GETTING ANSWERS TO PRAYER PART 2

Like I said in my previous post, I’m not much for formulas or secrets when it comes to anything having to do with God. I started out with a lot of formulas a long, long time ago and I slowly, painfully, learned that God isn’t going to allow Himself to be put in a box and made to do things for us whenever we push the right buttons. So when it comes to answered prayers I don’t have any formulas or secrets to give you.

Here’s what I’d like to do for you. I read through the Bible a number of times and I noticed that God said a lot of things—I mean a whole lot of things—about prayer. So I collected what God said about getting answers to prayer. Since I’m a pretty organized, structured fellow, this is how I organized my findings. If we want to get answers to prayer (1) there are things God wants us to do BEFORE we pray; (2) there are things God wants us to do WHEN we pray; and (3) there are things God wants us to do AFTER we pray.  

IF YOU WANT ANSWERS, BE RIGHT

IF YOU WANT GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS YOU’VE GOT TO BE RIGHT. There are five aspects of being right. (1) Be right with God; (2) Be right with men; (3) Be righteous; (4) You’ve got to ask for the right thing; and (5) You’ve got to ask for the right reason. Let’s look at each of these individually.

1. YOU’VE GOT TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD. Jesus tells us in John 15:7, If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

I’d like to you to focus on the latter part of this verse because Jesus very clearly promises to answer our prayers: Ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.

Notice however that before Jesus gives us the promise He tells us what His condition is: If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you. There’s a two-fold condition for answered prayer here: (1) We have to abide in Christ; and (2) Christ’s words have to abide in us. Let’s look at each of these conditions individually.

First, we have to abide in Christ. What does that mean? To abide means exactly what it means: to live, dwell, remain, stay, or continue, in a certain place. In the vernacular, if we want God to answer our prayers we’ve got to hang out with Him. We’ve got to go and find out where He is, then when we find Him we stay with Him. We walk with Him. We develop a close, intimate friendship and relationship with Him.

If you’re an occasional visitor to the throne room; if you’re a Sunday Christian or a Holiday Christian; if you don’t talk a whole lot to God; don’t think a whole lot about Him; don’t spend a whole lot of time with Him; if God doesn’t live in your house; if He isn’t your constant companion throughout the day or week; if God’s a stranger to you; then the promise of answered prayer doesn’t apply to you.

Read it again in John 15:7. The prayers that Jesus promises to answer are the prayers of those who are always at Jesus’ side. Answered prayer isn’t a formula or a secret: it’s a close, intimate relationship with God. This is where answered prayer begins.

The second condition for answered prayer that we find in John 15:7 is Jesus’ words have to abide in us. What does that mean? The word abide means the same thing as before: God’s Word has to live with us, stay with us, always be in us. It’s like a soldier who carries his backpack full of MRE’s (Meals Ready To Eat). When he’s hungry, when it’s time to eat, he pulls an MRE out, tears it open, and eats it. The food goes out of the package and goes into his stomach.

That’s the way it must be with God’s Word. If the Bible is a closed book, if we’re not reading it, learning it, memorizing it; then it’s like an MRE that stays in the backpack but never makes it to our stomach.

The Word doesn’t benefit us until we open it, read it, understand it, believe it, memorize it, and obey it.  It’s like the parable of the sower in Matthew 13.  The only seed that produces fruit is the seed that goes into the fertile soil of the heart. When we open our Bible, read it, and open our heart to it so that we understand it, then God’s words abide in us. When this happens—when we’re with Jesus and His words are with us—then Jesus promises to answer our prayer.

Another way of looking at it is this. If you’re not living close to God, THE FARTHER YOU ARE FROM GOD, THE LESS INCLINED GOD IS TO HEAR YOU.

Isaiah 59:1-2 says it best, Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:  (2)  But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

If you’re in sin and are disobeying the Lord, then the only prayer God will hear from you is your prayer of repentance; your prayer for forgiveness and/or salvation.

The principle of answered prayer is this. IF YOU DON’T LISTEN TO GOD, GOD’S NOT OBLIGED TO LISTEN TO YOU.  Proverbs 28:9, He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination. (Read Proverbs 1:24-32.)

THE MORE LUKEWARM YOU ARE; THE MORE WORLDLY, SELFISH, UNHOLY, AND DISOBEDIENT YOU ARE; THE LESS CHANCE YOU HAVE OF BEING HEARD.

If you want God to hear and help you, you’ve got to turn around and head in His direction. 2 Chronicles 7:14 comforts us with this promise,  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I John 3:22 sums it up, And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. Brethren, IF YOU WANT ANSWERS TO PRAYER YOU’VE GOT TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD. BE OBEDIENT TO HIM.

Coming Up On My Next Blog In This Series. Being right with people. Think that answered prayer is strictly something between you and God? Not so. People are involved and they’ll have some say or pull on whether or not your prayers get answered. Stay tuned.

4 Comments

  1. queenlorene said,

    April 5, 2013 at 10:33 PM

    I love your 5 rights. It reminds me of the 5 rights before administering a medication: right medication, right dose, right route, right person, right time. Similar in some ways, I think!

  2. queenlorene said,

    April 5, 2013 at 10:37 PM

    Reblogged this on RePrEsSeD ExPrEsSiOnS and commented:
    The 5 rights needed before God answers prayer. Reminds me of the 5 rights I need to check before I give a medication to a patient. This is a great blog! I encourage you to read it!


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