How God Answers Prayer

Do you ever feel unworthy to pray, especially after a season of busyness or after falling into sin? As human beings, we often wonder if God actually listens to our prayers. Will they be effective or will our prayers dissipate into thin air? If you have ever felt that way, you are not alone.

In his book, Don’t Just Stand There, Pray Something: The Incredible Power of Intercessory Prayer, Ronald Dunn tells us, “God does not welcome us to the throne of grace because of what we have done, but because of what Christ has done. We come in Jesus’ name, and the Father receives us in Jesus’ name.” This means that even if we are struggling with something or we have doubts, God still receives us and our prayers because of what Christ did for us on the cross. We need to trust that God always listens to us as His children.

Even if we don’t see the results of our prayers, we need to keep on praying. It’s been said that sometimes God’s answer to our prayer is yes, but sometimes it’s a no. Or sometimes He just wants us to wait on Him.

When you are discouraged and don’t feel like praying remind yourself that it’s important to pray because some things God will do if we ask Him that He won’t do otherwise. As James 4:2 says, “You do have because you do not ask God.” Interestingly, Jesus’ healing usually came after people asked Him. Blind Bartimaeus cried long and loud before Jesus stopped to listen and give him sight (Mark 10:46-52). Jesus ignored the Syrophoenician woman before healing her daughter of demon possession (Matthew 15:21-28). Jairus, a synagogue official, begged Jesus to cure his sick daughter. After a delay, Jesus raised Jairus’ dead daughter to life (Mark 5:21-24, 35-43).

Along with this, we pray because Jesus said in John 14:13 that whatever we ask in His name, that He will do. Why does Jesus commit Himself to act when we ask? He tells us in His next statement that the “Father may be glorified in the Son.” The following verse repeats the promise: “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it” (John 14:14).

It’s also important to keep in mind that when we pray, we need to pray for God’s will be done. Sometimes we may be praying for something, and it’s just not in the Sovereign will of God. We need to submit ourselves to Him and understand that God knows what He is doing. We need to trust Him, even in times we don’t understand Him. We also need to be mindful of our motives. James 4:3 tells us that sometimes we don’t receive because we ask with the wrong motives.