What’s the secret behind answered prayer? Why do some people get their prayers answered and others seem to get nothing? How come in the movie, The War Room, that lady prayed for 15 minutes (in movie time) and her whole life got fixed, while others pray for years and get absolutely no where?
Is there some secret that we're missing?
If we’re honest, we’ve all wondered about that at some point in our lives. It’s great to talk about the power of prayer and what prayer can do in our lives, but every one of us could tell at least one story of a prayer that never got answered… one that we prayed and prayed and prayed, yet every prayer only seemed to take us further and further from our desired result.
Why is that? Is there something that we’re missing? Why do some people seem to have “the magic touch” when it comes to prayer while the rest of us suffer through life – dazed and confused and left wondering “why me”?
That’s our topic for today and I have an answer for you. But I’ll warn you up front: you’re probably not going to like my answer. That’s because I will put some of the blame on your shoulders.
You see, usually when our prayers don’t get answered, we blame God. He’s the easy target. We usually say “it wasn’t God’s will” or “God just has a different plan” or “God wants me to suffer I guess.”
Now, let me first say that all of those things might very well be true. Your prayer might not be part of God’s will… and God may certainly have a different plan… and at times, God may indeed want you to go through a trial to bring you out stronger.
That certainly MAY be the case…
But it may not be the case as well.
There are some things that you’re praying for that ARE God’s will…they ARE part of His plan… God DOES want you to have them. Yeah, there are times He might be trying to teach you a lesson, but there are other times where He isn’t.
In other words, it isn’t always God’s fault as we make it out to be. Sometimes the blame lies with us.
Therefore, our main message for today is this:
It's time for us to take some accountability for the lack of answered prayers in our lives.
Yes, sometimes it isn’t God’s will to answer that prayer of yours; but sometimes it is. Sometimes God is standing against your prayer being answered; and sometimes you are.
The topic for today’s message is Four Factors that Contribute to Getting Your Prayers Answered.
Please note that these four factors are not a formula to get whatever you want in prayer. As I mentioned above, sometimes the thing you’re praying for simply isn’t part of God’s will. That may very well be the case. But that’s not my subject for today (stay tuned till week 5 of this series for that message).
What I’m talking about today is when the thing you’re praying for IS part of God’s will. In that case, I believe there are certain factors that you need to address in order to have your prayers answered. Without taking these factors into consideration, you can pray day and night and the only thing you’ll be getting is whole lot of frustration for your efforts.
So without further ado, here are the four factors that matter in getting your prayers answered:
1. YOUR RELATIONSHIPS MATTER
God’s work in your life will always be directly correlated to the degree of love in your relationships with others. ALWAYS!
2. YOUR MOTIVES MATTER
WHY you ask is just as important as WHAT you ask.
3. YOUR LIFESTYLE MATTERS
If you want those Sunday morning prayers to get answered, maybe you need to start working on that Saturday night behavior.
4. YOUR FAITH MATTERS
“But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord.” James 1:6-7
It’s time for us to take some accountability in our prayer lives and realize that often God wants to answer our prayers. In fact, I’d say that as a good Father, it is His greatest desire to provide for His children.
It’s time for us stop blaming God for every unanswered prayer and start taking some accountability for ourselves.
“Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3