Summary: Getting an answer to prayer at times can be frustrating
God’s Promise To Answer Prayer by Gerald Van Horn
Text. John 15:7
What about our prayers? Getting the answer can be frustrating. However,
difficult as it may seem the Bible has the answer. Does God answer everyone’s prayer? The answer is no. It’s clear in the Bible that God completely ignores some people’s prayers. The fact is God has laid some
conditions to answered prayer. Let’s look at five of them.
1. You Must Be Honest About Your Relationship with God. V. 7
Here you’ll find some “ifs.” The key is in the “remain.” It speaks of
relationship with God. A connection with Him if you please. What should remain in us? His Word! If I ignore His Word why should He pay any attention to my prayers? We must fill our minds with the Word and then we will be in Christ and He in us. What are you saying, “If I don’t read and study the Bible I will not get my prayers answered? No, what I’m saying is our prayers will not be effective as much as how much we know the Word. The more you understand the Bible, the more you’ll know how to pray effectively.
2. There is another requirement to answered prayer. You Must Have A Forgiving Attitude Toward People. (Mark 11:24-25.) Read it for yourself. In the entire Bible the number one thing related to prayer (other than faith) is forgiveness. Nothing can cancel your prayers any faster than a grudge against somebody. The Lord in the sermon on the mount made it clear saying you cannot love your brother and hate him at the same time. Hebrews 12:15
(LB) “Watch out that no bitterness take root among you for as it springs among you it causes deep trouble, hurting many in their spiritual life.” Bitterness is like a poison, it will eat you alive. In the Lord’s Prayer, “Father forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” Such an attitude of unforgiveness will keep your prayers from being answered.
3. You Must Believe That God Can Answer is the third condition.
You must not doubt. You must not fear. Fear cancels faith and without faith it is impossible to please God, Hebrews 11:6. The Word of God says, “According to your faith so be it unto you.” Have faith. It is such a major factor in our prayer life. Faith is simply believing that God can do it. So many people say, “But that is not faith, for when you believe that God can do it, that is just a fact”. You see God can do it whether you believe it or not. “I believe God might do it.” That’s not faith either. That is hope. You hope God might do it. No, faith is believing that God will do it. Also faith is not a desire. I have many desires but none of them is faith. Desire can lead to faith which may be a place to begin to believe God. Someone once said, “I believe that if God actually answered some people’s prayers, they might have a heart attack.” God probably hasn’t answered some of them just to keep some people alive. Here is another nugget in the Bible. “According to your faith so be it unto you.” Often we expect so little and we get little.
4. We Must Pray In Jesus’ Name. That is our fourth condition to answered prayer.
John 16:24 says, “You’ve not asked anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete.” I am not talking about going around and parroting the name of Jesus. Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. No that will not work.
It is not a mystical password either - nor the secret word. Do we not end most of our prayers by saying, “In Jesus name?” Why do we do that? What does it mean? I’m glad you asked. This little story illustrates it.
(Ill.) A Pastor took his young son and about fourteen of his friends to the carnival for a birthday party. He bought a roll of tickets and he’d stand at the front of every ride and as the kids came by he gave everyone a ticket. He was just handing them out. All at once he looked up and there was a little boy with his hand out asking for a ticket that he’d never seen before in his life. He said, “Son, are with my son’s party?” “No, came the answer”. “Then why should I give you a ticket?” The boy turned around and pointed. “Your son said you would.” So the father gave him one. The point is, what right do I have to come to God on my own merits? I come on the merits of Jesus Christ -that name that is above all other names.