PRAY SINCERELY TO THE TRUE GOD
It is absolutely vital that you pray to the very real God of the Bible if you expect genuine answers to your prayers. He reveals Himself to mankind in many ways—in creation, in the Bible, in His foretelling specific divine intervention in world affairs and indirect answers to those who seek and obey Him.
The Apostle Paul was inspired to describe the true God in this way: “For even if there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords), yet for us there is one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we for Him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, through whom are all things, and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:5–6).
In our modern, ecumenical approach to religion, we may think that praying to some vague “blob” off in the sky or to an idol of Buddha is the same as praying to the Creator—the God of Abraham, Isaac, Israel and Jesus Christ. But it is not the same at all!
The true God was revealed by Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:27). To one of His disciples, He said: “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me…? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority, but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me” (John 14:9–11).
We read of Jesus Christ acknowledging that God was a loving, divine Person—a “Father.” And we see the Father acting through Christ to heal the sick, to comfort the downcast and to teach those whom He calls to keep the Ten Commandments as a way of life (Matthew 19:17). This should certainly help us to better understand God’s character and His desire for us.
Christ also set an example for us in praying to the Father: “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You'” (John 17:1). Again, when He taught His disciples the outline—the proper approach to prayer—He said: “In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9–13).
So once again, Jesus revealed that the God to whom we should pray is a Father. And what does Christ reveal about Him? He is “in heaven.” He has a Kingdom or Government that will be set up on this earth. He—as our Father—is One who can give us daily bread, forgive our sins, deliver us from Satan and bring us into that everlasting Kingdom.
In describing this true God, with whom so very few even today are acquainted, the Apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: ‘God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. Nor is He worshipped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings'” (Acts 17:23–26).
We learn more about the true God from the Old Testament. The great Babylonian king, Nebuchadnezzar, was told that he would be driven from his kingdom “until you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses” (Daniel 4:32). And this God will not share preeminence with any other. He inspired Isaiah to write: “Look to Me, and be saved, all you ends of the earth! For I am God, and there is no other. I have sworn by Myself; the word has gone out of My mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that to Me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall take an oath” (Isaiah 45:22–23).
This is an awesome God, with limitless power and glory! When you get down on both knees and lift up your hands in prayer to the great Creator of the universe, you should think of to whom you are praying, and “hallow” or praise His name, as Jesus instructed. Remember that He is not only the Creator but the active Governor of the entire universe—guiding the rise and fall of nations according to His will. He is the One in charge of the weather—sending rain in “its due season” (Deuteronomy 28:12)—or at times drought and destruction upon those nations that must be punished (vv. 24–25).
Yet, if you surrender to Him, obey Him and serve Him, God will become your loving Father, your Protector, your Healer, the Giver of “every good and perfect gift” (James 1:17) and the One who has abounding love and mercy. “For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father pities his children, so the Lord pities those who fear Him. For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust” (Psalm 103:11–14).
Be sure you always pray specifically to this God—the true God—and to no other. As you begin your prayer, think about whom you are praying to and consciously worship this Great God who gives you life and breath.