“I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours.” – Mark 11:24.
If you are like most Christians, you probably find yourself more consistently confused or failing in prayer than in any other area in the Christian life. Why is that? Talking to the God who chose us, saved us, and sustains us should be the most natural and delightful thing in the world, right? Perhaps it should, but more often than not, it isn’t.
We all know we should pray more, but we often don’t. Perhaps we don’t really understand what prayer is — or we’re prone to forget. Prayer is our fiercest weapon against the enemy and all things in this fallen world.
The power of prayer relies on the assurance that God is listening to you and what’s more wants to answer you. Since prayer is two-way communication between you and God, you will always receive an answer to your prayers. It just may not be the answer you were looking for or even the answer that makes the most sense. Sometimes, we feel like God has not answered. But you will get an answer. It might be yes, no, or not yet, but there will be an answer because unanswered prayer does not exist.
A lot of people think God doesn’t answer prayer because some things don’t go their way. What they don’t realize is that God did answer their prayers He just said no, wait, or we simply weren’t paying attention. One question we need to ask is how well are we listening. The way that God speaks isn’t as mysterious as we may think, we just need to be present and listen. Instead of repeatedly making attempts to be heard, we should be listening to what God has to say. A lot of our prayers that we think go unanswered can simply be attributed to our unwillingness to be silent. After all, how can you hear what someone has to say if they can’t get a word in? If we just listen to God we will be able to hear what He says and find out that He always answers prayers we just weren’t quiet enough to receive the message.
And then we need to be patient. “The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him. So it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord.” (Lamentations 3:25–26) When we ask God for something we shouldn’t expect to get it right away; God doesn’t give us what we want right away. He’s not always a same-day delivery God. He wants us to put our faith into practice by trusting that He will do what we asked. A big part of waiting is trusting that something will happen in the near future. By making us wait God is teaching us to trust that He will eventually do what He promised He would.
If God doesn’t give us what we are asking for, we have to remember that He has a good plan and a purpose for everything in our lives and He only wants the very best for us. This is where knowing God’s character and knowing His promises are so important. When we have faith and trust in Him, then we can rest knowing that He hears our prayers, sees our needs and He is faithful to answer according to His will.
- Do you believe that God answers all prayers? Yes or no and why?
- What should our reaction be if God does not answer our prayer in the way we want?
- Do you have any lingering doubts/questions about prayer? How can you best get those questions or concerns answered?