The confidence we have with regard to prayer

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Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need ~ Hebrews 4:16 NIV

Esther, the queen, risked death itself when she went to see the king without being summoned. To appear before the king at that time, was considered as the equivalent of an assassination attempt unless the king himself had favor on you and extended his scepter, signifying his sovereign permission for you to come before him and make a petition. In the Old Testament days, things were not different. There was a barrier that hindered people from accessing the presence of God. According to the law of Moses, only the High priest could enter the Most Holy place or the Holy of Holies and he did it only once per year on the day of atonement.

Before entering, he would wash himself,  put on special clothing, and gather incense and blood from a sacrificed animal. Once inside the Holy of Holies, the high priest would burn the incense and then sprinkle the blood on the mercy seat of the ark. This act was part of a ceremony completed every year where the Israelites as a nation would ask God for forgiveness of their sins.

The Holy of Holies was separated from the rest of the tabernacle (and later the temple) by a large veil. The veil was woven from fine linen and blue, purple, and scarlet yarn, and decorated with intricate embroidery featuring an image of gold cherubim. The veil guarded the people from accessing the Ark of the Covenant and coming into the presence of God.

But through the death of Jesus, all these came to an end.

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. ~ Matthew 27:50‭-‬51 NIV

This gave us access to God. The veil that kept people from entering​ into God’s presence was now removed, and through the death of Jesus Christ, “we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body” (Hebrews 10:19-20).

What this means for us therefore is that, just like the king extended the gold scepter to Esther and said, “What is your request? Even up to half the kingdom, it will be given you,” so the Lord sits on His throne today holding out to us the sceptre of His power. He cannot reject us; He will never cast us away. He says in Luke;

“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom (Luke 12:32).

God delights in answering our prayers because He loves us (John 16:26-27). He is compassionate and full of mercy and He only waits for us to call on Him and He will answer.

Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
John 16:24 NIV

Before He died, Jesus spoke to His disciples in the book of John saying;

And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. John 14:13‭-‬14 NIV

The exceeding greatness of the promise seems to overwhelm us. Yet we know that He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Eph. 3:20). Today He sits on the throne of His majesty on high, and He holds out to us the scepter of His power. Shall we touch it and tell Him our desires? He bids us take of His treasures. He yearns to grant us according to the riches of His glory, that we may be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man. He tells us that our strength and our fruitfulness depend upon our prayers (Eph. 3:16). ~ Unknown Christian