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Saturday, April 18, 2009

What Can I Do to Get My Prayers Answered?

There are many people who have formulas for prayers to be answered.

Some will tell you that all you need is faith. They say that your belief will bring whatever you want into reality. Wouldn't that make God the greatest of the irresponsible fathers? Think about it. You have a child who says that he wants something so often or convincingly that you give it to them. Would you give your child something that would hurt him and still consider yourself to be a good parent? Many childish parents think so but most know that this isn't reasonable.

Some of these people say that God had to have faith or He couldn't have done anything. This is one of the most ridiculous statements I have ever heard. Who was God to have faith in? Was He to have faith in something called faith? He didn't call Him self "I Am" because He needed something outside of Himself.

Yet, the Bible says we can have confidence if we ask anything according to God's will. Another words, our prayers should be expressing God's desires for us. This is what it truly means to pray "in Jesus name." Our prayers identify with Jesus so that His name is not merely invoked but is a signature to the check of our prayers.

This carries with it an unlimited supply. God's love for us is unlimited. His supply for our needs is also unlimited. We can address the things we need without feeling we are stepping over the line in our request. We just need a word from God to know what His will is concerning our prayers.

My method is to pray for anything that is on my heart unless I already know it isn't God's will. He will either tell me that He will not answer my prayer like I want and/or tell me that He will do so in another way or give me the faith to believe I will receive what I am praying.

I have some experience doing this.

In 1987 I began to ask God if I should become the senior pastor who preaches to the congregation of any church God would call me to. The answer came rather quickly that I should.
I asked another question. "God, can I preach like (a certain preacher that I admired)?

God responded, "Are you willing to drink from the cup that he has had to drink?"

"Yes," I said without much thought. I reasoned that I would shortly receive a calling from a church. I resolved to pray each morning and each night until I went to become a senior pastor. I did this for eight years and three months.

There were many things that had to happen in my life to accept what God had planned for me. I prayed what He wanted. It certainly wasn't an instant supply. During that time my faith changed. It got much stronger. I am glad it took so long now that I am a pastor but I can't tell you I really loved it while I was praying to see it happen.

I think many people would have thought that I had misunderstood God when I did not receive what I was praying. They do not understand that I was praying what God had already told me. The fact that I couldn't physically see it yet was an act of faith based on God's words to me. I already had what God wanted me to have in my spirit. It took longer to receive it physically in this world.

Sometimes the answers to my prayers are made evident without a spiritual encounter. I prayed earnestly for a lady to recover from an illness a couple of weeks ago. She died the next day. I didn't need more to convince me that this was God's will for her.

Once I was praying for a young man to be healed of a life threatening disease. God told me while I was praying that He was going to use this illness to bring this man home to heaven. I really didn't like that answer but I spent time with the man until he died. My prayers changed. I began to pray that the illness would not be long and drawn out like it generally is. (He was one of the early victims of AIDS.) He died in a relatively short time without the suffering. I knew my prayer had been answered.

So, where do you get this word from God? Sometimes I get it while reading His Word. Sometimes I am praying. Sometimes God will give me His Word through another person. Sometimes I have prayed all night just get an answer. The greatest concern is getting my heart to become like His. I believe this is the key.

Pray with expectation. God has more planned for you than you can dream.


Nancy said...

After you texted me back on Saturday telling me how remarkable it was of my prayer request as it is what your blog was about, I had to search for the blog. Thank you for your prayers. Please, continue to pray for me; they are much appreciated. It is time to give in and stop fighting what I know He wants me to do and stop finding excuses to not do it. I won't be happy until then.

Thank you again for the prayers,

Prentis said...

Nancy, you are so right. In fact, you are so right that you are also so close to the Lord. He wants what is best for us all. That is sometimes scary but it is the best.