If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. John 15:7
This is a miserable world for unbelievers. They work so hard yet accomplish nothing. They may even pray a lot, search all over, and knock at the door. Yet nothing is gained, found, or achieved, for they’re knocking on the wrong door. They do all these things and even pray as if they were doing any other work. In other words, they do all this without any faith. That’s why they can’t really pray.
Prayer is the work of faith alone. No one except a believer can truly pray. Believers pray, not on their own merits, but in the name of the Son of God, in whom they have been baptized. They’re certain that their prayers please God, because he commanded them to pray in the name of Christ and promised he would listen to them. But unbelievers don’t know this. Instead, they pray in their own names and believe they can prepare themselves. They think they can read enough to make themselves worthy and smart enough to make prayer into an acceptable work. And when we ask them whether their prayers have been heard, they reply, “I prayed, but if my prayers were heard, only God know.” If you don’t know what you are doing or whether God is listening, what kind of prayer is that?
But Christians don’t approach prayer this way. We pray in response to God’s command and promise. We offer our prayers to God in the name of Christ, and we know that what we ask for will be given to us. We experience God’s help in all kinds of needy situations. And if relief doesn’t come soon, we still know that our prayers are pleasing to God. We know that God has answered us because he gives us the strength to endure.
The Bondage of the Will, Luther’s exposition on the doctrine of God’s sovereignty, laid the groundwork for Reformation thought. It shows us a humbling view of ourselves while strengthening our faith in Christ.
The Ambassador Classics series brings the greatest classic works of Christian history into a single set. It includes unabridged works by Martin Luther, John Bunyan, John Calvin, A. T. Pierson, John Owens, C. H. Spurgeon, Jonathan Edwards, J. C. Ryle, R. A. Torrey and many others. This series will continue to enrich and deepen your faith in Christ.