Prayer is talking to God (either by speaking or in your mind)….. He may answer us by thought, voice, vision, dream, miracle…. or He may not answer us at all….. but whether He answers us or not He has “heard” our prayer….. so why would He not answer ?
1. Sin and insincerity… sinners “mock” God and may say things to Him out of anger or unbelief… they have no reverence for His Holiness and so He just ignores such insolent behaviour.
2. Unbelief and Lack of Faith…. if you do not believe that He hears you and/or you do not believe He will do what you are asking Him for…. why should He answer you or pay any attention to your prayer ?
3. Patience and Testing – If He does not answer right away, it does not mean that He will not do what you have requested of Him… if you love Him and are genuinely sincere you must continue in faith believing that He has your good in His Heart…. there was nothing “wrong” with Mary and Martha’s dedication to Jesus….. but He did not respond to their request until Lazarus had been dead four days…. the final result was a “greater” miracle… Mary and Martha got what they wanted (Lazarus alive and well)… and many of the Jews believed on Him as a result of the whole episode (John 11:45)….. my brothers and sisters, who love the LORD, you MUST believe that God has your BEST ULTIMATE GOOD in His Heart even when He appears to ignore you…. your dedication to Him must be absolute EVEN when you dont understand His ways.
4. Free will – God has given every person free will, and if you are praying for somebody other than yourself, their free will may delay the answer… for example… it pleases God when you earnestly pray for the salvation of your unsaved relatives (and He will bless you for doing so)… however, their salvation also depends on their own free will and although God can make circumstances favorable to “turning to Him”…. ultimately it is THEIR choice…. God does not want robots, so the answer to your prayer remains uncertain even though it is good and right for you to pray such prayers.
Consider the following:
Psalms 102:17 “He will regard the prayer of the destitute, and not despise their prayer.”
Proverbs 15:8 “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD, but the prayer of the upright is his delight.”
Proverbs 15:29 “The LORD is far from the wicked, but he heareth the prayer of the righteous”
Matthew 6:7 tells us not to use “vain repetition” (like chants in prayer books) but to pray from your heart BELIEVING that He hears you…. Matthew 21:22 emphasizes the importance of FAITH (believing) in getting an answer… praying to God without believing that He will hear or respond… is surely an INSULT to Him…. I mean, why bother ?
Mark 11:24 “Therefore, I say unto you, Whatsoever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” ….. this is a favorite with the prosperity preachers, they use it to justify their immense mega-million fortunes….. but does all this wealth mean they are pleasing God ? will this wealth get them into Heaven or prevent them from ever going there ?…. through faith, He gives us what we want, but it is our RESPONSIBILITY to have “wants” that are in keeping with His Word….. a Spiritual life that has eternal value….. not a life filled with material abundance that glorifies our flesh…. “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21 and Luke 12:34)
While in His human body, Jesus needed prayer just like us, “And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and CONTINUED ALL NIGHT IN PRAYER TO GOD” (Luke 6:12)….. you can be sure, He was not asking God for land, houses and plenty money in the bank to spend upon Himself.
Phillipians 4:6 …. I have used this before in previous posts… look it up, this is a good one to learn by heart and always remember.
James 5:15 – 16 … shows us the power of prayer for health and forgiveness…. the doctor is NOT the first thing that should come into your head when you feel sick…. prayer is where you should start seeking an answer about your sickness…. God sometimes uses sickness to get our attention (people are usually a little more receptive to Him when they are sick) or to build our character… but sickness is not part of His plan for His servants (in the majority of cases)… and He is well able to heal you and keep you well when you are in His service.
1 Thessalonians 5:17 “Pray without ceasing” ….. does not mean 24 hours a day…. but it means “do not give up on prayer”…. do not allow regular prayer (during the day) to slip out of your life (or you will backslide for sure).
Loving Heavenly Father, thank you for hearing our prayers and guide us as to how we should pray… let the words of our mouth and the meditation of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight… both now and forevermore. Amen