An atheist who is dead and gone now claimed that he decided not to believe in the existence of God because he did not answer his prayer to be posted as a teacher to a town of his personal choice. He concluded that if God was alive, He would certainly have answered his prayer. Truly from God ought to word, prayer not to be a religious exercise carried out in the spirit of doubt, but an expression of confidence in God with a sense of guarantee that He will respond. Let us carry out a ‘biblical health check’ on our prayer lives to know if they have been producing the guarantees answers that the word promised.
Do you pray in the will of God?1 john 5:14 declares that ‘if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us’ Dr Myles Munroe put it succinctly when he said that ‘ God only hears his own prayers.’ God’s will is revealed in His word. Do you have specific promises or basis of scripture for your petition before God? At best, where the will of God is not expressly revealed in His word, we can only pray ‘if it be thy will…’just like Jesus did in the garden of Gethsemane.
Do you pray with faith and expectation? Mark 11:24’…believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. God requires us to pray with confident expectation of an answer. We are not supposed to waiver (James 6:1). We must believe that God is a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him (Hebrews 11:6). Most people get into the attitude of the Pharisees by praying repetitiously, thinking it is a matter of how much you say that guarantee them heaven’s answer. Jesus warned against this attitude in prayer in Matthew 6:7-8
Are you obedient to God? I john 3:22 says in the new living translation, ‘and we will receive from Him whatever we ask because we obey Him and do the things that please Him’. Deliberately flouting God’s word and refusing to yield to His plan for our lives and then praying are contradictory to one another. While God is faithful to do His part, we create spiritual hindrances for ourselves, debarring us from accessing the blessings released to us. Some instructions like ‘Go ye into the world and preach the Gospel’ ‘walk in the spirit’, love one another…, are so easily understood and clearly stated. They need no interpretation but simple obedience. Commit yourself to living for God, obediently follow his word and you will find your prayer life a delight.
Do you pray ‘in the spirit’? Our limitation in terms of our knowledge of God’s will (which is a prerequisite for answered prayers) is expressed in Romans 8:27 ‘for we know not what we should pray for as we ought…’ however, God has made a way for us through praying ‘in the spirit’. According to Romans 8:27, praying in the spirit guarantees praying in the will of God. Your prayer life will be greatly enriched by learning to pray inspired prayers, which included praying in other tongues. A life rich in such prayers will witness more diving interventions.
Do you pray with un-confessed sins? If I regard iniquity in my heart, the lord will not hear me’ (psalm 66:8) Apparent in the above verse is the fact that un-confessed and un-purged sin is a hindrance to receiving from God .while God does not need your perfection to hear you, he needs a sincere heart, truly in the pursuit of holiness.
Do you pray with offence?In mark 11:25, after God guaranteed an answer for every prayer made in faith, he declared that it is on the condition that we forgive those who have sinned against us or offended us. Are you holding on to someone’s hurt against you and yet praying? Let go and let God.
Do you pray with praise?In the popular prayer called ‘the Lord’s prayer’ in Matthew 6:9-13, Jesus taught to start and end prayer with praise. God is to be properly approached with praise as an expression of faith that the petition we are about to make are within His power and providence to answer.
I’m sure that by now you would have identified one or two areas that could be hindering your prayer life from yielding the fruits you desire. Don’t hesitate to make adjustments and before long you’ll lose count of God’s timely answers to your request.