How to Pray with Assurance, March 2, 2024


  • How long do you think you’d survive in a zombie apocalypse?
  • What is your favorite smell?


Our Earth is perfectly designed. It’s “just right” for the atmosphere we need. Its size and corresponding gravity hold a thin layer of gases to protect us and allow us to breathe. If our planet were smaller it couldn’t support an atmosphere. If it were larger, the atmosphere would contain free hydrogen, which is poison. Earth is the only planet that contains an atmosphere that can support human, animal, and plant life. The Earth is placed at a “just right” distance from the sun and the other planets. If we were closer to the sun, we’d burn up. If we were farther away, we’d freeze. The speed of Earth’s rotation is “just right”. Completing one turn every 24 hours warms the planet evenly.

One of the things that makes Earth “just right” is the abundance of water in a liquid state. Water has surface tension. This means that water can move upward, against gravity, to bring liquid nutrients to the tops of plants. Everything else in the world freezes from the bottom up, but water freezes from the top down. Everything else contracts when it freezes, but water expands. This means that in winter, ponds and rivers and lakes can freeze at the surface, but allow fish and other marine creatures to live down below. The fact that we live on a “just right” planetthat was created by a loving God who is perfectly “just right” is extremely amazing.

Yet how often do we really appreciate that? Unfortunately, we take almost everything God has done or does for granted. We need to wake up and realize that God is actively involved in our lives and His camaraderie is “just right.”

The key to staying in step with God in all his activity is a powerful spiritual tool called prayer. Thankfully Romans 8:26-27 has lots to say about our prayer.

1. The Challenge

“Meanwhile …we get tired in the waiting.” Romans 8:26

One great challenge for the believer is developing a consistent prayer life. We say we are too busy to find time to pray, but if that is the case, developing a prayer life is essential.  Often the reason we are weak is because of our ignorance about prayer. We simply don’t understand enough about prayer. Prayer is THE lifeline of the believer. Often you would find Jesus retreating to a place to pray. If it was important to Jesus, we need to embrace the challenge to pray. Do get stressed, Romans says, “…the Spirit helps us.” 


Do you feel prayer is important? Explain your answer.

Why is it difficult to develop a consistent prayer life?

2. The Conditions

God’s Spirit is RIGHT ALONGSIDE HELPING US ALONG. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter.” Romans 8:26

I hope most of you know–if you have been praying for a while–that there are several conditions to prayer. In other words, there are some conditions we must meet if God’s going to answer our prayer. God doesn’t just arbitrarily answer any unilateral that we throw at him. Some of the conditions are listed in Matthew 21:22. Jesus said, “When you pray, believe that you shall receive and you will have it.”

In other words, praying in faith–is a condition. Praying in faith is showing up with an umbrella when praying for rain. Not only do you pray believing, you pray in the name of Jesus. When we pray in Jesus’ name, we can be confident God will hear and answer prayers that align with His purposes. “When you pray, whatsoever you ask in my name, you’ll receive it.” John 14:13 Praying in Jesus’ name affirms our relationship with Christ and our direct access to the Father. Jesus said in John 15:7, “If you abide in me and my words abide in you, you can ask what you will and it will be done unto you.”

Before you come to God in prayer, you have to make sure His word is abiding in you and you are abiding in Christ. There’s so much power right at our fingertips when we KNOW the spirit abides in us.

Have you ever had this problem? You go to the Lord and you want to pray about some pressing issue in your life and you don’t know what to ask for. You don’t know what God’s will is. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God that if we ask anything, according to his will, he hears us.” 1st John 5:14


John 14:13 says, “When you pray, whatsoever you ask in my name, you’ll receive it.” What makes that true?

How can we develop confidence to approach the throne of God with Boldness?

3. The Central

“He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans.” Romans 8:27

The best prayers are the shortest and the simplest and the most heartfelt, because this passage is talking about prayers that don’t emanate from the mouth, but prayers emanating from the heart. The word there is groan. Sometimes we go before the Lord and we are so burdened we don’t even say any words. James said in James 5:16. “The persistent [continual], fervent [burning] prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

In Romans, Paul is writing of the troubling times in the world. He says we can’t see the future, but we can have faith and hope. Later in the chapter, Paul teaches that as Spirit-filled believers, we will triumph. We don’t always know what to pray for because we are imperfect and don’t know what our earthly future holds. But that’s why we have the Spirit interceding for us! Consider starting your prayers by praying in the Spirit, invite the Holy Spirit to take over and guide you.


Have you ever been so burdened about something the only thing that came out was a groan?

4. The Collaboration


“Spirit intercedes. (v.25) Spirit is right alongside helping. (v.26) Spirit knows us far better than we know ourselves. (v.27)”

The scripture tells us we need somebody to intercede between us and the Father. If you don’t know what “intercede” means, let me just give you a good English definition. “Intercede” means to “mediate between two parties.” Someone who intercedes is a “go-between.” As children of God, we have the Holy Spirit residing with us. That “spirit” is our “go between”, our collaborator, when we are at a loss of words.

Do you know that there’s someone else interceding on your behalf right now? We not only have the Spirit interceding in our heart; we also Jesus interceding in heaven. “Christ Jesus, who died-more than that, who was raised to life-is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.” Romans 8:34. Hebrews 7:25 tells us that Jesus is interceding for us: “Therefore, he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” 1st John 2:1 says we have an Advocate who intercedes: “But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense-Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”

Do you know who you are “in Christ”? Have you discovered the rock-solid promises that God applies to the ones he calls, “children of God”? As an “heir”, you are in a “just right” place to flourish. What are you waiting for? Spread those wings and take flight. 


Father, we want to be faithful to You in all we do. Please help us fix our eyes on You and look for You in every moment and experience. We want to see the opportunities You’re giving us to be faithful. Prompt us to be faithful servants today, and give us the courage to obey no matter what. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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