God answers prayers.
What goes through your mind when you’re scrolling through the comment section of a social media post and read: “praying for you” or “sending prayers?”
Is it something like “aww, that’s sweet.” Or is it more like, “Smh…another empty gesture. The author of the post has poured their heart out onto the screen, and all you can say is praying for you?”
I’ve prayed to God many times in my life for big things and small.
His response to my prayer is not always the same. As I’m thanking God and praying to Him, I don’t look at His answer as yes, no, or not right now. I look at His answer as “I love you.” I am for you. It’s as if He is saying:
“When you pray to me and the outcome is not what you’re expecting, know that I love you. That my eyes are fixed on you, and my ears are attentive to your prayers. Know that my son is interceding on your behalf for everything you’re praying for, and I have given you my Holy Spirit to pray directly to me, deeply, for your good.
1. Prayer is powerful.
Do you know the power, growth and faith that comes from persistent prayer? Did you know that your persistent prayers put you into agreement with my will for your life?
And the testing of your faith builds endurance, which is so valuable that James Chapter 1 says ‘for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.’
You have a heavy burden on your heart. Why don’t you surrender it to me? Instead of worrying, growing anxious and trying to solve it on your own. Know that I already have the answer waiting for you. And trust that my answer, whether it may be yes, no, or not right now, is perfect and complete.
Know that I have already seen your life played out. Your future from the beginning. I have seen that answered prayer unfold perfectly in your life. And it is beautiful because it strengthens your faith and brings me glory.”
2. Praying doesn’t have to be a struggle.
You know those times when you feel like your prayers are hitting a ceiling and it’s hard to quiet your soul? It can feel like the hardest thing in the world to enter into that still, quiet place where the voice of God can be found.
Distracted prayer comes from a distracted heart.
When I have pushed past the distractions, the noise and chaos in my mind, I discovered the great reward of a pure and soft heart towards the Lord.
When your eyes are fixed on Jesus, you’ll find yourself waking up and thanking Him, brushing your teeth and praising Him. Loving Him, praying away offenses from co-workers and blessing those who curse you. Returning love for hate.
You bring Jesus wherever you go because your heart is surrendered to the Lord. You find yourself praying for that person you passed on the street, for that coworker who feels sick, or just when someone comes to your mind.
Prayer and faith go hand in hand. The more faith you have that God is able and God is willing, the more you are eager to pray, and pray always.
3. Effective prayer comes from relationship, not desperation.
Trusting in God comes naturally when you have made time to develop your relationship with Him. In John 15:7 Jesus says, “If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you will and it shall be done for you.”
There are things I have been praying to God about for years. But I know and have faith that God hears those prayers because of my relationship with Him. Not to boast in myself, only boasting in the love of God. For it was through His love that He called me to Himself.
4. Prayer is our access to the Holy of Holies.
The place where priests would enter once a year to make sacrifices for the people of Israel on the Day of Atonement. The veil that separated the innermost room was torn when Jesus went to the cross. That was the place God chose to reveal His beautiful presence to man.
As believers, we are granted 24/7 into that place. This should leave us in awe. When we enter in through prayer and worship, and his manifest presence is revealed, we know that God hears us and is with us.
5. Prayer reveals the motives of our heart.
If you are petitioning the Lord with pure motives and a pure heart, and are struggling to find God’s peace, then it’s time to get still before the Lord.
Humble your heart in fasting and prayer. If you know you’re praying according to His will, which is found in His word, then choose this time to answer the call to drawn near to Him. God at times answers my prayers with His peace instead of a yes or no.
He is always ready to respond to your requests, but if you can’t hear Him, then it’s time to remove the distractions and position yourself to hear His voice.
I always find Him in the stillness of my heart. Oftentimes I get answers to prayers when I am worshipping. They just come, because my heart is open and positioned to hear Him. I rarely hear from the Lord when my heart is full of worry and anxiety. In those moments, I have found a great reward in taking the time and effort to calm my heart with worship and stillness. I may have to play a song on repeat to get to that place of stillness, but the choice and the effort is more than worth it.
6. Prayer is our gift from God to assault the darkness in this world.
I have learned that prayer is how the Lord, the great I AM, Yahweh chooses to bring forth His will on this earth. Through the prayers of His children. Wow. And when we come together as His church, in unity…world look out!
I have personally experienced the power of prayer in my own life, and in the lives of others when we have prayed together in faith for God’s will on the earth.
A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.Ephesians 4:12 NLT
Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.Matthew 7:7-8 NLT
7. The effective, fervent prayers of the righteous availeth much. James 5:16
When we are petitioning God to answer our prayers, we are not begging Him, trying to persuade Him to answer our prayers. Trying to move Him with our persuasive words or desperate pleas.
When we persistently pray, we are growing our faith, which pleases God, and we are building endurance. We are building our trust in Him. And that faith is beautiful, and much needed for what He has in store for your future.
Did you know God wants His will for your life more than you do? Do you know how much God is for you?
Never forget that God has seen your future from your beginning.
He is the only One with perfect wisdom, perfect timing, and perfect vision for your life. And it is for your good. So keep praying and keep believing.
You parents: if your children ask for a loaf of bread, do you give them a stone instead? Or if they ask for a fish, do you give them a snake? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.Matthew 7:9-11
But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.Isaiah 40:31 NKJV