The following article is an excerpt from this book.
When we think about confidence, even when we say the word “confidence,” it makes us feel good doesn’t it? It gives us a lift, gives us energy, strength and courage. And I suppose that is because the word is so much associated with positive energy. And whether we believe it or not, that energy comes from God. It is a special gift that He has given to all people—the energy, the drive to believe and have hope in themselves and in the gifts that they possess. Yes, we are all created in His image; and since God Himself has self-confidence—believing and having hope in Himself—all people down deep within themselves have this same self-confidence too. It is inherent in the way He has created us.
But listen to this: God gives a special confidence (a more powerful and more personal confidence) to those who trust Him. It is a childlike confidence in God and in prayer, which comes from our new nature, created for us in Christ Jesus.
Charles Spurgeon speaks of this childlike confidence in His book, The Power of Prayer in a Believers Life. He writes,
Childlike confidence makes us pray as none else can. It causes a man to pray for great things that he would never have asked for if he had not learned this confidence. It also causes him to pray for little things that many people are afraid to ask for, because they have not yet felt toward God the confidence of children. I have often felt that it requires more confidence in God to pray to Him about a little thing than about great things…
What will it take to learn this childlike confidence?
If you really want to learn how to be confident you must first understand that confidence is a trust. And to have confidence in God we must come to trust in Him. Confidence is also a hope, courage, and an assurance. Hence, if we have confidence toward God we have hope in what He has provided for us, we have courage because He is with us, and we have an assurance that the things He has promised us He will give to us. And through it all, because we have confidence in Him we feel secure and safe.
In terms of prayer, God wants us to be confident in prayer. First, He wants us to be confident that we can approach Him for prayer. Hebrews 4:16 tells us that we can come boldly before His throne of grace that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. And the reason we can come boldly is because of His blood shed for us on the cross. Hence, as our High Priest, He has prepared us, and cleansed us inside and out—He has sprinkled our hearts (with his own blood) from an evil conscience and has washed our bodies with pure water—that we may enter, with extreme confidence, into His presence (Heb. 10:19-22).
And since He gives us confidence to come into His presence, He also will give us confidence to obtain mercy and find grace (Heb. 4:16), that is, that when we pray in His name we will receive whatever we ask of Him. For in John 16:24 Jesus spoke to His disciples, and He speaks to us, saying, “Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Also in 1 John 5:14-15 it says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we ask of Him.”
Here’s a post I found helpful, from a pastor in Virginia, commenting on the confident prayer of Elijah: Click on Confidence in Prayer