavenly Father know how to touch His heart? The truth is there are proven ways to convince God to answer our prayers! I use the word “convince” here advisedly, understanding that prayer is not so much a process of convincing God as it is discovering His will and His ways in order to use that as the basis for our request.