Prayer – How to Pray and Receive Answers
PURPOSE: Prayer is effective, powerful and necessary for a follower of Christ. There are certain conditions for receiving answers to prayer.
FOCUS: To pray is to open the heart to Jesus, as to a friend.
God knows what we need and can read our hearts, so why pray?
Is prayer actually necessary?
God can’t answer the prayer we don’t pray (Matt 7:7). What effect does prayer have on the person praying? Prayer doesn’t draw God closer to us, it draws us closer to God. IE: Relationships require communication. Open your heart to God as to a friend. How much can we pray for? Only the big things?
Through His example, Jesus showed us that prayer was important…
God’s own Son, the One we pray to, felt a need to prayer; how much more do we need it! When did Jesus pray? IE: Morning worship (Ps 119:147-148)
Jesus also taught His disciples how to pray…
It is not enough to only pray in church or in the family, we must also be alone with God. Let nothing disturb this precious time, so essential to spiritual life.
Let us look at another example where Jesus speaks of prayer…
Sometimes we have to learn how to pray. IE: Model Prayer – not a liturgical rigmarole. There are conditions to having your prayers answered.
The first condition is to feel your need for God’s help…
Did David feel his need for God? Our need is an argument for God to help us (Jdg 10:15-16, Matt 5:6).
Sometimes we need help to realize our need for God…
Ps 107:5-6, 12-13
God sometimes leads us into hopeless situations so that we realize our need for Him. IE: Israelites at the Red Sea. But when we call on Him, He will answer.
The second condition is to confess every known sin…
If God convicts us of a specific transgression of His Law and we are unwilling to surrender it, will God hear our prayers? (Ps 66:18)
There is one prayer, however, that God always hears…
What does God do when we are willing to confess our sins? We also need to be willing to confess to the people we have wronged (Matt 5:23-24).
The third condition is to forgive others…
We will be forgiven in the same way we forgive others (Matt 6:12, 14-15). To forgive doesn’t mean to excuse the sin or to find some good traits in the offender or that there are no consequences (Micah 7:9). Forgiveness means to admit that the act was hurtful to you, to let go of bitterness and revenge and commit your case to Him who judges righteously (1 Pet 2:23, Rom 12:17-21).
The forth condition is faith…
Do we take God at His word? When we believe we receive answers. The opposite is also true (Heb 11:6). We can thank God that we have already received it. Perhaps the answer will not be exactly as we hoped for, but He always gives us what we would have wanted to have if we could see the end from the beginning. IE: Parent, child. Claim the promise, the answer will come when we most need it. Faith = Active, not passive.
The fifth condition is persistence…
Many people give up too quickly in prayer. What do we need to do in prayer? (Luke 18:1-8) IE: Elijah prayed 7 times for rain (1 Kings 18:41-45, Jas 5:16-19). Persistence shows sincerity and faith. IE: Great Controversy (Dan 10:1-3, 12-13)
The last condition is to pray according to God’s will…
1 John 5:14-15
Is it your desire to pray according to God’s will and apply these principles?