There is no doubt that God answers prayers and His power is always demonstrated around you everyday both in ways that are obvious and most times, not so obvious. Yet, many people still feel it is a difficult thing for God to answer their prayers.
Everybody desires to receive answers to their prayers and often, very quickly, but this is always not the situation. I am sure you have had prayers that went answered, or at least the answers you received were contrary to what you were expecting.
What you Need to Know
First you must know that nothing is impossible with God. He is the Almighty God, nothing is beyond His power. He is the Lord God Almighty. That is why He asked this rhetorical question (Gen. 18:14).
Whatever your situation is or the issues confronting you, know that God is more powerful than that situation and it is possible for Him to change it.
Secondly, you must recognize that God is an All-Knowing God. He is the omniscient God, He knows all things, and nothing is hidden from Him. He knows the end of every situation from the beginning, and He decides what happens in any given situation. (Proverbs 19:21).
Oftentimes, your challenges may not end the way you desire, but if God is involved, you can be rest assured that He will work it out for your good. The most important thing is to present your situations before God, make your petitions to Him, and get Him involved in your circumstances.
To understand how God responds to or answers your prayers, you need to know what prayer is and how to pray.
What is Prayer?
Prayer between man and God; a two-way relationship in which man should not only talk to God, but also listen and commune with Him.
God always wants to communicate with us and as a father, it is natural for us to ask Him for things just as we often ask our earthly parents for our needs. God is always attentive and waiting for you to call out to Him.
How Does Prayer Work?
Prayer is not a magic wand, nor is it conjuring up incantations to get dramatic results. Answers to prayers occur as a deliberate manifestation of the power and mercy of God.
God has promised that when you cry out to Him, He will respond to you. He also promised that if you call upon Him in the time of trouble, He will answer and deliver you (Psalms 50:15).
The issue may not be that God is not answering your prayer, it may be that you are not calling on God. Do not expect God to answer automatically in every situation. He does answer before you ask in certain situations. However, sometimes you will have to call upon Him in prayer.
God always answers your prayers when you call upon Him, it may not be the answer you want or expect but He answers all the same. With the benefit of hindsight, you will be grateful later that He answered you that way.
How to Get Answers to Your Prayers
In spite of the challenges before you and the discouragement to pray about them, It is important to remember that no situation is too difficult or impossible with God. Remembering this should help you muster the strength to pray.
God responds and answers your prayers when you pray to Him in faith. You need to believe in His absolute ability to deliver and change whatever situation you are praying for without having any doubts.
Ensure that you do not hold any kind of bitterness and unforgiveness in your heart against anybody. This will prevent God from answering your prayers. You may have been hurt and offended and you may be carrying that pain in your heart without knowing it.
At other times, you may be aware of the bitterness you harbor against your offender and may be unwilling to let go. As difficult as it is, you will have to let go and forgive those who have offended you so that you can position yourself correctly for God to bless you and answer your prayers.
It is possible to do all these things – praying in faith, letting go of any bitterness/unforgiveness, and everything else you know is the right thing to do and yet you may not see the results you want or receive the answers you desire to your prayers.
When you have done all of these without getting your desired answers, keep trusting God, even if you don’t understand. God may be answering your prayers without you realizing it yet.
Sometimes it is easier to trust God who knows all things when you understand that His plans for you are good and not evil. Remember that you will never completely understand every situation until when God has completed the work He is doing.
When you trust God, He takes delight in you and He will lead you through that situation and perfect His plan for your life.
How to Pray Effectively
You also need to learn and understand how to pray effectively for God to answer your prayers. There are several things you can do to pray effectively. They include -:
1. Praying in the Holy Spirit
This refers to praying in other tongues and it is a gift that any believer can receive when baptized in the Holy Spirit.
One of the benefits of the gift of speaking in tongues is that the Holy Spirit helps you to pray and to pray according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27).
2. Fasting and Praying
Fasting and praying is another potent aspect of praying that you can utilize. When you fast and pray, you demonstrate to God that you care so much about that situation and you get His attention.
A lot of times, God responds quickly to prayers that are done with fasting especially in very difficult and impossible situations.
3. Praying Fervently and Persistently
God honors our fervency and persistence in prayers. “The effectual fervent prayer of the righteous man makes much power available” (James 5:16). Also, the parable of the persistent widow vividly shows the power of persistence (Luke 18:1-8).
This does not mean that we can “arm twist” God (with fervency and persistence) to answer our prayers.He is still the Almighty God and He will ultimately decide what He will do in any situation.
4. Praying for One Another
There are times you may be too weak or discouraged to pray and may need someone to uphold you in prayer. Having people around you who share your faith and can stand in prayer on your behalf when you can’t muster the strength to do so is important. They will help lift you up when you are down.
5. Praying with One Another (Joining of faith)
It is also important that you pray in groups too (both small and large groups). Sometimes the faith of one person may be weak, but you can join your faith together on any issue.Jesus promised that such prayers will be answered by His father (God) in heaven (Matthew 18:19).
Impediments to Prayer
As faithful as God is in answering our prayers, there are times when His hands are tied and He will not respond in the way you may want Him to respond to your prayers.
The Bible says “Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear”(Isaiah 59:1-2).
Sometimes, your conscience just stops you from praying because you think God will not listen to you, but you are wrong. God is always looking forward to hearing you call on Him. His love for you endures for a lifetime.
All you need to do is to acknowledge your sin (or wrong doing) and ask Him to forgive you. This is a good place to start your conversation with God again.
He will quickly forgive you and accept you as His child. Remember, God does not keep any records of your previous wrong doings no matter how terrible they are.
He is waiting to accept you as His child again and to start answering your prayers. It’s a very simple process and you can do it by saying the prayer in the decision box below.
I know that I am a sinner and need Your forgiveness. I believe that You died on the cross for my sins and rose from the grave to give me life.
I know You are the only way to God. So now I want to quit disobeying You and start living for You.
Please forgive me, change my life and show me how to know You.
In Jesus’ name. Amen.