The Privilege of Prayer


  1. Part of the unique nature of humankind, God’s highest creation, is language
    • Language allows both the expressing and transferring of knowledge, feelings, thoughts, dreams, and history
    • It also allows – through similes, metaphors, parables, and other forms of symbolic expression – the describing of otherwise unknowable things using comparisons to those things that are known
  2. The Bible has many descriptions of spiritual realities by means of this symbolic imagery. Examples: Jesus’ parables and the amazing “pictures” in the Book of Revelation
  3. This imagery is also used to reveal spiritual realities involving prayer
  4. Here we will look at just two aspects of prayer through these images:
    • Prayer: The Awesome Privilege
    • Prayer: The Intimate Privilege


  1. JEHOVAH GOD is presented throughout the Bible in terms really beyond our ability to grasp
    • He is Sovereign (Daniel 4:34-35), Holy (Isaiah 6:1-3), Eternal, Omnipotent, Omniscient, Immutable, Glorious, Resplendent, Just, Righteous, Loving, Wrathful, Patient… and more!
    • Years ago, J. B. Phillips wrote a little book called, Your God Is Too Small
    • Many anthropomorphisms are used to help us understand more about Him, though we do not truly know how nearly like us He may be “physically” since He is “spirit” – ears, eyes, arms, hands, “right hand,” etc.
  2. The place where He reigns – Heaven, His Throne Room – is likewise described with imagery to help us partly know the unknowable.
    • Grand descriptions of His Throne Room
    • Ezekiel 1:4-28
    • Isaiah 6:1-13
    • Daniel 7:9-14
    • II Corinthians 12:1-7
    • Revelation, chapters 4-8
    • Revelation 20:11 – 22:5
  3. We should try to imagine as best we can what we are being told about the place where God sits on His Throne – size, magnificence, beings and creatures, activities – for that is why we are given these images!
  4. We are also told that many aspects of His creation also speak about Him
    • Heavens – Psalms 19:1-6; 150:1-2; 8:1-9; 148:1-14;
    • Romans 1:18-23
    • Job 38:1 – 42:17
  5. But into this unimaginably magnificent, glorious and gigantic Throne Room, we are granted the privilege of entering into the presence of our God and Creator!
    • This is only possible because of the sacrifice made by the Lamb of God – Hebrews 4:14-16; 10:19-23
    • The imagery of the Tabernacle and Temple in the Old Testament illustrated this – Hebrews 9:7-11
    • Likewise, the ripping open of the Veil between the Holy and Most Holy Place in the Temple at the death of Jesus on the cross – Matthew 27:50-51; Mark 15:38; Luke 23:45
  6. And we have been granted the awesome privilege to approach the Throne and present our prayers directly to HIM!
    • It is the “throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16) and mercy. For here we will not receive what we deserve (that is mercy), and we will receive what we do not deserve (that is grace)!
    • Prayers before the Throne of God were foreshadowed in the OT Tabernacle and Temple as the priest offering up incense morning and evening in front of the veil hiding the Holy of Holies, as the people outside offered up their prayers – Luke 1:8-10
    • The “picture” of our prayers before His Throne is found in Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4
  7. So, the first aspect of prayer should be to dwell in our minds and hearts on where we are as we pray. This must then lead to our ADORATION of the One on the Throne. It must also lead to our CONFESSION of our unworthiness to be there but for the redemption gained in Christ.


      1. As sobering, humbling, and fearful entering the very presence of the Almighty Creator must be, for the redeemed there is another equally awesome and amazing event taking place. We can speak to the One on the Throne as our FATHER!
      2. In the Old Testament, the Jewish people would consider it blasphemy to call JEHOVAH their “Father.” Only in a very generic way was He even referred to as a Father with the nation as His son.
      3. But when Jesus came, He knew God as His Father – “My Father” is found 55-60 times in the Four Gospels. Jewish leaders wanted to stone Him for saying this, considering it blasphemy – John10:22-33.
      4. And He taught His disciples, and by extension all disciples of His, to know that His Father was also their/our Father.
        • In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus used the expression “your Father” 15 times!
        • In the Sermon on the Mount, when he was teaching them how to pray, He began this way: “This, then, is how you should pray, ‘OUR FATHER in Heaven…’” – Matthew 6:9
        • Jesus said we can “see” the Father by looking at HIM (Jesus) – John 14:7-11
        • When praying to the Father in the Garden, Jesus said that He had revealed the Father to His disciples – John 17:6, 26.
        • At His resurrection He spoke to Mary, “I am returning to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.” – John 20:17.
      5. We can have assurance that God is our “Abba, Father.” Abba was the Aramaic word for “father,” but many scholars say it particularly emphasized the connection between a young child and his father, that is, “daddy” or “papa,” and not the more formal, “Father.”
        • So in Mark 14:36, Jesus called His Father, “Abba.”
        • In Romans 8:15, Paul says we have received the “spirit of sonship,” and so we can cry out, “Abba, Father!”
        • Again, in Galatians 4:16, Paul tells us God sent the spirit of His Son into our hearts that calls out, “Abba, Father.”
      6. Realizing that the One on the Throne is Our Father, even our Abba, means we have an intimate relationship with Him! So we need not be afraid as we approach Him, but “approach the throne of grace with confidence” – Hebrews 4:16. This is certainly an image drawn from the human relationship between a child and their father, but meant to tell us of our relationship with our Heavenly Father.
      7. “But wait, there’s more!” says the late-night television commercials.
        • Beside the Father is the Son, but our Savior and Redeemer, our older Brother, and the One who is always speaking with the Father on our behalf.
        • And each time we speak to the Father, the Holy Spirit Himself communicates our real thoughts to our Abba – Romans 8:26; Ephesians 2:18; 6:18; Jude 1:20.
      8. When we understand how great is the relationship we have with the One on the Throne, we will pray with much THANKSGIVING for all that we have been blessed with. And there should be no hesitation in the SUPPLICATION we make for ourselves and INTERCESSION for others!


      1. Because we are entering the Throne Room of God when we pray, our prayers should be filled with heartfelt worship, praise and thanksgiving. And there is no question of His power and ability to answer anything we ask.
      2. Because we are entering the Throne Room of our Father when we pray, our prayers should be expressions of what is on our heart and mind as we seek the blessings of our Father. And there is no question of His desire to give us what is best for us.
      3. In the Throne Room of God, we have our Brother Jesus who petitions together with us our Father. And God’s own Holy Spirit is working in us and with us as we frame our words and thoughts. And Jesus fully empathizes with us.
      4. As we speak to our Father on His Throne, we fully acknowledge that He knows far better than we what we need and should have, and that He knows the “big picture” of which we are mostly unaware. So, a significant part of our prayers should be:
        • “Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven”
        • “May You, Father, be glorified, by whatever happens in my life”
        • “Father, I have full confidence and trust in what You will choose to do”
        • “And, Father, I’ve asked You many times before, but Jesus has said I need to keep asking”
        • “Thank You, Abba, for loving and caring for me”

      © 2019, Richard Cravy