In His Word, our Father commands us to pray continually (1 Thess. 5:17). And He promises that when we ask, we will receive (Luke 11:9). Yet how often has silence seemed to be the answer to our prayer requests?
The Lord wouldn't tell us to pray if He were not going to respond. In fact, He points out that any father who loves his children gives them what they need and what is good (vv. 11-13). As our heavenly Father, He will provide so much more. But if we want God to respond, we must meet three important conditions.
First, we need to have a right relationship with Jesus Christ by trusting Him as Savior. But some people choose to live in ungodliness even after salvation. Scripture states, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me" (Ps. 66:18 kjv). This doesn't mean we can never make a mistake—God understands our frailty. But we must repent of all known sin and avoid continuing in it.
Second, we must make the right requests. First John 5:14 reminds us to ask according to God's will. In other words, we can share our desires while submitting our hopes to Him. Over time, certain yearnings may lose their appeal or give us a check in our spirit.
Third, we should pray specifically and with confidence. When making requests aligned with God's will, we can be sure He'll answer.
Our heavenly Father tells His children to pray and assures that He will respond. As you present your requests, ask Him to show you if anything is getting in the way of His answer.
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Used with permission from In Touch Ministries, Inc. © 2008 All Rights Reserved.