Bella Vista Church of Christ



Guthrie O’Neal


What A Privilege Prayer!


  Prayer is an actual, available avenue to the throne of grace, where more has been accomplished than this world has realized. It is there that man, stripped of deceit and vanity, has no point in trying to fool God or self. In prayer we can sincerely discuss and earnestly petition help for our frailties and faults, trials, aims and ambitions.


  Prayer is every bit as necessary to our spiritual nature as fresh air is to the health of our bodies. Prayer is an expression of the inner being, a pouring out of the deepest feelings, a communication of spirit with spirit, man with God, that is indispensable. Prayer is an approach to the Father whose ears are open to our request.


  Jesus used the parental relationship to teach us God’s eagerness to grant the request of His children. If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in Heaven give good things to them that ask Him? Prayer is a double blessing.


• Prayer helps us to gather together our inner resources and that is fruitful. Only in prayer do we achieve the complete and harmonious assembly of body, mind and spirit which gives the frail human its unshakable strength. Many times we cannot get the courage to stand on our own feet until, first of all, we get on our knees.


• Prayer benefits because God has the ability and skill to answer. The Bible says, You have not because you ask not, meaning we may have if we ask. No human need lies beyond the reach of prayer because nothing lies beyond the reach of God.


  Sometimes our prayers are answered differently from our requests according to what is best rather than what we think is best, which is all the more proof that our prayers are answered rightly. Someone has written:


I asked God for strength that I might achieve, I was made weak that I might learn humbly to obey.


I asked God for health that I might do greater things. I was given infirmity that I might do better things.


I asked for riches that I might be happy. I was given poverty that I might be wise.


I asked for power that I might have the praise of men. I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God.


I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things.


I got nothing that I asked for - But everything I had hoped for.


  God’s answering prayer, of course, is dependent upon our meeting certain divinely specified conditions. For instance –


• Address God reverently. Matthew 6.9.

• Pray in faith. Matthew 21.22.

• Be forgiving. Matthew 6.15.

• Be obedient. I John 3.22.

• Pray in keeping with God’s will. I John 5.14.

• Pray confessing our faults. James 5.16.

• In Jesus name. John 14.13.


  Let us not neglect prayer just because we do not fully comprehend the power of the God at whose throne we kneel. We do not know everything about gravity, but we know it works. Likewise, we do not know everything about prayer, but this we do know, it works. We have learned from the Bible, common sense, and experience, that prayer works. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.


  Resolve to pray more. Then trust Him for the journey.


I do not know what still awaits,

Or what the morrow brings:

But with the glad salute of faith,

Hail its opening wings!

For this I know that in my Lord

Shall all my needs be met;

And I can trust the heart of Him

Who has not failed me yet.


—Guthrie O’Neal



Guthrie & Chris O'Neal were among

the families who started the

Bella Vista Congregation