All prayers are effectively answered with yes, no, or wait. We generally don’t like no. We are usually happy with yes. We definitely don’t like wait. Is there anything we can do to see our prayers answered more often with yes? I believe there is. I want to talk to you in this message about secrets to having your prayers answered in the affirmative.
- If you have unconfessed sin, all the prayers in the world will accomplish nothing. The psalmist said, “If I regard [or hang onto] iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me” (Psalm 66:18 kjv). If you don’t confess your sins, it is like you just hung your phone up on God. There still may be relationship. That doesn’t go away because that is given to you as a result of your believing in God. But fellowship and communication can be severed temporarily. It can be reconnected through the confession of sin.
- You must forgive others. I think we are OK with the part about being forgiven by God, but here is the big question: are we willing to forgive other people? Forgiven people need to be forgiving people. If you are not forgiven by God, then you are wracked with guilt. If you don’t forgive others, you are consumed by bitterness. Unforgiving people are bitter people.
- As much as possible, stay out of the way of temptation. According to 1 Corinthians 10:13, the Bible tells us that God will not allow us to be tempted above that which we are able to resist, but will with the temptation make a way of escape that we may be able to bear it. God won’t give you more than you can take. We unnecessarily put ourselves in situations where we are vulnerable. We all know where our weaknesses are. We all know where we could easily fall.
- Don’t give up. Jesus said, “Ask, and it shall be given. Seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened” (see Matthew 7:7). This is important. We have to be persistent in our prayer. If the request is wrong, God says no. If the timing is wrong, God says slow. If you are wrong, God says grow. But if the request is right and the timing is right and you are right, God says go.
We don’t always know what the will of God is but I think when we are praying for the salvation of a loved one, when we are praying for our country to have a spiritual awakening (and man do we need that right now), when we are praying for God’s will in our lives, we just can’t back down. We can’t give up. We have to keep seeking. We have to keep asking. We have to keep knocking. Then the Bible says the door will be opened.
All of the things I have shared are for believers only. Only the believer has the privilege of praying. Only believers can know that when they call out to the Lord, they will be heard. As far as a prayer life goes, this relationship, this communion, is for Christians only.
The Bible says, “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” What you need to do is call out to Him right now. That is the prayer you know that God will hear and He will hear it immediately.