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The Key to Answered Prayer

You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it. (John 14:14)

Whenever I read the Bible, I often notice how big miracles have started with a prayer. In 1 Kings 18, we see how the prophet Elijah asked God to prove that He is the LORD in front of the people who believed in Baal (a false god during their time), by sending fire from heaven, and God did it. Not only that, God also answered Elijah’s prayer to send rain after a prolonged drought during their time. In Joshua 10, God answered Joshua’s prayer to let the sun stand still so they can defeat the armies of five Amorite kings. 

Maybe you are thinking that all of those things were only possible back then. But the thing is, God doesn’t change! The God who answered Elijah and Joshua’s prayer is the same God who can answer our prayers. I know most of us want to see God to work that way in our lives. We want to see His miracles before our eyes and we want to see Him turn our situations around, yet more often than not, many of us don’t experience it that way. Some prayers remain unheard and unanswered.

In this blog, I want to share four keys from the Word of God to experience breakthroughs in our prayer lives. 

  • Ask God.

  • Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8)

    Many times we just assume that since God knows everything about us, and since He knows our deepest desires then we don’t have to pray about them. But like a Father, He loves it when we call out to Him and when we lay down our honest feelings and honest desires before Him. You see, our relationship with God is very important to Him, and communication is one very important aspect of that relationship.

    James 4:2 says “...You do not have because you do not ask God.” Yes, God knows you want it, He surely does! But maybe He is not giving it to you because He is waiting for you to ask Him for it. The thing about asking God is that it requires faith, and we know that our faith pleases Him. 

  • Have the right motive.

  • Sometimes God doesn’t answer our prayers because He sees that our motives are wrong. Of course, if our prayers are something that isn’t glorifying to Him, out of love, He would not answer our prayer in the way we requested or He would change our hearts first before He gives us what we desire. James 4:3 says “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly…” It means that it is not just the asking that is important, but also the motive of the heart. 

    For example, there are times when we want things to happen so badly because we want people’s approval or perhaps we want a monetary gain, but these things can become idols and distract us from the true source of our security...Jesus. Before we pray, It is important to be honest with ourselves and ask, “Why am I really desiring this?” The truth is, God won’t give us something that would eventually take us away from Him and His plans for us.

    And of course, when we see that there is a wrong motive in our hearts, we should resist burying ourselves in condemnation, instead we should turn toward God and humbly ask Him to make our hearts right before Him. 

    “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

  • Be persistent in prayer.

  • When our motive is clear and we know that it is pleasing to God it is important to be persistent in praying. Not all prayers are answered in one sitting, some prayers take years and years of praying which is why it is important that we don’t easily give up. 

    God may be answering us with “wait” because we are not ready for the answer yet. That doesn’t mean that He won’t answer our prayers if it’s something that He desires for us. 

    In Luke 18:1-8, the parable of the persistent widow,  the widow keeps asking a judge to give her justice but for some time he refuses but because of the widow’s persistence, he finally gives her what she wanted. “And the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to Him day and night? Will He keep putting them off?” (Luke 18:6-7)

    Don’t give up easily! Keep planting in prayers and eventually they will bear fruit at the right time.

  • Submission to His will.

  • At the end of the day, let Him have the final say. After all, He is the One who knows what’s best for us and for our situation. We should yield to whatever His will is.

    If Jesus was willing to submit to the Father’s will, even on the cross, then we should echo His words as well “yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Then of course, we have to do our part of surrendering and obeying because we trust in Him and in His infinite wisdom.

    We pray that this blog has encouraged you to keep praying and to keep seeking God’s will. Remember that God isn’t selfish, He who did not spare His own Son for our sake is also willing to graciously give us all we need according to His will. Let that be your confidence! 

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