Last week we started to look at the subject of receiving answer to prayer. We found the Bible has much to say about prayer and lists several key factors in receiving those answers. Let’s review: 1. We must believe God exists. 2. We must fear (respect, honor, revere, be in awe of) Him. 3. We must believe God is good (that He rewards). 4. We must ask (vocalize our request) 5. We must ask in Jesus Name. 6. We must believe God hears us. 7. We must seek God with all of our heart. This week ,we will look at the essentials of heart faith, why God answers prayer, and reasons for unanswered prayer. Let’s get into the Word of God.
Mk 11:22-24 - "And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them." See also Mt 21:21-22. These words from The Master are clear: You cannot doubt. You must believe in your heart. You do not have a faith problem or deficiency. You have a doubt and unbelief problem. Doubt counters your faith. Don’t pray for faith; rather, eliminate doubt. If you could not overcome doubt, Jesus would not have said, “Do not doubt”. This is something you can do. You can take your thoughts captive.
You must believe you receive when you pray - not when you get it. Believing is seeing. Faith possesses before it sees the manifestation. “Whatever will be will be” praying involves no faith. It does not please God. If you doubt and waiver, you should not expect to receive anything from God (Jam 1:6-8). To receive from God, you must believe with all your heart, you must get rid of doubt, you must believe you receive the answer when you pray - not when you see it come to pass. This is the Word of The Lord.
Why does God answer our prayers? Does it put Him out to hear our prayers? Are our prayers a bother? Not at all. God delights in (favors, takes pleasure in, accepts) our prayers (Prov 15:8). He answers our prayers, that The Father may be glorified (Jn 14:13). God receives glory when He answers our prayers. He is worshiped and glorified among us. He also answers our prayers, that our joy may be full (Jn 16:24). Does God want his children to be full of joy? Of course He does! We, being evil, want our children to be happy - how much more the Heavenly Father. God wants us to be full of joy! What a wonderful thought!
If we have been walking in the truth mentioned thus far, and our prayers are not being answered; there could be some roadblocks that we need to recognize and fix. Some of these include: 1. Unforgiveness (Mk 11:25-26, 1Pt 3:7). Don’t ignore unforgiveness. It will hinder your prayers. To the best of your ability, forgive others, and make things right if you can. 2. Disagreement (Mt 18:19). Husband & wife, business partners, ball teams - unity is essential. If there is strife and pride and pulling different directions - it will hinder answer to prayer. 3. Unthankfulness (Philp 4:6). Griping, whining, complaining, murmuring - will hinder your answer. 4. Unconfessed sin (Jam 5:16). If you have sinned against God, confess it to Him. If you have sinned against another person, confess it to them and ask forgiveness. A clear conscience is able to receive from God. A defiled conscience cannot receive from God. 5. Not abiding in God’s Word, and violating God’s Word, will hinder your prayers (Jn 15:7, 1Jn 3:21-23). We cannot walk, knowingly opposing God’s Word and ways, and expect to receive from Him. If our children blatantly disobeyed us, would we reward them for it? 6. Satanic hindrance (Dan 10:12-13, Eph 6:10-18). Don’t give up on your prayers. We have a real enemy, and he will try to hinder the answer to our prayers. We must put on the full armor of God, and resist the devil - and he will flee from us. 7. Request not according to God’s will (1Jn 5:14-15). God’s Word clearly reveals His will. However, the Bible does not specifically address every issue in life (who to marry, where you should live, etc.). Therefore, if we have removed every known hindrance to prayer, and still have not received the answer - then it is possible that a particular request may not be God’s will, and we need to accept that. Ultimately, Father knows best. When we have done all God asks, in accordance with His Word, then we can be satisfied with whatever result comes. It’s called faith, trust, and confidence in God.
I pray this series has blessed you and encouraged you to step out in faith and believe God for great things. Until next time, rejoice in The Lord!