Summary: A promise, based on the Word of God, that prayer will be answered - if we fulfill the conditions!
ANSWERED PRAYER – GUARANTEED!
It is a sad fact that apparently there are many people who do not have their prayers answered. It seems that the main reason is that people like to claim the promise of answered prayer without realising that there are conditions to be met! If we want to see answers to our prayers then we need to comply with the requirements the Lord has laid down in His Word. Here are some of the conditions that the Word of God shows us we must fulfil to see answered prayer.
Before we can move into the sort of relationship with God that will be effective in prayers being answered, we need to ensure our lives are in good order, and any sin will need to be dealt with. We must be willing to acknowledge our wrong, and deal with it.
There is a need for
CONTRITION - REPENTANCE
II Chronicles 7:14 [NLT]. If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land.
Sin brought a barrier between man and God right back in the Garden of Eden, and ever since there has been the problem of man’s sin blocking the approach to a Holy God. Even as Christians, those who have received forgiveness through the death of Christ, we still sin and block the blessings God would give to us. The way to put this right is through repentance. One dictionary interprets the word ‘repent, this way
metanoew metanoeo met-an-o-eh’-o
To change one’s mind for better, heartily to amend with abhorrence of one’s past sins.
It adds that this is to be an active response, not just a mental one!
To repent means a change of direction; from our own way to the Lord’s way.
COMPLIANCE - OBEDIENCE
I John 3:22 [AMP]. We receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.
In this second condition, we see that having heard what we should do, now we must obey! Again this is action – not just words.
It is clear that to ask for something that does not line-up with God’s way is folly, for we cannot expect answers to prayers of that kind. This verse tells us that that we receive when we are obedient and follow His plan for us. This verse is a good filter for our praying. It will sort out some of the ‘give me’ prayers!
CONTINUING - ABIDING
John 15:7 [AMP]. If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.
This verse makes it clear that our action is to be a continual one of remembering and obeying the words of the Lord. If we are truly ‘in Christ’ then His desires will be our desires. If His words continue to live in our hearts they will guide us in the way we pray, and our requests will be guaranteed an answer, simply because the Lord says it shall be done for you. When we grasp this truth, we wonder why we have not lived in this way previously. How wonderful to always see answered payer!
COMMITMENT - WHOLE HEARTEDNESS
Jeremiah 29:13 [AV]. Ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
Being a Christian is a seven day a week happening. There needs to be a total commitment of our will to the will and way of the Lord.
The desire of the Lord for us has always been that we be whole-hearted. Back in the days of the giving of the Law God stated that we should love Him with all our hearts! It is so easy to ‘love the Lord’ when we are in a group of fellow believers who are worshipping the Lord, but when we get home . . . , or when we get to our place of work . . . , when the external influences have changed and we hear complaints and criticism, not praise and worship. That is the place where commitment is really seen, and to be whole-hearted is not the norm! To be true to the Lord in those situations is a long way towards answered prayer.
CONFIDENCE - EXPECTANCY
Mark 11:24 [AMP]. I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
There is no point in praying if we do not expect the answer; however our praying must conform to the will of the Lord, and not just to our own desires.