Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. (1 John 5:14,15)
God does not want us to spend our time praying without getting answers. He DOES want us to pray a lot (1 Thessalonians 5:17; Luke 18:1), but not without getting answers. Unanswered prayer doesn’t really glorify God much. Answered prayer glorifies God. We should be doing things that glorify God. Maybe if we are praying and praying and not getting answers there is something wrong with what we are praying, how we are praying, or our own heart condition. This article will talk about how to get answered prayer.
To Get Answered Prayer You Must Pray!
Some people – even Christians – don’t pray much. Some don’t bother to pray. It might seem obvious, but you can’t get answers to prayer if you don’t pray about things. The Bible says:
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6,7)
So instead of worrying about things, we are told to pray about them. That’s a start.
Jesus really emphasized that God the Father wants us to pray. He said, “Ask [and keep on asking] and it shall be given unto you. Seek [and keep on seeking] and you shall find. Knock [and keep on knocking] and the door shall be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7,8)
We can’t please God if we don’t get into this. But we want to get answers, and that is what this is about.
Make Sure you Forgive those who have Offended you
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses. (Mark 11:25)
Forgiving others is vital to getting anything from God. Unforgiveness is the surest way to block God’s blessings. I am not saying you have to trust abusive people. But you must renounce the claim to just compensation from people who have done you wrong. You should ask them to do what is right, but if they refuse, don’t hold it against them and thereby poison your life. Let it go! God can bless you again then.
Seek Relationship with God through Worship and Praise and Waiting
Would you like to help someone who only wants to talk with you when they want something from you? Someone who doesn’t care about you or what you care about? Don’t be like that with Our Father in heaven. Be a son/daughter to God the Father. Try to be a friend to God. At least be a worshiper. We need to learn to worship and properly respect the Lord in our times of prayer. We need to give Him thanks for what He has already done. Tell God how great He is. Also, try to make time to wait silently before the Lord once you sense His presence. He likes that! Tell Him about your day. Open your heart about what has been going on – the good as well as the bad. Don’t only petition. God wants us to petition, but there is more to prayer than asking for things.
Spend Some Time Praying About What God Tells You to Pray About!
While you and I are encouraged to pray about everything, it makes sense in your relationship with the Lord to pray about the things the Bible tells you to pray about. After all, if you show an interest in what God is interested in (like salvation, and His honor in the world), it may be that He will demonstrate an interest in what you are interested in! In any case, praying for what God says to pray for (in the Bible) means praying in God’s will – and God is willing to answer prayers for things He wants to happen.
Connect with Jesus through the Holy Spirit
God made us for relationship with Him, and that has to start somewhere. So if you haven’t done so already, tell Jesus that you want to connect with Him. This is really vital. Tell Him you want Him in your life. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. One of the main ways He does this is through the work of the Holy Spirit. When the Spirit comes, He will make Jesus real to you. You will sense His presence. Cherish that. We need to connect as deeply and as consistently as we can to Jesus through the Holy Spirit in order to get the best results in prayer, and to please God. Jesus put it like this:
“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15:4, NKJV)
or in simpler language
Remain united to me, and I will remain united to you. A branch cannot bear fruit by itself; it can do so only if it remains in the vine. In the same way you cannot bear fruit unless you remain in me. (John 15:4, GNT)
How do we cultivate and protect this connection with Jesus through the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10, NKJV).
The main commandment we are to keep is actually to love one another.
My commandment is this: love one another, just as I love you. (John 15:12 GNT)
That’s a big ask. And it is only possible through the empowering of the Holy Spirit.
If we care to know, the Holy Spirit will show us when we are grieving Him or quenching Him. If you find it hard to sense God’s presence after doing something, it could be an indication that this action was not pleasing to God. This is not an absolute rule in life – but the Bible DOES say, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts … And be thankful”( Colossians 3:15). The Good News translation says here “The peace that Christ gives is to guide you in the decisions you make”. 1 John 2:27 says:
But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
If we will respond, the anointing can teach us. Try to learn what attracts the sense of God’s presence, and what reduces it. Things like praise, thanksgiving, humility, faith, obedience, meditation on the Word, praying in tongues – these things attract the sense of God’s presence. Things like gluttony, sexual fantasy, being overly critical of others, focus on money – these diminish the sense of God’s presence and grieve the Holy Spirit. You will learn how to stay strongly connected to Jesus by the anointing if you really want to please God.
Be Considerate of your Spouse (if you have one)
In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:7 NLT)
If you are married, part of what you should be praying about and thinking about should be how to please your spouse. This especially applies to us husbands because the Bible especially mentions husbands here. If we are harsh with our wives we will certainly get less results in prayer. Invest in your wife and your family. Model the love of God.
Wives should also respect their husbands.
Nevertheless let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband. (Ephesians 5:33).
It is VERY hard for a husband to love a wife who doesn’t respect him. Or for a woman to respect a husband who doesn’t love her. So watch out for this. Someone has to be Christlike and take the first move to break the cycle of lack of love/disrespect. Satan attacks marriages in part to nullify our prayers.
Be Righteous in Your Behaviour – Obey God
The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. (James 5:16, NKJV). The NLT says “The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.” So, this is very relevant to us since we are talking about getting wonderful results through prayer. We want powerful prayers. Powerful prayers come through lives that yield to the will of God, and strongly pursue right living in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Ultimately we are righteous by a gift of God. We can get into heaven because of the blood of Jesus, and our faith in it and Him. But this verse is talking about more than positional righteousness. There is no guarantee in the Bible that you can be considered righteous if you really plan to keep on sinning (see Hebrews 10:26).
Dear children, don’t let anyone deceive you about this: When people do what is right, it shows that they are righteous, even as Christ is righteous. But when people keep on sinning, it shows that they belong to the devil, who has been sinning since the beginning. (1 John 3:7,8 NLT)
Sadly there are preacher who try to make this verse mean the opposite of what it actually says. Your faith in the so-called “finished work” of Christ does not give you a pass to give yourself to sin or live casually and uncommitted – and expect heaven at the end of your life. Make sure that what you believe about this lines up with ALL the Scripture, not just your favourite verses and interpretations and preachers. The only way you can be sure about this is to read entire books of the Bible at once – not be reading single verses with devotional commentaries which assure you of comforting concepts to take away the impact of what God actually says to His people in the Scriptures.
If the Holy Spirit is showing you there is something you need to do – do it. If He shows you there is something you need to quit doing – quit doing it. If you don’t listen to God here, it might mean God won’t listen to you or your prayers.
One who turns away his ear from hearing the law,
Even his prayer is an abomination. (Proverbs 28:9)
Hours and hours of praying don’t make up for disobedience. If you don’t care what God is saying, your prayers stink.
Meditate on And Pray the Word
The Word of God is the will of God. So if you pray from the heart according to what the Bible is saying, your prayers will have substance, power and faith. God will agree with your prayers – since they are based on what God said in the first place.
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. (Joshua 1:8, NKJV)
Your prayers will be successful if you speak, mutter and meditate on the Scriptures day and night. Do not underestimate the value of this investment of your time and heart. Getting answers to prayer is worth it.
Meditation on the Word is a weapon against doubt and unbelief which all too often mess with the minds of Christians. Hearing the Word of God in our hearts produces faith. True faith, combined with patience (persistence) always gets results (Hebrews 6:12).
“Whatever things you desire, when you pray, believe that you have received them, and you will have them” (Mark 11:24)
When you have desire for good things, God wants you to ask, and believe that it is as good as done. Then you wait with a thankful believing attitude – short time or longer time – and the result will turn up. It will just happen somehow. But if you find yourself still doubting, spend more time meditating on the promises of God that relate to what you are asking for. This will eventually overcome all doubt and unbelief.
Cultivate Praise and Thankfulness in your Life
There are other keys to getting prayers answered, but one that is worth mentioning is to have a habit of praising the Lord. Speak good things about the Lord TO the Lord and to others. SIng praises. Train yourself to be thankful all the time. Be thankful for what you’ve already received and for what you believe God has given you even before you see it. After you ask God for something, thank Him for it. If you can’t honestly do that, go back to the Scriptures that relate to promises of what you are asking for, and keep pondering them until your faith changes.
Intensify your Focus and Prayer through Fasting
Fasting (going without food for a while – maybe days) humbles us – makes us weak in ourselves but strong in God through the Spirit. Fasting helps remove worldly distractions. It is the kind of “body language” that speaks powerfully to God. If you really want major results or a big breakthrough by means of prayer, fast. There are blessings that cannot be obtained any other way.
A Final Word – Watch Out for Unforgiveness
It is almost certain that some Christian somewhere will hurt you, disappoint you, or even betray you. Their actions might cost you a lot. But it will cost you a lot more if you hold the offence in your heart. Forgive them even if they don’t repent. I don’t say necessarily “trust them”, but don’t consider that you have an I.O.U. from them, that they owe you something. Jesus said we must forgive if we want God to forgive us, and if God doesn’t forgive us, He probably won’t answer our prayers either. This is the way God works. Forgiveness for others is also good for your mental health. God can restore to you everything others cheated you of. Nothing can stop God from blessing you – not even your own pastor. Just be sure to walk in forgiveness towards all – and verbally forgive even people from years ago who may have hurt you. This will bring wholeness to your heart – and it is with the heart that man believes (Romans 10:10). Don’t let the wrong actions of others damage your heart. Pray to be sweet in your spirit. God will help you if you want to please Him. Then your prayers will have new power.
Connect With Us In Prayer
We are always looking for people who would be willing to pray for us that we would be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding (Colossians 1:9). Please subscribe to our mailing list, email us and ask us about the Prayer Social Network we are establishing. We are open to all relationships of mutual benefit. May the Lord bless you and give you the desires of your heart as you take delight in Him.