“The LORD is far from the wicked, but he hears the prayer of the righteous” (Proverbs 15:29).
You want to have the joy of answered prayer?
No one wants to invest the time to talk to God who may not be listening to begin with. We want our prayers to be heard and answered. With that in mind, there are certain types of prayers to avoid. In other words, these prayers will NOT be heard by God.
- f you want your prayers answered, offer them in Jesus’ name (John 16:23-24). To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray for the things He would pray for and on His authority. Because we’ve been given access to the Father because of the cross, we come boldly before His throne (Hebrews 4:14-16). To pray in Jesus’ name is not about words but about motives.
- If you want your prayers answered, make sure God will be glorified by what you are asking (James 4:2-3). Praying that God would give you that new car isn’t as certain may not be what God wants for you; it may not please Him. But praying that God would give you an attitude of contentment is always a desire that God has for us (Philippians 4:11).
- If you want your prayers answered, do not cherish sin in your heart (Psalm 66:18). God will not hear the prayer of one living in sin; it will be as if our prayers are meaningless. This is one of the reasons Jesus teaches in the Sermon on the Mount that we are not to approach His altar if we have a sin between us and our brother (Matthew 5:23-24).
- If you want your prayers answered, be forgiving (Mark 11:25). Don’t be in the habit of harboring grudges or allowing bitterness towards another to reside in your heart. If Christ has forgiven you and will hear your prayers, don’t assume you can hold back forgiveness on another and be heard.
- If you want your prayers answered, have faith that God can do whatever you ask of Him (Matthew 21:22). Shame on us if we think, “I wonder if God is able to do what I am about to ask.” This is the omnipotent, Creator of the universe who tells lightning bolts where to go and whales how to sing and birds how to fly.
- If you want your prayers answered, do not refuse to help the helpless (Proverbs 21:13). Solomon tells us if we refuse to help those in need when they cry out to us, God will refuse to help us in our needs when we cry out to him.