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The answer to unanswered prayer

Why doesn't God intervene and answer your prayers?
How can you be SURE of getting an answer?
Do you know the SEVEN conditions God has set?


HAS GOD gone "way off" somewhere? Why do the polished prayers of the preachers and politicians seem so empty and futile? Why don't they get RESULTS?

The fundamental reason why the prayers of most people — yes, even ministers — are not being answered today, is that they do not really know the true God. They think of God as a sort of vague, far-off, and indefinable something. They know not the true God who is the active, law-giving RULER of the universe. They seem to forget that God reveals Himself in His Word, the Bible, and that He shows us the kind of God He is — that God informs us how we should OBEY Him, and what He has PROMISED to do for us.


Believe the Bible

Can we take God's Word literally? Does God mean what He says in it?

Jesus thought so. He said, "Thy word is TRUTH" (John 17:17). The apostles constantly taught and acted as if God's Word were literally true.

Who is right? Are you going to follow the differing ideas of men, or do you want to obey Jesus and live by every word of God (Matt. 4:4)?

To get RESULTS in your prayers, you should believe in the God of the Bible. Believe His Word is truth. And be willing to act on God's Word and His commands.

Free yourself from the hidebound traditions of this confused world and its "churchianity." Seek the true God in prayer. Study God's Word to find out His commandments and His promises. Then, take God at His word!

The Bible reveals seven basic conditions which you should fulfill to be certain of answered prayers.

What are they?


Seek God's Will

In James 4:1-4, the apostle showed that the children of this world — fighting and warring as they do — fail to receive help because they often neglect to ask God's help. And when they do, it is only to ask for their own selfish ends. To ask selfishly is to "ask amiss." You can expect no answer to such a prayer.

To get an answer, follow Jesus' example when He said, "I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me" (John 5:30). But can you know God's will? "Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is" (Eph. 5:17).

STUDY God's Word as Paul commanded Timothy (II Tim. 2:15). Then you will begin to think more as God thinks. You will come to know what God's will is in every circumstance. If you believe and know that God is love, that His will is for our good, then you will want to pray according to God's will.

You need not always have a specific promise in the Bible to know that something is God's will. Through experience and guidance, you will learn how to apply the principles of God's revealed will to any situation which may arise.

The point is that you must pray according to God's will to receive an answer. "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: and if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him" (I John 5:14-15). God's Word reveals that by fulfilling this condition you KNOW that God will answer your prayers!

Asking according to God's will is the overall, fundamental condition of answered prayer. All other conditions could be grouped under this one because they are the specific points of God's will in regard to prayer. The following six, together with and magnifying this first condition, will ensure answered prayers.


Believe God

Most people do not realize that a lack of faith is simply a disbelief that God will keep His promises or back up His Word. Have you ever thought of it that way?

God has promised to heal His children through the prayers of His ministers (James 5:14). If you doubt this promise, you are making God a liar!

Real FAITH is not an emotional "feeling" that you generate by thinking certain thoughts over and over. You don't "talk yourself into," or "think, yourself into" real, believing faith. Godly faith is simply your willingness — through God's help — to quietly, patiently trust God to perform His Word. Abraham had that kind of faith. The apostle Paul wrote of him: "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform" (Rom. 4:20-21).

Abraham relied completely on God to perform His promises. Do you?

If you lack real faith, ask God to give it to you. Faith is one of the gifts of God's Holy Spirit.

James was inspired to write that a man must have faith to receive answers to his prayers (James 1:5-7). A man who wavers will not receive an answer. "For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord" (verse 7).

God has made hundreds of promises in His Word which we can claim. Healing is just one of them. When you are sick, do you obey God's command to "call for the elders of the church"?

Do you completely TRUST God to keep His promise to heal, although consulting a doctor for help and advice as to what physical law you are breaking? If you really believe God will heal, then trust Him to do it! Faith without works is dead (James 2:20). To have answered prayers, you must have faith — and you must act on that faith!


Be Fervent

It is common in our day for parents to teach their children memorized prayers. The father often mumbles a hurried, routine prayer of thanks at the table. The minister either reads or recites from memory an eloquent prayer which sounds very impressive.

Is God impressed?

The "fruits" show that God rarely hears such prayers, for they are usually not answered.

This is so because people don't put their hearts into their prayers (Hosea 7:14). They don't "cry out" to God with their whole being as the ancient prophets did — and as Christ did when He prayed.

On the evening before His crucifixion, Jesus needed strength from God for the coming ordeal. He needed to get really close to God. He knelt down and began to pray that God's will, not His own, would be done. "And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground" (Luke 22:44). He prayed earnestly — with all His heart.

In James 5:16, we read, "The effectual FERVENT prayer of a righteous man availeth much." We have to pray fervently, earnestly, zealously, if we expect God to hear.

Put your whole heart into your prayers!


Fear and Humility

Modern man has a cocksure, self-sufficient attitude and thinks he can get along fine without God. He neither fears God nor respects God's Word as an authority in his life. He is vain, egotistical, and self-important.

Is it a wonder that God fails to answer the prayers of such men?

The very first prerequisite to a knowledge of God is to fear Him and respect His Word. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" (Psalm 111:10).

Carnal man needs to realize that he is only dust and shall return to the dust unless and until he receives the Spirit of God, which is the begettal to eternal life. Eternal life is a gift from God (Rom. 6:23), not something we already have. "For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away" (James 4:14).

We need to fear God, realizing that our lives are in His hands. We should be humble, realizing that any gifts or talents we may have are ours because God gave them to us.

When we can approach our Creator in that attitude — respecting His power and authority over our lives — then He will hear our prayers.

When Christ was in the human flesh, even He feared God as we should. "Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared" (Heb. 5:7). When we fully realize our own helplessness, then we will cry out to God as we should.

Peter wrote "be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble" (I Peter 5:5).

The attitude of humility and godly fear is vital in prayer, and at all times.