Ok, so we all know that the most important reason to pray is to draw close to God and honor him. That fills us with joy and peace (usually). But there are times when you want to ask God for things, whether for yourself (that is not wrong) or for others. Many times we pray and don’t get answers to our prayers. Jesus said over a dozen times that if we have faith our prayer will be answered, so why is it so many prayers don’t get answered? John 15:7 “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be given to you.” Other verses.
So is that verse even true?
Yes! I know that many people have given up on prayer, including me many years ago. But if you really have faith, your prayers will be answered. True faith involves love for God, and if we love God, we obey him. (1 John 2:3-6)
James 4:3 says if we pray with wrong motives our prayer won’t be answered, and 1 Peter 3:7 says that if we are not getting along with people in our family, it will hinder our prayers.
There are many ways to strengthen faith.
Have faith when you pray and Find a Bible verse to stand on.
Matthew 9:29 “According to your faith will it be done to you
Matthew 21:22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
Mark 11:23, 24 “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Find a verse in the Bible that applies to your prayer request. At first, that seems restrictive and difficult, but there are so many promises in the Bible, you will surely find one if your desire aligns with God’s will. For example, if you are praying for money, get a concordance and look up verses that speak of wealth or prosperity. Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1 and Psalm 112 are a few of many good verses about wealth. If you are praying for a relationship, look up verses on love. If you are lacking something, think of Psalm 23:1 “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall lack nothing.”
Find scriptures that promise you an answer to your prayer. It is a good idea to memorize a verse or two of those promises. Many times you will not find a specific verse that promises you what you are asking. That is okay. Just have faith and pray for it.
2. Ask God for it
Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Simply put, ask God for what you need. Another “A” in our FAITH acronym might be “Agree.” It is good to find other people to agree with you in prayer. Matthew 18:19 tells us, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.”
3. Imagine the answer to prayer in your mind.
Imagine that you already have it. If you are praying for a relationship to get better, imagine that it is. Your optimistic attitude will help change the relationship. That is the way God created faith. On the other hand, being pessimistic, lacking faith, and thinking about negative things, will cause problems in the relationship. When a person thinks about the negatives of the relationship, he will be more likely to get angry or do other things that are not good for the relationship. I have seen this happen many times in my own life and in the lives of others.
Olympic coaches find that faith is important. Athletes who really believe they can win the gold medal work harder than those who don’t. The athletes are trained to imagine themselves going through a perfect routine and standing on the gold medal platform. They say if you go there in the mind, you will go there in the body.
It is important to imagine you have already been given the answer to your prayer, because if you have faith and you pray in God’s will, you really do already have the answer, even before you see it.
4. Thank God for it.
Philippians 4;6 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Every time you thank God for your answer to prayer, even before you get it, it strengthens your faith.
Mark 11:24 “Whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Notice it says “…believe that you have received it…”. This means that at the moment you ask God for it, you receive it. However, it may take some time for it to materialize or to become substance Some translations of Hebrews 11:1 read, “Faith is the substance (my emphasis) of things hoped for…” Daniel prayed in Daniel 10, but the powerful angel that came to give him the answer to his prayer was detained by Satan or a demon. There was apparently a wrestling match in the unseen world. Paul said we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against the powers in the heavenly realms. These powers will do everything possible to damage our faith and prevent us from getting an immediate answer to our prayer. From the book The Amazing Power of Prayer
5. Hold on happily
If you are not happy before you receive your answer, you might not be afterwards either. When you thank God and are happy, it strengthens your faith. If someone told you that in one year you would receive a million dollars, you would be happy. If you really believe that God will answer your prayer, you will be happy about it.
You can say “I am so happy and grateful that God has given me ______________” Insert whatever your request is.