And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to the Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him. After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen (Matthew 6:5-13). If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you (John 15:7). And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth (I John 5:14).
I was reading an article about, “Getting to the bottom of unanswered prayer.” At an Annual Pastor’s Conference, which was coming to a close, with a panel led question and answer session about prayer, the moderators would be surprised by what the Pastors had to say. Little did they know, that in the audience, there were many Pastors who were hurting, in the area of unanswered prayer. This was the inspiration for writing this article. I thought it was a good idea, to bring you along with me, on this journey. Here are some of the questions that came to mind, as I thought on this topic. How is your prayer life? Are your prayers being answered? Are you frustrated, because it seems that God is not hearing your prayers? Does it seem as if your prayers are bouncing off of the ceiling, and going no further? How much time do you spend in prayer, each day? Are the cares of this life, affecting the quality of your prayer life? Are you so busy doing the Lord’s work, that you forget to take time out to communicate with Him? Do you find yourself saying a prayer while in bed, and drifting off to sleep, after only a few minutes? Are your prayers seasoned with faith? When you go to the throne of grace, do you feel His presence there? Just a bit of food for thought.
If we are struggling in any of these areas, we must rest assured, that the word of God is true! If God said it, that settles it.” And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth.” Perhaps, taking an introspective look would be quite revealing, as to why our prayers are not being answered, if that is the case. Sometimes, our prayers are being answered, but not in the way we would want them to be. Maybe, we don’t like the answer that we have been given by the Lord. Sometimes His answer is no. We must trust the Lord to handle every situation in our lives, because God is sovereign, and He is in control! He knows what is best for us! When going to God in prayer, are you going to God in faith, trusting and believing that He will answer you? James 1:6-8 says, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” Are you going to God with a heart of forgiveness, because the Word of God says in Matthew 6:14-15, “For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” At times, God will answer prayer instantaneously, while at other times, it may take a while to hear from Him. There are so many wonderful scenarios in the Word of God, that tell of God working instantaneously, in the lives of His people. He healed the sick, He raised the dead, He made the lame to walk, and the dumb to talk. Waiting is never easy, but the Word of God tells us in Isaiah 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary: they shall walk, and not faint. So, when we are in a waiting mode, we must not faint! “For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now, the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” So, if you are praying without ceasing, walking up rightly before the Lord, and striving to live a holy life, don’t be weary in well doing, for in due season, you shall reap if you faint not! I beseech you, that you faint not!
I said in a previous post, sometimes when we pray, we must also fast, because some things come, but by fasting and praying. If Jesus, God incarnate prayed, how much more should we pray? Jesus was fully God, and He was fully man, yet He prayed fervently! “And He came out, and went, as He was wont, to the mount of Olives; and His disciples also followed Him. And when He was at the place, He said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto Him from heaven, strengthening Him. And being in an agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” (Luke 22:39-44) Like Jesus, when we are going through divers trials, we want the Lord to remove the cup from us, but our response must be, but nevertheless not my will, but thine be done. There are some trials and tribulations that the Lord will allow us to go through, because He is molding us and making us into the vessels, that He has called us to be. If we hold onto His hand, and if we keep the faith, He will bring us through every trial and every tribulation, and that with a mighty hand! May the Lord bless you abundantly, today and every day!