[Photo Courtesy of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists]

General Conference

The Lord Hears your Prayers

A special message on prayer from President of the Seventh-day Adventist World Church Ted N.C. Wilson and his wife Nancy.

Silver Spring, Maryland, United States | Ted N.C. Wilson, President, General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists

Ted: Friends, today we will be talking about something vitally important for every Christian, and I am delighted that once again my wife, Nancy, is joining us as we share together on the topic of prayer.

Nancy: You may be familiar with this beautiful promise found in the book Steps to Christ, page 94: “Prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven’s storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence,” and yet do we really believe this amazing promise is for us—personally?

The world tries to convince us that prayer isn’t necessary, or that it doesn’t really make a difference, and yet how far this is from the truth!

In the book The Great Controversy, there is an amazing promise that I love. In speaking of the miracles Jesus did when He was on Earth, Ellen White writes:

“The same compassionate Saviour lives today and He is as willing to listen to the prayer of faith as when He walked visibly among men. The natural cooperates with the supernatural. It is a part of God's plan to grant us, in answer to the prayer of faith, that which He would not bestow did we not thus ask.” Can you imagine all of the prayers He is longing to answer if we would only ask?

Ted: In the Bible, we have numerous examples of people praying in many different circumstances. There is the prayer of Elijah, high up on top of Mt. Carmel, asking God to reveal Himself as the only true God, and there is Jonah, down in the depths of the sea, entombed in the belly of a whale, pleading for deliverance. We can read the beautiful prayer of King Solomon as he dedicated the magnificent temple to the Lord, and the very moving intercessory prayer of Daniel as he pleads on behalf of his people in Babylon.

Nancy: In the book of 1 Samuel, we have the example of Hannah, who poured out her personal request with a heartfelt cry to the Lord and received an amazing answer. In Luke 18, Jesus points out the power of prayer in the parable of the persistent widow and the unjust judge, where we are reminded in verse 1 that “He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not become discouraged. . .” (NASB). And we have an amazing example of persistent prayer in the Samaritan woman who came to Jesus, pleading on behalf of her demon-possessed daughter, and asking for just “the crumbs which fall from the master’s table.” Jesus commended this mother, saying, “’O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.’ And her daughter was healed from that very hour” (Matt. 15:28, NKJV).

Ted: The Bible tells us in 1 Thessalonians 5: 17 that we should “Pray without ceasing.” But what does this really mean? I believe it means to always be subservient to the leading of the Lord—allowing Him to direct as He sees best. And it also means we should be ready to send up a prayer about anything, because God does not specialize just in major problems. He loves to hear about everything that concerns us—even the smallest difficulty or the smallest joy.

Prayer is a huge assuring connection with God that helps me through all kinds of things. I pray in the morning, falling on my knees out of bed and consecrating my day to the Lord, asking for the Holy Spirit in my life, for the latter rain, and for wisdom. Then, throughout the day, whether studying God’s Word, or in a meeting, I will ask for God’s guidance and wisdom. As the day progresses, the reason for the prayer may change, but the connection is always there. All throughout the day prayer is absolutely vital—otherwise we’re on our own and that’s not the place to be.

Nancy: You know, the older I get the more I realize how God is doing everything He can to wake us up to save us—to do for us what He longs to do. And this realization has affected my prayer life. I worry less and trust Him more. I share my concerns with Him. I used to have such angst over certain situations, but now I realize God is doing things I’m not even aware of to answer my prayers. I can trust these challenges into His hands, but it helps to talk to Him about them.

Ted: This Sabbath, March 6, is a special opportunity for prayer as thousands of people around the world will be gathering to pray during the annual International Women’s Day of Prayer, sponsored by the Women’s Ministries department of the General Conference. More information about this special day, along with a very helpful packet of materials is available for free download at women.adventist.org.

 Nancy: May the Lord bless as we gain a deeper understanding of the need for prayer, and of prayer's significance, blessings, and meaning in each of our lives, especially in these incredible times in which we are living.

Ted: Thank you Nancy, would you pray for our sisters, and brothers around the world. And especially for this International Women’s Day of Prayer. 

Nancy: Let’s bow our heads. Heavenly Father, what a privilege it is to come before you in the throne room of heaven. What amazing access we have to our Heavenly Father. And Lord help us to realize how you long to hear from us, you long to hear our praises. But Lord you’re also longing to hear us regardless of how we’re feeling at the moment. Even if we’re angry or we are troubled by how we think you aren’t answering our prayers or we’re feeling it maybe not right with you, you long to hear us at all times Lord, because you long to help us, to sooth us, to open the way, to guide us, to give us strength and to bless us. So Lord, I just pray for all of my sisters out there. I know they have many roles to fill in their lives. Those may be staying at home and caring for their children, they may be trying to work and care for their children, they may have a high-powered job, they may be alone, Lord. They all need you. We all need you. Bless them Lord, and help them to know that you are with them, you are hearing them, and you long to meet every need that they have. We are so thankful, Lord that you were such a personal God and all that concerns us concerns you. So teach us Lord, more and more how to pray, how to reach out to you. And I pray for all of our brothers around the world too, Lord. You know that we all need you and you are our all-in-all. You are the source of all of our joy, all of our peace, and all of our assurance. You Lord are our all-in-all. So thank you for listening to us, for wooing us to you, for longing to be with us. Lord, I pray that we will respond to you always in a very positive way, knowing, just a little bit, how deeply you love each one of us. So I commit my sisters especially on this International Women’s day, I commit them into your hands Lord. Lead each one of us according to your will. In Jesus name I pray, amen.

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