Praying powerfully starts with FAITH. I believe that God hears my prayers and that makes my prayers have immediate results. I learned to ask him and listen to His replies. God warns me about events before they happen. Through dreams, He has directed me how to study and how to approach job searches. I even have dreams about people I shouldn’t befriend or date. God gives me directions to handle conflicts with people. And, He has even let me know why he didn’t heal someone right away. Why?
Because God is a good father. He desires to answer the prayers of His saints immediately. Jesus said, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” Matthew 7:7-11
The most important thing to remember is God wants to bless you. However, God isn’t a genie nor is He Santa Claus. He desires to perfect us and make us stronger in our faith. He provides for us based on what He thinks we need for each moment in life and to be spiritually successful. “And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13
1. His Will Must Become Your Will
We need to spend time getting to know God. As we get to know God through reading the Bible we learn what to ask for. We learn what God would want us to pray for. What He wants is His will for this earth, His will is for all his children to know He loves them. For humans to lay down their pride, idolatry, jealousy, pain, fear, manipulation, greed, etc. And, He also wants us to accept that He forgave us while we were sinners and we should invite nonbelievers into that same saving blood.
His will is often not our will. I know I once desired fame for selfishness. Now, I desire exposure to champion the poor, spread the Gospel, and make Jesus famous. I’ve learned how much God loves me through His patience in my healing from fleshy desires. When we learn how much God loves us, it gives us the tools to show others the same love. Our prayers should be centered on experiencing His real love and allowing others to experience His love.
- “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions.” James 4:3
- “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” John 15:7
- “Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.” Psalms 37:4
- “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
- “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.” John 14:26
Related Article: Am I Hearing God’s Voice? 4 Biblical Secrets To Ensure You Are!
2. Remain Pure Of Heart
We need God to purify our hearts to ensure that we aren’t asking for things that don’t matter. Instead, we should be praying for things that matter to him. God cares about healing us and the broken, the bruised, the blind, and the abused. He is looking for our hearts to be focused on His plan to bring humanity into His full healing power.
- “We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him. We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.” 1 John 5:18-19
- “Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” James 1:27
- “For the word of God (The Bible) is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12
Related Article: 4+ Ways To Defeat Unwanted Thoughts (15+ Bible Verses)
3. You have to be willing to wait
Can you stay pure and faithful to God as you wait? The waiting process will reveal your true motives for prayer. This will also reveal if you are truly reading the word to receive the free gift of faith. Satan will try to get you to sin and turn away from God during this time. He may offer you the things you are waiting for in a evil way (I.e., money through stealing).
“Be patient, therefore, brothers, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient about it, until it receives the early and the late rains. You also, be patient. Establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand.” James 5:7-8
Will you take it from Satan? Or, will you wait for the pure answered prayers from God? As I’ve waited for long periods for my prayers to be answered, God was able to show me broken and impure parts of my heart. He didn’t let my heart stay there though… He healed it and brought me into purity. After the healing, I realized the things I wanted would of caused me great pain. I prefer to receive when my heart is in the right place and my answered prayers won’t cause me to sin!
- “The Lord is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.” Lamentations 3:25
- “For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.” It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not discipline? If you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live?” Hebrews 12:5-11
- “More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.” Romans 5:3-5
Related Articles: Why does God make us wait when waiting is painful?
4. You don’t pray for free gifts
When Jesus died on the cross, he gave us the following as a free gift: a path to a close relationship with God, The Holy Spirit, forgiveness, the power to NOT sin, generational curses were broken from our their lives, protection/guidance, purity, the ability to hear the voice of God, fruits of the spirit, spiritual gifts, eternal life, a royal inheritance and access to heaven. If we have to earn them, then God’s love is conditionally based on our effort. And, we become “better” than someone else that has not earned as many gifts as us.
God desires to give all these gifts freely to humanity. Because God loves despite our effort, when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior you just accept the gifts. You don’t earn free gifts, you receive them. You receive them by faith.
The Bible says that faith is free gift that we receive when we read the word of God. “…faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Romans 10:17 and “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 Our job is to encourage others to open these free gifts and embrace relationship with God.
- “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” Matthew 21:22
- “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
- “Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.” John 8:47
- “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 6:23
- “And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38
- “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.” Galatians 5:22-23
- “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit,” Titus 3:5
Related Articles: Christ Wanted To Die: When did you become lukewarm?
- “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” 1 Peter 4:10-11
- “To open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.” Acts 26:18
- “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship,created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10
- “And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” John 17:3
5. Seek God To Know Him And To Agree That His Will Be Done!
Prayer is a conversation between us and our father in heaven. On earth, when we ask a parent for something we don’t always get it. However, the conversation is important for the parent to tell the child why they have to wait or why the answer is no. It helps the child understand their parents’ heart and character. God works similarly.
“Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.” Jeremiah 33:3
We should seek God with our whole heart, to understand him. It’s important to keep your heart pure while seeking. Reminding yourself, that we all get the same rewards for seeking God. We don’t get extra “free gifts”. Nor, do we become an elite Christian breed. God wants to answer all of our prayers because He loves us all the same. Our only reward for praying more is knowing God’s kindness for a longer period. This is shown in the parable where the workers in the vineyard got the exact pay, even though some worked for longer period. (Matthew 20:1-16) The main focus of our prayers should be to glorify God.
Related Article: Am I Hearing God’s Voice? 4 Biblical Secrets To Ensure You Are!
As we become transformed by God, our desire should be for God’s kingdom of love to come to Earth. So humanity can experience His great love and accept Jesus Christ as supreme Lord over their lives.
“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this:
“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.“
For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” Matthew 6:5-15
Does God answer every prayer? The answer isn’t always yes, but God does answers every prayer. Four ways that God answers your prayers immediately is through dreams, people, situations, and the Bible. I ask God If He was real and He spoke to me audibly. You can read more about my testimony here. If you aren’t sure if the sign is from God you can read the four secrets to discern the voice of God in any situation.
What does the Bible says about praying in secret? Praying in secret doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pray at church or in a group with others. It means that it’s important to spend time alone with God. And you should do it for the right reasons: To please God rather than get others to notice your relationship with God. Then when you pray from the right place, “when you pray in secret god will reward you openly!“