Faith is a requirement for answered prayer. But what, exactly, does God want us to believe. We believe in Him. We believe He’s the one and only real, true God. We believe the Bible is the inspired, inerrant Word of God. We believe Jesus is the Divine Son of God, born of a virgin. We believe in Heaven and Hell. We believe Jesus is coming back to Earth again. We believe a lot of things that are right and true because we believe God and the Bible.

Even though we believe right, Biblical doctrine, this isn’t the kind of faith that God wants us to have when we pray. To be sure, He wants us to believe right doctrine. But that’s not what gets us answers to prayer. So what are we supposed to believe when we pray.

1. BELIEVE THAT GOD’S PROMISE IS TRUEIf you want answers to prayer you’ve got to believe that what God promised or told you is true.

When Jesus went to Bethany to raise Lazarus up from the dead, He turned to Martha and gave her a promise: Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: (26) And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die (John 11:25-26a). After He made her the promise He asked Martha, Do you believe this?

Like Martha, God has made us many promises. He promised to do a lot of things for us. And like Jesus’ question to Martha, God’s asking us, Do you believe this? Do you believe what I’ve told you or promised you?   TO   GET   ANSWERS    TO PRAYER YOU’VE GOT TO BELIEVE THAT WHAT GOD TOLD YOU, OR PROMISED YOU, IS TRUE. It’s not a lie. It’s true because He said it.

2. BELIEVE THAT GOD IS ABLE TO DO WHAT HE PROMISED. When you pray and ask God to do something for you, you’ve got to believe that He’s able to do whatever it is you’re asking Him to do.

Two blind men followed Jesus one day. They cried out for Jesus to have mercy on them and heal them. When Jesus heard their cry He asked them, Do you believe that I am able to do this (Matthew 9:28)? They answered Yes. And, as a result, they got their sight back.

God wants you to believe that He can do whatever you need Him to do. You see, the concept of God that so many people have is, God is just like men. If men can’t heal a disease, then neither can God. If men can’t protect you from a calamity, then neither can God. If men can’t do anything for you, then neither can God. Do you see what I mean? So many people limit God’s ability because God, to them, is just like men. Consequently, they only ask God to do what men can do. They ask God to do only what’s possible with men.

The problem is, we need a God who can do what men can’t do. We need Him to do the impossible for us. Whether it’s healing from cancer or AIDS, protection from a rapist, murderer, or stalker, deliverance from a menacing hurricane or tornado; we need God to help us when men just can’t do anything for us. And in order for Him to help us we’ve got to believe that He can help us. He’s smart enough to know how to help us. And He’s strong enough to do just that—even when no one else can help us.

Matthew 19:26 comforts us with the knowledge that with God all things are possible. Luke 1:37 echoes the same truth, For with God nothing shall be impossible. Now these words nothing and all things assure us that God can do whatever we need Him to do for us. Nothing is beyond God’s ability or power to do—even if it’s humanly, naturally, medically, or scientifically impossible.


If you don’t believe that God can do what you need to have done, then don’t ask God to do it because this is a prayer that He won’t answer. IF YOU DON’T BELIEVE HE CAN, HE WON’T. GOD ANSWERS THE PRAYER OF THOSE WHO BELIEVE HE CAN.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post In This Series, Part 9. I’m gonna post a couple more things to believe that will probly blow most of you away, but it’s true nevertheless because it’s what God said and requires. I’ve found that believing God can either be very, very difficult, or else very, very easy. The difference between the two is my concept of God. If your God really is all-powerful and can do anything, and I mean anything (except sin), then drop by for a visit next week and you’ll see that what seems so hard to believe at first really isn’t that hard after all. See you then and may God shower you with His blessings!


We all want answers to prayer. That’s why we pray in the first place. To get the help we need from God. Unfortunately, prayer by itself doesn’t guarantee an answer from God. Asking by itself doesn’t automatically mean we’re gonna get what we asked God for. It’s not because God doesn’t want to answer our prayer. Rather, it’s because God laid out several conditions that we must meet: He wants us to do certain things before He’ll answer our prayer. That may not seem right or fair to a lot of people. But that’s just the way it is. God is God and the conditions that He’s set for answered prayer are, no joke, for our good. They keep us dependent on Him instead of using Him as a celestial Santa Claus to become greedy, selfish, and materialistic.

For organization’s sake, I’ve categorized the conditions for answered prayer into three broad categories: conditions we must meet before we pray, conditions we must meet when we pray, and finally, conditions we must meet after we pray.

In the six preceding posts we looked at the things God wants us to do before we pray. Let’s turn our attention now to the things God wants us to do when we pray.


God wants you to believe when you pray. That’s how you get answers to prayer. By believing. Jesus taught us how to pray or ask in Matthew 21:22, And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. Mark 11:24 similarly reads, Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.


Another way of saying it is doubters receive nothing. James 1:6-8 makes this very clear. But when you ask for something, you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave tossed around in a storm.  (7 & 8)  If you are that kind of person, you can’t make up your mind, and you surely can’t be trusted. So don’t expect the Lord to give you anything at all.

Brethren, if you want your prayers answered you mustn’t doubt. DOUBT AND UNBELIEF WILL KEEP YOU FROM RECEIVING THE ANSWERS TO YOUR PRAYER. Jesus very plainly told us this in Mark 11:23, For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.


Faith is such an amazing thing. IT WILL MOVE THE HAND OF GOD TO DO WHATEVER YOU NEED TO HAVE DONE. Of course, you’ve got to meet the other conditions for answered prayer. And when you do, FAITH MAKES ALL THINGS POSSIBLE, no matter how hopeless or impossible things may look.

Do yourself a favor and instead of doubting what I just said, instead of looking at your circumstances and reinforcing your fears and doubts; focus on what Jesus said in Mark 9:23. FOCUS! He said, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. He knows how hard it is for us to believe sometimes. So He repeats Himself in Matthew 17:20, hoping to drive the point home and get all the doubt out of our heart and mind. He said, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you. Is Jesus true or not? Is He lying? If He isn’t, and He isn’t, then it’s really true: everything is possible. God can do whatever we need Him to do for us! If we believe!

  • The Roman centurion didn’t want his servant to die. He trusted Jesus to heal him even though he was dying. Jesus told him, as thou hast believed, so be it done unto thee, Matthew 8:13. Of course, the guy believed and his servant got well again that very hour.
  • Two men were incurably blind. Back in those days there was nothing that could be done for them. They lived without the hope of ever seeing again. But the blind men chose to believe Jesus for healing and sight. Jesus said to them, According to your faith be it unto you, Matthew 9:29. They believed. And as a result, they saw.
  • The Syro-Phoenician woman was the same way. At first, Jesus refused to pay any attention to her. Then He flat out denied her and insulted her. But the woman would not be denied. She persisted in her prayer request. Jesus told her in Matthew 15:28, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. Do I need to tell you what happened after that? The lady got what she asked Jesus for.


Let me hasten to say here that, while faith is indeed a powerful substance or force for good; the real power behind faith is not faith itself, but the object of our faith—that is God. Jesus told us in Mark 11:22, Have faith in God. It’s God who answers prayer. It’s God who works miracles. It’s God who makes people, nature, and demons do His will. It’s God who makes our bodies, the forces of nature, and demons line up with whatever it is we’re believing and asking God to do. GOD IS THE POWER. So don’t be foolish and have faith in yourself or have faith in the power of faith. Look to God. Have faith in Him. And God will give you the desires of your heart.

Coming Up On My Next Post In This Series, Part 8. Okay, we know that we need to believe. But what exactly are we supposed to believe? Trust me, you don’t want to miss this next post! See you in a week. And in the mean time I’ll be praying and asking God to help us all believe. It isn’t easy sometimes. I know. But as we focus our eyes on God and settle the fact that nothing is impossible for God to do, then faith becomes so much easier! It really does! Don’t despair, my friend. We have hope. Because we have God. See you next week. And may the blessings of God be on you.


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.

We’re looking at the things God wants us to do BEFORE we pray. We said IF YOU WANT GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS YOU’VE GOT TO BE RIGHT. There are five aspects of being right: (1) being right with God; (2) being right with people; (3) being right yourself; (4) asking for the right things; and now (5) asking for the right reason.


There’s more to answered prayer than just asking for the right things or asking in accordance with God’s will. What you’ve also got to consider is, What’s the motive of my heart? What’s motivating me to ask what I’m asking for? You see, IT’S POSSIBLE TO ASK FOR THE RIGHT THINGS AND STILL NOT GET YOUR PRAYER ANSWERED. Why is that? Because you’re asking for the wrong reason.

Psalm 66:18 tells us, If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. To regard simply means to look upon or consider. If you’ve got sin in mind—if you’re planning to commit sin or would like to commit sin—you may as well forget about praying because God isn’t going to hear you. Friends, GOD ISN’T GOING TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYER WHEN YOU’VE GOT SINFUL MOTIVES AND INTENTS.

James 4:3 tells us the same thing: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss [with evil or wicked intent], that ye may consume it upon your lusts. In other words, you’re planning to use God’s answer to prayer to commit sin.

THE MOTIVES AND INTENTS OF YOUR HEART HAVE A LOT TO DO WITH WHETHER OR NOT GOD IS GOING TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYER. If your motive isn’t pure or right, your prayer isn’t going to be answered.

Sometimes our motives aren’t necessarily sinful. We’re just too preoccupied with ourself, our needs, our desires, that we leave God out of the picture.

Do you know why God promised to answer our prayers? It’s so that He can be glorified. John 14:13-14 tells us in no unmistakable terms, And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (14)  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.


So before you ask God for whatever it is you’re asking, ask yourself these questions: Am I asking just for myself? Or am I asking so that God can be glorified? Will God be glorified if He answers my prayer? Will I glorify God after He’s answered my prayer? 

When you don’t testify of God’s goodness and faithfulness after He’s answered your prayer you’re robbing God of the glory that He rightfully deserves. So whenever you ask God for something be willing and prepared to thank Him and give a testimony of God’s wondrous works.

Look again at what James say in James 4:3, Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

ANSWERED PRAYER ISN’T JUST ALL ABOUT MOTIVES: IT’S ALSO ABOUT THE IMPACT THAT THE ANSWER WILL HAVE UPON YOU. If you’re going to use the answer to support a fleshly, sinful habit or lifestyle; if the answer is going to take you farther away from God; God isn’t going to answer you. He’s not going to do, or give you, something that will have a detrimental impact on your life and imperil your soul. The devil will. But not God.



If you’re not right with God, or not right with someone, or not righteous right now because you’ve sinned or you’re in disobedience to God; if you’re not asking for the right thing or for the right reason; then, before you go to God in prayer you’ve got to get things right with God. How do you do that?

  • Repent and ask God to forgive you—that’s one prayer that the Lord will hear. After you’ve asked God to forgive you, get things right with Him by doing whatever it is He’s been wanting you to do.
  •  If you’re having problems with someone, get things right with that person. Ask him or her for forgiveness. If restitution is involved, pay up or make it right. Reconcile if possible. If the other person isn’t ready for reconciliation, then make sure that you’re not harboring any bitterness, resentment, or unforgiveness towards that person. 
  • Check your heart. Get rid of any wrong motives you may have.
  •  Make sure you’re asking for something’s that’s right. If what you’re wanting is wrong, then don’t bother asking God because you’re wasting your time. If you’re asking for something’s that right, ask the Lord if it’s His will for you to have it right now or anytime soon. God will let you know.

Having said that, there are times when you just don’t know what God’s will is at the present time. If that’s the case, then, pray in the Spirit. The Spirit knows exactly what God’s will is in the matter. When you pray in the Spirit, the Spirit petitions the Father on your behalf.

When you don’t know what God’s will is, you can also pray, if it be thy will. Ask God for what you want. Then end your prayer with, nevertheless, not my will, but thine be done. 

Now when you pray this way—whether for yourself or for someone else; be prepared to accept the outcome. You may not get the answer you wanted. Or you may get the answer you wanted, but not in the time you wanted it. In any case, since you’ve resigned your will to God’s will and are willing to let God’s will be done; then be prepared to accept whatever answer God gives you.

Coming Up On My Next Post In This Series, we’ll begin looking at some of the things God wants us to do when we pray. The Scriptures have so much to teach us and I’m excited about what we’ve learned so far and will continue to learn. Drop by for a visit and let God show you how He wants you to pray. Until then, walk with God and may He fill your life with His love and blessings.


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.

 We’re looking at the things God wants us to do BEFORE we pray. We said IF YOU WANT GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS YOU’VE GOT TO BE RIGHT. There are five aspects of being right. (1) Being right with God. (2) Being right with people. (3) being right yourself. And now, (4) asking for the right things.


A CARDINAL RULE OF ANSWERED PRAYER IS YOU’VE GOT TO PRAY IN ACCORDANCE WITH GOD’S WILL. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us, And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: {15} And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

IF YOU WANT ANSWERS TO PRAYER YOU MUST KNOW WHAT GOD’S WILL IS BEFORE YOU PRAY. Then once you know what God’s will is, you pray in accordance or agreement  with  His  will. 

Brethren, YOU JUST CAN’T RUSH INTO PRAYER WITHOUT FIRST TAKING THE TIME TO ASK GOD WHAT HIS WILL IS! This is where a lot of us miss it and it’s the reason why a lot of us, a lot of times, don’t get answers to prayer–it’s because we asked God for what we wanted without taking the time to find out if it’s what He wanted. ANSWERED PRAYER IS FIRST AND FOREMOST WHAT GOD WANTS. If God doesn’t want us to have whatever it is we’re asking for, then He isn’t going to answer our prayer no matter how hard or how long we pray.

So how do you find out what God’s will is? You read the Bible and pray. And wait. That’s where a lot of us miss it. We don’t wait and listen. God wants to show you His will and, if you’re listening, God will speak to you by His Spirit. Sometimes He uses other people to tell you what He wants you to do. No matter how God chooses to speak to you, He will let you know His will if you really want to know it. And do it.

The good news is the promises of God are a revelation of what God’s will is. When you read the promise of salvation, forgiveness, healing, deliverance, provision, wisdom, and all the others; God is letting you know what His will is. When you ask for these provisions of God you’re praying in accordance with His will. Thus, you can be confident that God will hear and answer your prayer.

IF YOU WANT ANSWERS TO PRAYER YOU MUST ASK FOR SOMETHING THAT GOD HAS PROMISED. YOU CAN’T ASK GOD FOR SOMETHING THAT ISN’T HIS WILL. THUS, YOU CAN’T ASK HIM FOR SOMETHING THAT HE HASN’T PROMISED. So a crucial part of getting answers to prayer is knowing in advance what you can ask God for and what you can’t.

Some things, like healing and forgiveness, are understood by every people in every generation of time. It doesn’t matter if you live in the first century or the twenty-first: you know what sickness is and you have need of healing.

But because there are so many different cultures in this world and because each new generation brings new inventions; God couldn’t be specific about everything that He was wanting to give His people. For example, He couldn’t write a  verse  of  Scripture that promised you a new car because those poor saints in the first through the nineteenth centuries just wouldn’t know what a car is. So to clear up any confusions, God decided to lump all these specific provisions in one general word, the word ALL.

Jesus promised us in Matthew 21:22, ALL things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. The furniture, computer, house, job, vacation, and all the other things you’d like to have are covered in Jesus’ all-inclusive promise.

All things, brethren, applies not only to the things you need: it also applies to the things you desire. Mark 11:24 makes this fact resoundingly clear: Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Brethren, Jesus couldn’t make it any clearer than this. And His saying it trumps whatever anyone else says to the contrary. According to Jesus,  IT’S GOD’S WILL TO GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART! Hallelujah for that! But don’t stop here. Read on cuz there’s more.

Your heart has to be right! I’ll talk about this in my next post. But if you’re righteous and walking close to God, God can trust you with the desires of your heart. THE RIGHTEOUS DESIRE RIGHT OR RIGHTEOUS THINGS. That’s why God isn’t afraid to give them what they desire. Psalms 37:4  makes this truth abundantly clear: Delight thyself  also in the Lord; [find your pleasure or happiness in God; let God be the desire of your life]  and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

Coming Up On My Next Blog In This Series. Having wrong motives or reasons won’t get your prayer answered. Surf on in and let’s get things right.


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.

We’re looking at the things God wants us to do BEFORE we pray. We said IF YOU WANT GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS YOU’VE GOT TO BE RIGHT. There are five aspects of being right. (1) Being right with God. (2) Being right with people. And now, (3) being right yourself.


You can’t be hypocritical. You can’t be a Christian on Sunday morning, then live the rest of the week acting like a heathen. You may like living like a heathen. You might enjoy a heathen lifestyle. But that kind of lifestyle doesn’t get you answers to prayer. YOU’VE GOT TO BE RIGHTEOUS TO GET ANSWERS TO PRAYER.

Psalms 34:15-17 puts it this way,  The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous, and his ears are open unto their cry.  (16)  The face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to cut off the remembrance of them from the earth.  (17)  The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. Look at verses 15 and 17 once again. Who does the Lord hear? Whose prayers does He answer? The righteous.

Listen everyone. I’m not for being self-righteous or being holier-than-thou. But no matter how you cut it, Christians are supposed to be different from everyone else. They’re supposed to be right. They’re supposed to live right. Right by the Book.

Yes. We’re all fallen and none of us is perfect. We make mistakes and we’ll continue to make them as long as we’re imperfect and alive. But being imperfect is not an excuse to be unrighteous. You can’t use your imperfection as a reason, incentive, or justification to not be righteous. To not rise about human frailties and live nobly with integrity.

God is very concerned about how we live. No matter what you call it—you can call it rules, laws, commandments, exhortations, admonitions, principles, guidelines, suggestions, opinions, or whatever else suits your fancies. I don’t care. The point is, the Bible is chock full of God telling us how to live. A lot of us don’t like that. But God’s got every right to do that. He’s God. We’re not. He’s the sole Master and Lord of the Universe. He has every right to tell us what to do. It doesn’t bother me because God isn’t a heartless Tyrant or Dictator.

He’s a loving Parent. Everything He does, everything He says and requires, is done because He loves me more than everyone else put together. And everything He says and does is for my good. He’s watching out for me. He has my best interests in His heart and mind. He knows what I don’t. That’s why I don’t have problems listening to Him. I trust Him. I love Him. I owe Him my life. I owe Him my full, unquestioning, unreserved obedience.

At some point in life we’re gonna need God to help us. To be there for us. To hear us. And answer our prayer. A lot of people get along just fine without God or His help. But you can be absolutely sure that one day each one of us will need God in a serious way. And when that day comes, don’t you want to have God’s ear? I do.

God’s telling us here in Psalms 34 how we get His ear. Righteousness gets prayers answered. Unrighteousness doesn’t. It’s as simple as that. WE CAN’T LIVE ANY OLE WAY WE PLEASE AND EXPECT GOD TO HEAR AND HELP US.

James 5:16 repeats the Psalmist’s refrain, The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. That means WHEN YOU’RE RIGHTEOUS YOUR PRAYERS WORK. YOU GET ANSWERS. YOU GET MIRACLES. Your prayers make a difference. That’s because your prayers have power. That’s what availeth means. You know how a muscle man has power or strength in his muscles. That’s what you have in your prayers when you’re righteous: you’re a spiritual muscle man. You’ve got spiritual power. The kind of power that gets things done.

Have you ever listened to a dead, lifeless sermon? Yeah? Lots of them? You ever listen to a sermon that just set your pants on fire, brought you to tears, got you on your knees, and brought you to the altar? Back to the Lord? You remember that sermon well, don’t you? You’ll never forget it. What’s the difference between a lifeless sermon and a soul-stirring one? You can call it power. Soul. Anointing. The Spirit.

Like sermons, prayers can be so dead and lifeless. People quit praying because they don’t get answers. They don’t make a difference. They don’t change anything.

It doesn’t work that way for righteous folks. God made you a promise, dear friends, and He doesn’t lie. If you’re righteous your prayers have muscle and power with God. They get answered. God Himself sees to that. You can count on it. Expect it. When you’re righteous.

1 Peter 3:12 repeats the now-familiar refrain, the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil. Who does God hear? Who has His ears? The righteous. If that’s you,  IF YOU’RE RIGHTEOUS, YOU HAVE EVERY RIGHT TO EXPECT GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS.

It’s not a demand. It’s not a pride thing. You ought not be proud or demanding when it comes to God because God doesn’t owe you a thing. God isn’t beholden to anyone. No one’s bossing God around and telling Him what to do.

The expectation of answered prayer is a calm peace and assurance that you have as a righteous person.  God gave you His Word and God, being the Righteous God that He is, will keep His Word. It’s not a demand. It’s an assurance from God Himself.

So you want answers to prayers? Do you have God’s ear? Be right. And God’ll be there for you every time.

What if you need help NOW? What if you’re not right right now? Friend, why don’t you get right right now? Now’s a perfect time and it only takes a minute. Tell Him you’re sorry for what you’ve done. Ask Him to forgive you. Give your life to Him and let Him call the shots. Then call out to Him and ask  Him for help. God will answer you and show you just how loving and merciful He can be. He’d love to have you and help you! Guaranteed!

Coming Up On My Next Blog In This Series. Asking for the right things. You mean there’s some things we can’t ask for? Drop by and find out. I’ll leave the light on for you.


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.

We’re looking at the things God wants us to do BEFORE we pray. We said IF YOU WANT GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS YOU’VE GOT TO BE RIGHT. There are five aspects of being right. (1) In my last post we looked at being right with God. (2) Now, in the second place, we’ve got to be right with people.  


How you treat others has a profound effect on your prayers. IF YOU’RE NOT TREATING PEOPLE RIGHT, DON’T EXPECT GOD TO HEAR OR ANSWER YOUR PRAYER. HE WON’T.

Look at Zechariah 7:9-10 with me: This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies says: Judge fairly, and show mercy and kindness to one another.  (10)  Do not oppress widows, orphans, foreigners, and the poor. And do not scheme against each other. 

What the Lord wanted the Israelites to do wasn’t rocket science. He wasn’t speaking to them in tongues. The people understood full well what God was telling them to do. Start treating people right. Don’t take advantage of widows, orphans, the immigrants or foreigners living among you, and the poor. Don’t be thinking of bad things that you can do to people. Treat everybody right. Don’t be messing people up.

Well, God’s people didn’t take God’s words to heart. Zechariah 7:11-12 records their stubborn response: Your ancestors refused to listen to this message. They stubbornly turned away and put their fingers in their ears to keep from hearing.  (12a)  They made their hearts as hard as stone, so they could not hear the instructions or the messages that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies had sent them by His Spirit through the earlier prophets.

God, in turn, got mad with His people (verse 12b). And in His anger, this is what God did: And it came about that as they would not give ear to his voice, so I would not give ear to their voice, says the Lord of armies (Zechariah 7:13). God, in a word, didn’t listen to, or answer, their prayers.

Isaiah 58 pretty much tells the same story. God’s people were boohooing on God’s shoulders, asking why God wasn’t paying any attention to them even though they were praying, fasting, and seeking His face. They were crying out to Him! But God wasn’t answering! Why not? He told them why in Isaiah 58:3-4, Behold, in the day of your fast you seek your own pleasure, and oppress all your workers.  (4)  Behold, you fast only to quarrel and to fight and to hit with a wicked fist. Fasting like yours this day will not make your voice to be heard on high.

God says, Do this. This is the kind of fasting I want: Free those who are wrongly imprisoned; lighten the burden of those who work for you. Let the oppressed go free, and remove the chains that bind people.  (7)  Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help (Isaiah 58:6-7).

And if we do what God says, this is what God does: Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.  (9a)  Then when you call, the Lord will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ He will quickly reply (Isaiah 58:8-9a).

Harboring unforgiveness and ill feelings towards a person has a hindering effect on our prayers: it’s like stuffing cotton in God’s ears. I love the promise of Mark 11:24, but Jesus quickly follows the promise with a command to forgive if we haven’t done that yet:  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.  (25)  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 11:24-25).

God’s so concerned about how we treat people that even a man’s mistreatment of his wife is a cause for unanswered prayer: Likewise, husbands, live with your wives in an understanding way, showing honor to the woman as the weaker vessel, since they are heirs with you of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered (1 Peter 3:7).

Are you beginning to get the drift here? If we’re unforgiving, unloving, abusive, and malicious towards people—towards a person—whether they’re in the family or church, whether they’re a Christian or not; we’re putting ourself in a position where God won’t answer our prayer. GOD DOESN’T ANSWER OUR PRAYER WHEN WE DON’T TREAT PEOPLE RIGHT.

Friends, if you haven’t gotten an answer to prayer, or if your prayers are going unanswered; then it would be worth your while to examine the state of your relationship with people. If there’s  someone  that  you’re  not getting  along  with, someone that you’re harboring bad feelings towards, or someone that you’re hurting; then you’ve found the reason why your prayers aren’t being answered.

YOU HAVE TO TREAT PEOPLE JUSTLY AND RESPECTFULLY IF YOU WANT GOD TO ANSWER YOUR PRAYERS. If you want God to do you right, you’ve got to do people right. Treat them right first. Then ask God for what you want. That’s how you get answers to prayer.

Coming Up On My Next Blog In This Series. Being righteous. Think you can get answers to prayer without living the right way? Do you seriously think how you live your life doesn’t matter to God or affect His hearing? Wow, are you in for a surprise! Surf on in and God will have your surprise waiting for you.


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 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.)


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.



Why do you pray? I suppose there are any number of reasons why we pray. But when it comes right down to it, we pray because we need God’s help.

But the sad fact of the matter is, not all of our prayers are answered by God. We pray. And pray. And pray. Yet Heaven remains deaf to our cries. The help that we earnestly seek doesn’t appear anywhere on life’s horizon.

This deafening silence stands in stark contrast and contradiction to God’s promise to answer our prayers. He beckons us in Jeremiah 33:3 to call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not. He reiterated the promise in John 14:13-14,  And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  (14)  If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.

So how do we reconcile the promise of answered prayer with the cold, harsh reality of unanswered prayer? How can God promise to answer our prayer, then turn right around and not answer it?

Brethren, there’s more to the Bible than just Jeremiah 33:3. You’ve got to read the rest of the Bible. When you do this, you’ll see that the same God who promised to answer our prayer also taught us how to pray. He told us what we’ve got to do to get answers to our prayer. THERE ARE CONDITIONS THAT WE MUST MEET IN ORDER TO RECEIVE ANSWERS TO PRAYER.


So when our prayers go unanswered, then the key question that we must ask and answer is, What condition/s haven’t we met? What are God’s requirements for answered prayer?

Just so you know, I’m a very organized sort of fellow, but I’m not into formulas, steps, or secrets. I learned a long time ago that no one is going to put God in a box and make Him do things when we follow a prescribed method of action. All I’ve done is read through the Scriptures and saw God telling us in so many verses what He’s willing to do for us if we’re willing to do what He’s telling us to do. In this series of posts on GETTING ANSWERS TO PRAYER I’d like to share these verses with you and encourage you—as only the Lord and the Bible can—that God’s still in the business of answering prayer! We do not pray in vain! We just have to know how to pray the way God wants us to pray.

Coming Up On My Next Blog Post In This Series. Being right has everything to do with whether or not our prayers are going to get answered. Drop by and I’ll show you what I mean.


For a lot of us, faith doesn’t come easy. We’re prone to doubt. Sadly, shamefully, we’re prone to doubt God most of all. Distrust is built into sinful human nature. It’s like we don’t trust anyone. Not really. Including God. I know it all boils down to whether we’re going to believe God or not. Are we going to believe what God said? Or are we going to believe what everyone else is saying? What the circumstances are saying? What that demon who’s perched on our shoulder is saying? Trusting God is easy when everything’s going our way. But when everything’s stacked against us, fear and logic kick in and pretty much put an end to whatever little faith we had.

In our saner, better moments, we wish we could trust God more! How we wish we had more faith! Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief!

God is a merciful God. He wants us to trust Him and He helps us do that. I will never cease to praise Him for that day long ago when, in the midst of my struggles and doubts, He brought me to Psalm 9:10 and said, Here, son, is how you get strong, abiding faith. I read the verse and my life’s been changed ever since. Those who know Your name, O Lord, will put their trust in You.

You have to know the Lord before you can really trust Him. I know we all like to think we know the Lord. We have a fairly good knowledge of God and the Bible. Yet, in our knowledge, we’re still prone to argue with God, to question, doubt, and distrust Him. Why is that? It’s because we don’t know Him as we should. We have a bookish knowledge of Him, but we don’t have the kind of intimate, faith-inspiring knowledge that can be had only in the context of a close and personal relationship with God.

It’s like two people who know the President. One’s a reporter who digs up all he can about the President in books, magazines, the papers, the newscasts, and the net. He’s never met the President, but he knows a lot about him. Then there’s the President’s confidant and close friend. He spends a lot of time with the President. He knows the President’s heart and soul. Which of the two, would you say, knows the President well? Of course, the guy who spends the most time with the President himself.

This is the way it is with God. The Bible is great and our bookish knowledge of God is gobs better than ignorance. But God is a Person. He’s a Personal Being. And, like we are with one another, He wants to be with us. That’s what salvation and eternity are all about: it’s about God saving us so that we can spend eternity with Him. But God isn’t waiting for eternity to be with us: He wants us to draw close to Him right now. He wants us to have an intimate friendship and relationship with Him. It’s called communion. Hanging out. Spending time with the one you love.

YOU DON’T REALLY KNOW A PERSON UNTIL YOU SPEND TIME WITH THAT PERSON. There are things that can be known only in the context of a close friendship or relationship. Like a marriage or friendship, the more time you spend with someone, the more you get to know that person. And the more you get to know the person, the more you love, trust, and respect that person.

TRUST COMES EASY WHEN YOU KNOW WHO YOU’RE TRUSTING. If you’re following God from afar and don’t have much of a relationship with Him in prayer or in the Word, then faith won’t be easy for you. YOU CAN’T TRUST SOMEONE YOU DON’T KNOW.

Do you want to have faith? Do you long to have a strong, abiding faith in God despite the trials and the adverse reasonings and circumstances of life? Get to know God better. Spend more time with Him in prayer and the Word. Talk to Him lots. And keep quiet long enough to hear Him speak back to you. He’s got so much He wants to say to you! So keep quiet and listen. Work on your relationship with Him. FAITH WILL COME AS A MATTER OF COURSE WHEN YOU KNOW THE LORD IN A PERSONAL SORT OF WAY.

Are you having problems with doubt? Are you trying, struggling, to believe? Clear your mind of the thoughts that trouble you. Focus on God. Draw near to Him and get to know Him better. THE MORE YOU KNOW HIM THE LESS YOU’LL DOUBT HIM. THE MORE YOU KNOW HIM THE MORE YOU’LL TRUST HIM. AND THE MORE YOU TRUST HIM THE MORE YOU’LL SEE HIS SAVING HAND AND HELP. For You, O Lord, do not forsake or abandon those who seek You (Psalm 9:10b).

May God grant you a heart to know Him. And, in knowing Him, fill your heart with faith and your mind with peace. God bless you.


One of the hardest things to do in life is wait, especially when you want–no, strike that, when you need–something now. When the deadline’s come, when you’re hurting really bad, when you can’t possibly endure a moment longer, when the next step can only end in certain death; we all need answers now. We need miracles today.

I’d like to share with you a verse of Scripture that’s been of immense comfort and encouragement to me. It’s taken the grumbling and doubting out of all my waits. It’s given me the assurance that, come what may, no matter how long it takes, God will keep His Word. He will come through for me. Here’s the verse.

Galatians 6:9 And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

1. In order to reap we must first sow.  Galatians 6:7 exhorts us, Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

  • Planting comes before harvest.
  • You work before you get the paycheck.

In the spiritual realm,

  •  Praying comes before answered prayer. Matthew 7:7, Ask, and it shall be given you.
  • Praying in accordance with God’s will comes before answered prayer. 1 John 5:14-15,  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  (15)  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
  • Believing comes before answered prayer. Matthew 21:22, And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
  • Obedience comes before answered prayer. I John 3:22, And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.

Answered prayer requires praying in accordance with God’s will, believing, and obeying. You can’t expect an answer to prayer if you haven’t prayed, believed, or obeyed God.

So many want to reap without sowing. They want answers to prayer, healings, provisions, blessings, and a whole lot more; without having to believe or obey God. Brethren, it doesn’t work this way! If you want a healing or an answer to prayer, you’ve first got to believe and obey before you ask.

2. Because we have sown, we then have God’s promise and assurance that we shall reap.  In due season we shall reap.

There is an air of finality or certainty about this word shall. It leaves you with no room for doubt or question about what will happen after we’ve sown, prayed, believed, and obeyed: we shall reap! It’s not maybe, or perhaps, or might, or probably. God said, Shall reap.

Are you going to get your answer to prayer? Are you going to be healed? Is the money going to come? Is the loved one going to get saved? On the authority of God’s Word, the answer is Yes!

  • You shall receive. Matthew 21:22, And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
  • You shall be healed. The prayer of faith shall heal the sick and the Lord shall raise him up, James 5:15.
  • Shall be heard and shall be helped.  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him, (16) With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation, Psalm 91:15,16.

There are no doubts about it, no doubt about how it’s going to end, no doubt about what God’s going to do, no doubt about what’s going to happen to you.

How do you know you’re going to get it? How can you be confident you’re going to be manifestly healed when it isn’t manifested yet? How do you know something is going to happen when it hasn’t happened yet?

When you order something through the mail, on the internet, or on the phone, you believe you’re going to get what you ordered and paid for. You don’t even think about doubting! You know you’re going to get what you ordered. How can you be so sure you’re going to get it?

  • You’ve met the conditions: you’ve placed the order and paid for the merchandise. It works the same way in the spiritual realm with answered prayer. You’re confident about receiving the answer because you’ve met the conditions. Confidence of answered prayer, brethren, comes by meeting the conditions for answered prayer. Look at 1 John 5:14-15 again, And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:  (15)  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.
  • You trust the mail-order company to fill your order and send it to you; you trust the postal delivery system to deliver it to your door. You see, you’re confident in the ability and integrity of both the mail-order company and the postal delivery system to do their part and send you your order.

Now there are all kinds of questions you could raise: Is the company reliable? Are they going to gyp me? Did UPS deliver it to the wrong house? Yes, there are all kinds of questions you could ask, all kinds of doubts you could raise. But you don’t ask the questions and you don’t raise the doubts. Why? Because you believe the company’s honest and so is the post office: they’re going to get the product to you.

Can you believe God the same way? It would be mighty embarrassing for you to have faith and confidence in men that can lie and steal, but not have faith and confidence in a God who can’t lie and steal.

3. There is a time for answered prayer.  In due season we shall reap. What does due season mean? The word in the Greek means, the proper time, the right time, the appointed or ordained time. God, my friends, has an appointed time to answer prayer. When that appointed time comes, when it’s the right time, He gives you what you’ve asked of Him.

  • Sometimes you know the exact time something is going to happen. For example, you know that every Friday at noon you’ll get your paycheck. You know exactly when you’re going to get it.
  •  Sometimes you know the approximate time when something is going to happen, even though you don’t know exactly when. For example, a mother knows she’ll give birth to a baby nine months from now, but she doesn’t know exactly what day that will be.
  • Sometimes, however, you don’t know the exact or approximate time something is going to happen. In school it’s called a pop quiz. In industry it’s called a surprise inspection. In war, it’s called a surprise attack.

Look at Mark 11:24, Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them. Note that the Lord tells you you’ll get the answer to your prayer, but He doesn’t tell you when! Even though He doesn’t tell you when, He nevertheless guarantees you that the time will come when you will get it.

Brethren, you’ve got to leave the time in God’s hands. Don’t be disheartened or doubtful that you’ll never get what you asked God for. Be encouraged. We shall reap! That’s God’s promise to you and He won’t break it!

4. In order to reap there’s one final condition we must meet, one more thing we must do, and that is persevere or hold fast.  For in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.  Now the word faint simply means to get weary or tired; exhausted. It means giving up or quitting.

Quitting is easy, but you seldom, if ever, get anything good out of quitting.

  • You don’t win the race if you quit running.
  • You don’t enjoy the new house if you quit building.
  • You don’t get the veggies from the garden if you quit planting, tilling, and watering.

My friends, you don’t reap if you quit doing what’s good.

Receiving requires endurance.  Hebrews 6:11,12,15. And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end:  (12)  That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Skip down to verse 15, And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

What does endurance mean? It means

  • to wait patiently on God.
  • to continue doing good.
  • to continue believing and confessing even when things don’t look good.
  • to not grow weary or doubtful.
  • to not give up when you’re tempted to give in and quit.
  • to continue serving God when you’re tempted to turn your back on Him.

Brethren, I know it’s hard to wait. I know the doubts and frustrations and fears that you battle. It seems so unfair, unreasonable, and hard. You don’t understand why God’s taking so long. I don’t understand either. But God is God and He can do no wrong.

We all want answers now. We want to be healed now. We want to feel good now. We want our needs met now.

But if it hasn’t happened yet, then now is not the right time for these things to happen; now is not God’s due season. God’s promise is, we shall reap in due season. If now was the right time, we would have the answer now. But we don’t have the answer now. Why?

  • It’s not because God has changed His mind.
  • It’s not because God can’t do what we’re asked Him to do.
  • It’s not because God doesn’t love us and He doesn’t want to answer our prayer.
  • It’s because now is not the due season or appointed time. Now is not the right time.

Rest assured, brethren, that there is a right time. And with each passing hour and day, that right time is coming. We’re getting closer and closer. And when that time finally comes, we shall have it. We shall receive. We shall reap.

So continue waiting, believing, and doing good. It’s just about harvest time!

« Older entries