First, Examine Yourself
There are many passages found in the Word of God where Jesus taught about prayer. Since then, thousands of books and probably millions of messages have been preached concerning the topic of prayer. Some of the material is very good and some of it is very unbiblical. The ‘name it and claim it’ books and messages are perhaps the biggest culprits in the unbiblical category. Jesus was very straightforward in his teaching regarding prayer. In John 15:7 for instance, Jesus tells his disciples what they must do to have answered prayer. “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.”
First he said, “If you remain in me.” That is, Jesus, not us, must be in control of our lives. Secondly, he said, “and my words remain in you.” That is, our lives are to be filled and guided by scripture. A very simple way to look at this is to ask ourselves if our prayer is in line with scripture. When these two biblical principles are in place, it is then that we have the assurance, “ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” So rather than going immediately into our prayer, our time would be better spent, IF WE FIRST EXAMINE OURSELVES in light of Jesus’ teaching in John 15:7. It is in this process of self examination that God can change US before we pray.