How to get answered prayers Part 1
Personally, I have found that answered prayer is automatic when we Trust, have Faith, and are Obedient to His Word. These things are very important and I’ll talk about them individually –
We have to Trust that our Father knows what is best for us. If we are praying for things, and we aren’t getting them, we should look at what we’re praying for. I have found that if I release selfish motives, a large percent of prayers are answered. Also on the trust front is to realize that things will not always work out in the timing we would like them. I have had prayers answered which took 12 years. I have had others that were answered in minutes. Trust that He’s got it and all that He does is for our well being.
Our Faith in the Father must be strong. We should, without a single question in our minds, believe. I think some of us can have a weakened Faith. We must believe that if we ask of things, unselfishly, in accordance to His Word, and in the name of Jesus, He will answer. Faith that He will do what He says He will do.
He commands us to do certain things. I.e. 10 commandments. I highly recommend anyone reading this to re-read the 10 commandments from the Bible. Things such as idolatry are widespread in today’s society. The media pushes it on us. We bring our kids up in a “I want…” world. For instance, did you know that anything that we place our minds on more often than the Lord is idolatry? I didn’t know this either until I started reading His Word. We can not know obedience unless we know His Word. I repeat, we can not. Otherwise, we are making God be who we want Him to be so we can justify ourselves.
I also have found that the losing of selfishness helps. When we intercede for others more than request things for ourselves, I think this builds humility. Then we pick and choose our personal petitions carefully. If prayers are always about ourselves, especially if we are only looking out for our own best interest and/or material items we want, then they may not be in accordance to His Will and we’re probably being selfish, which should be dead.. Then we end up wondering why prayers don’t get answered. I have run into many Christians that only pray when they need something, when life becomes bad, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I believe He hears all prayers of those who walk uprightly and it is good for everyone to be praying. Regardless of how someone prays, it is a blessed thing.
Another important area – We confess our sins, ask for forgiveness, with true intentions and actions of repentance. Again, we must read the bible to know these things and know what isn’t cool in His eyes. We must accept Christ as our Savior. Only through the belief that the Blood of Jesus makes us as white as snow can we fellowship with the Father, Spirit to Spirit, as we once did before Adam and Eve ate the apple. Jesus brings us into a sweet fellowship with God.. A repentant heart is important, otherwise we are merely confessing something that we don’t want to do again, but we know we will. A true desire to do a 180 and turn around from the sin is important to God. If we are confessing the same things over and over again, eventually, I’m sure they are empty confessions. As my Pastor once said he heard from God after continually apologizing on the same topic: “Shut up”
His Word says that if we pray for something “in accordance to His Will”, it will be done (as well as in the Name of Jesus). We don’t always know what His Will is, but we can always count on the fact that His Will is Good (and we can always know His will by reading scripture). According to His Word – fleshly things are not part of the Spirit. The flesh and Spirit are contrary to one another.. thus petitions of the flesh, which include motives of self, have a high chance of not being part of His Will. He may answer such prayers, but most likely not for the reason we would think.. It will probalby be answered in order to help us grow versus feeding desires of the flesh. Update 6/18/09: I posted this on the 2nd Part of this message, but felt it was important enough to say it in both postings: Confirm all His promptings with the Word. If they do not align with the Word, they are most likely from the self/flesh/satan. As with all things we hear from God, they will align with His Word. If we don’t know Him via His Word, we will assume it’s from Him when it’s really from a selfish desire. Also, when we hear from other people or see situations develop in the world, and we think they are from God, keep in mind that these will only be confirmations from something you have already been told from the Word. Or, He will guide you through your normal readings of His Word and show His Will in accordance to these things that materialized from the world. Normal readings: meaning your current studies, your normal Church attendance,your currently book marked place in the bible, etc. Be careful… Alot of people (I have done this too), will flip/thumb through the bible, seeking a confirmation. We will always find a confirmation for the self when we do this, always. I challenge you this: If you are thumbing and you think you heard from God… Find out what your personal desire is on that situation, then flip that personal desire around, a complete 180. Now start flipping/thumbing through scritpure again. You will find that we will always find in His Word what our motives are seeking. I.e. Seeking guidance on buying that new car that you really want? Flip through the bible and you’ll find an answer guiding you to buying the car. Now, set your mind on something like “I really really really should not buy this car. I can’t afford it. I really don’t need it. My money is not being well spent here. I don’t need the debt” – Now flip/thumb through the bible with that mindset and you will find what your self is seeking. If we guide it, we will find it, and then say “Aha! Cool! Praise God!” – and it very well may have not been from Him.. Satan tricks, deceives, confuses, distracts, etc. Be very careful. We must examine ourselves at all times to see who is guiding our mind, Satan or the Holy Spirit. These things also happen when we take something out of the contextual meaning.
From my experience,prayers which have a motive of Love and/or Righteousness are always answered when we Trust, have Faith, are Obedient and we have confessed and repented. Here is what I see that helps in answered prayers:
- Have Faith
- Be Obedient to His Word
- Trust in Him and His Word, regardless of what we experience through the senses of the flesh.
- Pray more for others than yourself
- Praise God for who He is and thank Him for little things such as the air you breath, the shirt on your back, etc. (again, we can’t know Him unless we read His word. We can know “of” Him, but do we really know Him?)
- Confess and Repent of sin with a true heart (not just words because we feel bad)
- Accept Christ as our personal Savior
- Read His Word more than once a week or on Sundays so that we know what His will is.
- Pray all the time, not just when we need something. Talk to Him like a friend. He knows all already, nothing is hidden. Place every thought into captivity with Him. Talk to Him all day, every moment.
- Pray Righteous things: I.e. Lord, seek me to help me uncover any wickedness. Lord, teach me patience, love, kindness, understanding, etc. Lord, let this person see the good in this situation. Lord, this person is suffering from <x>, please provide them Comfort and Peace. Please surround them and protect them. Please show your Will to those that need to see it in this situation. Lord, I know it is your Will that people are saved, so Lord, use me or someone else to help you accomplish this goal. (As you can see, things according to “His” Will, not our will. If it’s about what we want, personally, there is a high chance that it’s not of His Will).
- Trust in Him. Trust that He works all for the good. There is good in EVERY situation. Whether we look at things from Spiritual eyes or from the eyes of the flesh, it’s our choice. Because we look at things with fleshly eyes, we tend to question God, the outcomes, and judge situations. When we look at things with Spiritual eyes, we can see the good in everything. So don’t worry about, Trust in Him. There’s something good going on in every situation
Something to consider:
John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.
Who’s desire? Mine? Hmmm
Galatians 5:24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.
James 4:3 You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.