What will you give to be sure, absolutely sure, that every prayer you pray will be answered? I am sure almost everything, I mean that is a sure fire way to being successful at everything, it is key to living a vibrant fulfilled life, a life Jesus described as the abundant life.( John 10:10)
Well, I believe that I can show you some simple things that if you will apply will guarantee that every prayer you pray is answered… eventually. You see I believe that prayer is like a seed, every seed has a gestation period, some are shorter than others, but if the seed is good and it is planted in the right soil, you have firm certainty that in its season it will spring forth and produce good fruit.
Here are a few things to help you.
1. Understand the heart of God
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!
Matt 7:7-12 NKJV
I believe the first thing we should establish in our hearts is this God wants us to have what we need, many time people pray and it seems like they are trying to wring a blessing out of God or that they must to convince God to want to bless them. That mindset will lead to defeat; God wants us to have all that we need for life and godliness.
Jesus said our Father knows what we need even before we ask, so why worry? This is true in the New as well as in the old testaments, David said in the 103rd Psalm, he satisfies our mouth with good things, this can allude to answers to prayer as well as needs being met.
God is not stingy, wicked or mean; he is generous and liberal to all who look to Him. The miracle of answered prayers is born in our hearts, this is where we succeed or fail in the place of prayer.
Jesus is the revealed heart of God, the will of God in bodily form. I like to say He is the very expression of the thoughts of God towards humanity. Take a close look at Jesus, does he come across to you as vengeful, stingy, hard to please or unapproachable?
Paul the apostle said in the 8th chapter of the book of Romans,
If God did not hold back his son from us but freely gave him up for us, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?Jesus himself told us clearly, whatsoever things YOU desire when YOU pray believe and you shall receive. Mark 11:24
This heart of God towards us is love, God reaching out to us with his highest and best.
2. Change your own mindset
Some people look at God and his word through some preconceived lens, whether of traditions, wrongful teachings, experiences from their personal life and that of others that has cast God and His will for us in the wrong light, because of this their ability to receive God’s love is very limited and so is their ability to receive answers to their prayers.
The wise man in the book of proverbs gave us some very true counsel when he said ‘guard your heart with all diligence for out of it proceeds the issues of life. Pro. 4:23
The unguarded heart produces doubt, fear, unbelief, unbelief and negativity. You are responsible to deal with these, and the cure is found in the word of God.
Work on your mindset by thinking on the goodness of God, affirming His love, forgiveness, ability and power, fill your heart s with His thoughts and not the thoughts that weaken faith and inspire death dealing emotions.
Paul the apostle called this process of changing your mindset, the renewing of the mind, watch the company you keep and the things you listen to and watch. God cannot do any of these for you, you must do them for yourself.
3. Understand the will of God
God’s iron clad guarantee of answers to ALL your prayers is based on this very important proviso that you ask in accordance with his will.
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.
1 John 5:14-15 NKJV
The big problem for many people is what is His will? The answer is simple, In the first instance Jesus is the will of God, in other words whatever Jesus did or said was a reflection of God’s will because Jesus is the word made flesh, the express image of God’s person.
Jesus himself said, that all he did was by the express instruction or example of God, so..
Saying that I can safely say that salvation from sin, sickness or poverty is God’s will, some people have criticized what they call the health wealth gospel, and sometimes rightly so for its imbalances and abuse, but Jesus did suffer so that by His stripes we may be healed, ( 1 Peter 2:24) and he became poor so that we through His poverty might become rich or full 2 Cor. 8:9) no need spiritualizing what is plain. Your well being and protection is his will as also a thousand other things.
In the second instance, the written word is the will of God, this is where some may miss it if they are not careful, the whole bible is inspired by the Spirit of God but the whole bible is not the will of God, someone put it like this ‘the scriptures are a true statement of the events and actions recorded but not every action was approved or sanctioned by God.
This means that we need to be sure that God is the one speaking to us or that what is being taught is reflective of the counsel of God and is not a mere record of an action or incident in biblical history.
There is a third dimension of the will of God that we need to recognize, which is the revealed will of God to an individual by the Spirit of God. Many believers will accept that God spoke to Paul, Peter James and others but will not speak to believers today, I beg to disagree, the Jesus who spoke to his servants’ in the bible still speaks to them today. The caveat is that Jesus will never ask anyone to do something that contradicts the principle of His word or that which he did in the flesh.
4. Simply ask
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
John 4:10 NKJV
This scripture blew my mind when I first saw it, no formulas, no steps just simply recognize God’s free gift (everything God gives us is gracious) and ..ask.
I decided on the basis of God’s word that it will be highly unusual if I don’t get answers to my prayers but then I must say that this has to do mainly with your own needs, when they are also about another person then that person’s will is also involved and it is a slightly different situation.
This is enough to get you started, will add a few other thoughts in the next post.