As a church, one of our areas of focus for 2019 is prayer. We are hoping that, by God’s grace, we all will grow in the area of prayer this year. In his book, Why We Pray, William Philip offers four reasons why Christians pray. One of the reasons that he emphasizes is our adoption in Christ. We pray to God the Father because we have been adopted as His sons. Philip explains:
We are all sons of God through faith (Gal. 3:26)—not just children but sons and full heirs. (Gender is not at issue here, but status; hence the insistence that we are sons, not just children. The point is that we all share in the full inheritance of the firstborn, Jesus himself.)…which means everything that is his by right of birth is now ours by right of adoption. That’s why we pray. In Jesus Christ we are all sons of God; we have received adoption, and now we all share the extraordinary, privileged, legal status before God the Father of Jesus himself, his only Son. (pg. 52, emphasis mine)
Now, this is of vital importance to grasp. Your prayers and mine will not be heard by God because of our sincerity but because of our status. We are sons of God, which means that God cannot not hear us. We are his sons. That’s gospel truth. (pg. 52, emphasis original)
The truth of the Gospel gives us great confidence in prayer. Philip writes:
…being confident in prayer is not presumption; it is faith. It is simply honoring the Lord Jesus Christ and his great salvation, which God has given to us in his abundant mercy. (pgs. 53-4)
To doubt this is to doubt the sufficiency of Christ, Philip says. He concludes:
Your prayers and mine will not be heard because of our faithfulness but on account of Jesus’s great faithfulness. Our prayers will be heard not because we deserve a hearing but because he does. Our prayers will be heard not because of our perfection but because of his marvelous perfection. (pg. 55, emphasis original)
Let us go to the Father in prayer with great confidence and humility.