TWELVE KEYS TO ANSWERED PRAYER
Why does God not answer most people’s prayers? Do you know how to pray in a way that will get real results? Here are 12 practical steps that will help secure the favor of God for answered prayer!
Key #1—Pray Sincerely to the True God
It is absolutely vital that you pray to the very real God of the Bible if you expect genuine answers to your prayers. He reveals Himself to mankind in many ways—in creation, in the Bible, in His foretelling specific divine intervention in world affairs and in direct ANSWERS to those who seek and obey Him through fervent holy worship. In our modern, ecumenical (worldwide) approach to religion, we may think that praying to some vague “blob” in the sky or to an idol of Buddha is just the same as praying to the CREATOR—the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Israel and Jesus Christ, but it is not the same at all!
The true God was revealed by Jesus Christ (Matthew 11:27). To one of His disciples, He said, “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known ME…? We read of Jesus Christ acknowledging that God was a loving, divine Person—a “Father.” And we see the Father acting through Christ to heal the sick, to comfort the downcast and to teach those whom He calls to keep not only the Ten Commandments, but all of His words as a way of life (Matthew 19:17). Christ also set an example for us in praying to the Father: “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, ‘Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You’” (John 17:1).
We serve an awesome God, with limitless power and glory! When you get down on both knees and lift up your hands in prayer to the great CREATOR of the universe, you should think of to whom you are praying. Remember that He is not only the Creator, but also the active Sovereign ruler of the entire universe and the Bible says that it is God’s good pleasure to give us the Kingdom and all that is contained in it. Be sure you always pray specifically to This God—the true God—and to no other. As you begin your prayer, think about whom you are praying to and consciously worship this Great God who gives you life and breath.
Key # 2—Study the Bible
It naturally follows that praying to the true God involves believing what He says. And we find His words—instructing human beings how they should live—in the Holy Bible. It reveals essential knowledge that we could not acquire in any other way. It is God’s “Instruction Manual” for humanity. It tells us who God is what He is like and how we ought to serve Him. In its pages we find God’s own instructions (not suggestions) as to how we ought to live for and pray to Him. You will not receive this full instruction by just “going to church” or by carelessly reading bits and pieces of the Bible for comfort or inspiration. God commands us in His Word, “Earnestly study to show yourself approved unto God, a workman unashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth” (2 Timothy 2:15). To know God, to understand His will and to believe in His promises, one needs to regularly study His inspired Word in an orderly way—just as you might study a science textbook or a volume on history. A good place to start is the book of Matthew. Read this through slowly and carefully—noting what Jesus actually said, paying particular attention to the many examples of answered prayer.
Key #3—Deeply Repent of Your Sins
Although from time to time God hears the prayers of anyone who sincerely cries out to Him in time of need, He is not bound by His Word to do this. God’s Word says, “Behold the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear dull, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).
It is not our job to psychoanalyze or “spiritually dissect” those who have not had their prayers answered in the past. But we have a duty...
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