© Copyright 2017 John Foll
Some may not be aware that in order to get answers to prayer, that there are conditions for many prayers that must be met. We want to give some texts and ideas that everyone might not know or may have forgotten. This is not intended to list everything that could be a problem as to why you are not getting an answer to your prayers, but to give the most common problems that may prevent you from getting answers to your prayers, and to give you the prayers that God will always answer. We are giving the general conditions whereby you can know the will of God, when you can expect to get your answer or not from Him. We want everyone to be able to get what they need from God: life, peace, joy, love and happiness, now and forever! So we are sharing with you the principles that will lead to your salvation and happiness! We want to share with you how you can get the blessings from God that your heart craves. You want this, don’t you?
Let us start with ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ that Jesus told the people in the beatitudes:
“Pray, then, in this way: 'Our Father who is in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.']” Matthew 6:9-13 NASB.
Notice that this is not a prayer of selfishness or a prayer of want, but a prayer for your greatest needs and for God’s kingdom to come. This prayer starts out with praise for our Heavenly Father which is in Heaven. He deserves our praise doesn’t He? Let’s thank Him for everything that He’s done for us and for Jesus His Son, and for the blessed Holy Spirit! You can never praise them enough for what they have done for you and have given to you. You should be grateful for all that they have done and are doing for you now. Pray for God’s kingdom to come, which is to pray that as many people as possible on this earth would know His peace, and would give their heart to Him. Pray that God’s will on earth and in your life will be done, as it is in Heaven. If you want your prayers to be heard, you should always want God’s will to be done on this earth and in your life. This prayer is giving God permission to work in your life to help you! And it is also a prayer where you agree to cooperate with Him to help others and love Him with all your heart. And then Jesus said that you should pray for your food and needs.
Note that in ‘The Lord’s Prayer’, Jesus lays out a very important condition: if you want to be forgiven you must forgive others their sins against you, even if they don’t ask for it or want it. And you are to pray to God to forgive you your sins.And you should pray that God would keep you from temptation, i.e. help you to overcome sin. And then you close the prayer by acknowledging that God is the ruler of the Kingdom (the Universe), and has all the power and the glory forever; everything you need for your temporal needs, and eternal life. You can depend on Him forever, if you make Him your trust! When you pray like this and mean it, you know that you are praying according to His will and He will hear you. We are not saying that you must use these exact words every time you pray to God, but that you should have this attitude and you should pray for these kinds of things. You can also give specific needs for yourself or others to be prayed for.
Jesus also said, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.” Matthew 6:5 NASB. If you have any pride in your heart, full of yourself, and are saying that you love God, and are not living according to your beliefs in what God has revealed to you, the Lord will not hear your prayers, until you first humble yourself before Him, and want Him to remove the hypocrisy from your life, and then you can make your other requests known to Him.
You should be persistent if you believe your prayer to be God’s will, and keep praying for it:
“Now He [Jesus] was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart, saying, "In a certain city there was a judge who did not fear God and did not respect man. "There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying, 'Give me legal protection from my opponent.' "For a while he was unwilling; but afterward he said to himself, 'Even though I do not fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection, otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out.'" And the Lord said, "Hear what the unrighteous judge said; now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:1-8 NASB.
Now for a very serious problem: David said, “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:” Psalm 66:18 KJV. Many times when prayers are not answered, it’s because of sin that is regarded in the heart of the individual, or of sins that have been known and have not been confessed or have not been repented of. If we want God to hear our prayers, we must confess all of our known sins, and ask Him for help to overcome them. Or maybe we have agreed to do what God has asked us to do, but have been putting off doing it? God’s grace cannot cover rebellion against His desire for our life or rebellion against His Law of Love or any of His words in the Bible. And we should not keep putting off what God has asked us to do! If we want God to hear our prayers, we cannot regard sin or iniquity in our life! This is so important!
Now Solomon says, “He who turns away his ear from listening to the law, even his prayer is an abomination.” Proverbs 28:9 NASB. If we want God to hear our prayers, we must want to study His Law of Love, and listen to and follow all of His counsel for us in the Bible. We know that there are some who love to put down God’s Law of Love, the 10 Commandments in Exodus 20, and other of His requirements in the Bible, but God will have the final say in this. If we don’t want to study God’s word to find out what He wants from us, or if we don’t want to love Him with all of our heart, and mind and soul or do not want to love any of our neighbors as our self, and refuse to hear His word in the Bible, God will not hear our prayers! Read Matthew 22:25-40.
What prayer will God always hear? “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 John 1:9 NASB. He will always hear our prayer when we confess our sins, or pray for help to be saved! Note what Jesus said here: “And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other [the proud Pharisee]: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” Luke 18:13-14 KJV. So if you will humble your heart before God, and ask for mercy and help, He will always here this prayer!
What is another reason why some prayers are not heard? “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” James 4:3 NASB. You need to have good motives, and not pray to spend God’s blessings on sinful pleasure. God wants you to have a good life, and there are some simple pleasures that God approves of, if they are good for you at the time that He may allow. But there are many pleasures which God doesn’t approve of: you should not pray for anything that is wrong.There may be some things that you want that you do not need that God may want you to wait for, and other things that He may let you have right away.
Be careful, sometimes God will give you what you ask for, so that you may learn that it is not for your best. An example of this was when the children of Israel wanted to eat meat again, instead of the manna from Heaven that God had provided for them, and were complaining to Moses about it (Numbers 11:13), then God said, “Say to the people, 'Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat; for you have wept in the ears of the LORD, saying, "Oh that someone would give us meat to eat! For we were well-off in Egypt." Therefore the LORD will give you meat and you shall eat. 'You shall eat, not one day, nor two days, nor five days, nor ten days, nor twenty days, but a whole month, until it comes out of your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you; because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before Him, saying, "Why did we ever leave Egypt?"'"” Numbers 11:18-20 NASB. In Numbers 11:31-35 it outlines what happened to these people: “The people spent all day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail (he who gathered least gathered ten homers) and they spread them out for themselves all around the camp. While the meat was still between their teeth, before it was chewed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORDstruck the people with a very severe plague.” Numbers 11:32-33 NASB. So they had cried out to Moses because they were tired of the manna that God had rained down from Heaven for them, thinking that they were better off when they were in Egypt and slaves and could eat what they wanted. And so God gave them their wish, and some of them were struck with a plague from God. Don’t be persistent in asking for something that is not for your best or right. So be careful of what you ask for!
Now David concludes our passage from Psalms 66:18 with:
“But verily God hath heard me; he hath attended to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor his mercy from me.
” Psalm 66:19-20 KJV. So there you have it, David’s prayer was heard by God, because he didn’t regard iniquity in his heart, because God’s mercy found him and forgave him.
Is there no room for grace you may ask? Yes, if you are a sinner take courage, if you don’t say everything exactly right or do not pray for the right things but mean well, the Holy Spirit will translate it to God for you, He knows what you really need!“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to Hispurpose.” Romans 8:26-28 NASB. If you have accepted God in your life, and are cooperating with Him, and are called according to His purpose, He will cause all things to work for your good, even if you make a mistake and pray for something that may not be the best for you, as long as you are not regarding iniquity in your heart! The Holy Spirit will translate your prayer into the language of love, “clean it up”, and make it presentable before the Father. This is God’s grace for you! Oh wonderful love of God! He has provided for all of your needs! He is mindful that you are but dust and are prone to wander from Him! If you will just throw yourself on His great mercy, He will forgive your sins, mistakes and will answer your true prayer, even if you don’t know what that is: your greatest need, not just what you asked for! When you pray to God, even if you didn’t ask for it, the Holy Spirit will intercede for you with something like this to the Father: ‘Father, even though they didn’t pray for all of your help that they need, please give them more time, please grant them more mercy! Please give them their true needs.’ Amen! Yes, God provides us poor sinners with His rich grace! We are not rewarded according to what we deserve, but according to His mercy and grace! But do not take His grace for granted, confess your sins and allow Him to work in your life, while His mercy may still be found!
To conclude: Before you make any of your other requests known to God, always confess your sins to Him first, and allow Him to change you, to help you repent. If you pray like this and do not regard iniquity and do not turn away your ear from hearing God’s Law, and are not praying for things out of selfish motives or for sinful pleasure, then you will have confidence before God that He has heard your prayers! Let God bring your life in harmony with Him, and let Him guide and protect you all the way, and then you will not have to worry if your prayers are heard! Amen.
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