Dr. Jeremiah Johnston welcomes Dr. Craig Hazen, known for his program leadership at Biola University and his books including “Fearless Prayer: Why We Don’t Ask and Why We Should.” The two discuss Hazen’s take on Jesus’ words in John 15:7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
“The passage captured my attention,” Hazen says. “I realized, ‘I’m not sure I really believe that.’”
Exploring the passage led Hazen to rediscover what prayer means. “Some people think that asking for things is a very low-level conception of prayer – that really what you want to aim for is some higher, mystical level where you’re not really asking for things, you’re just having a kind of communion with God,” Hazen says. “But the idea of asking things of God is actually central to biblical prayer. That kind of came as a shock to me.”
Hazen refers to the Lord’s Prayer in which Jesus models prayer to the Father including requests. “I think asking is not a low-level spiritual enterprise,” Hazen asserts. “It puts us in a position of depending on God. That really puts us just where God wants us. Through my study, I think we need to pray about everything – even if we think it’s a very selfish prayer. At least people are getting in front of God, and the Holy Spirit gets a chance to tinker with their soul and make it more in line with God’s Kingdom and God’s purposes. So, I say pray with abandon.”
Hazen encourages Christians to keep a journal and make note of answered prayers. “I think they need to write down their prayers every day and look back to see how God does fulfill those things,” he says. “It really is a miracle when you’re asking God the Father for something and He provides it.”
Hazen references the following verse, John 15:8: “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
“If we’re tightly plugged into the vine, we will bear fruit,” Hazen says.
Johnston concludes, “Whatever you’re facing, God can meet you in prayer.”
Dr. Craig Hazen is the founder and director of the master’s program with a concentration in Christian apologetics and director of the master’s program with a concentration in science and religion at Biola University. His recent book, “Fearless Prayer: Why We Don’t Ask and Why We Should,” explores the truth of Jesus’ promise about prayer.