The answer to our prayers is a promise made by God. Like any promise from God, there is always a conditional aspect, that is, there are always one or more conditions to be met in order to receive what we have asked for in prayer.
When Moses prayed, the red sea parted in two. When Elijah prayed, fire came down from heaven. When Daniel prayed, an angel shut the mouths of the hungry lions. The Bible presents us with many extraordinary accounts of answered prayers. She says prayer allows us to tap into the awesome power of God.
3 characteristics of prayers that God answers
In this article, we will see the characteristics of the prayers that God answers.
1. Prayer made in accordance with the will of the Lord.
1 John 5:14-15
“We have this assurance with Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He listens to us, something that we ask for, we know that we have the thing that we asked Him for.
This passage clearly teaches us that to pray in the right way, we must pray according to the will of God. Then, no doubt, we’ll get the thing that we asked Him for. Can we know if any particular prayer is in accordance with His will? Sure! We can find out in two ways:
By the Word.
God revealed His will in His Word. If anything is specifically promised in God’s Word, we know it’s His will to give it. So if when I pray, I can find some definite promise of God’s Word and place that promise before Him, I know He hears me. And if I know that He hears me, I know that I have the thing that I asked Him for.
For example, if I pray for wisdom, I know it is God’s will to give me wisdom, for He says so in James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all simply and without reproach, and it will be given to him.
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By the Holy Spirit.
“Likewise also the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know what it is proper to ask for in our prayers. But the Spirit Himself intercedes with inexpressible groans, and he who searches hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is because it is according to God. May he intercede on behalf of the Saints.
We are clearly told here that the Spirit of God prays in us, stirs up our prayer in the direction of the will of God. When we are thus led by the Spirit of God in any direction to pray for any given subject, we can do so fully assured that it is the will of God and that we are going to obtain the very thing that we ask of Him.
2. Prayer made in faith.
To pray is to turn to God and recognize that we need Him, His help. To pray with faith is to give Him our trust, to rely on His providence, to believe that He is there and that He wants the best for us. Praying in faith is not only asking, but also seeking and knocking.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
The prayer of faith is insistent, it also knows how to abandon itself to the God who is greater than itself. To pray in faith is to accept that the answer belongs to God. The other element of the prayer of faith is complete trust in the Lord about the thing asked. The Lord said this to His disciples:
Matthew 21: 21-22 “Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you had faith and doubted not, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but when you say to this mountain: Get out of there and throw yourself into the sea, that would be done. Whatever you ask in faith through prayer, you will receive.
This contrasts with another passage from the epistle of James 5:8 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives to all simply and without reproach , and it will be given to him. But let him ask it in faith, without doubting; for he who doubts is like the wave of the sea, tossed about by the wind and pushed from side to side. Let such a man not imagine that he will receive anything from the Lord: he is a double-minded man, fickle in all his ways.
3. Persevering prayer.
Luke 18:1, 7-8
“Jesus spoke a parable to them, to show that they must always pray, and not be slack…And will not God avenge His elect, who cry out to Him day and night, and will He tarry with them? I tell you, He will avenge them speedily. But, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?
Jesus Christ used the parable of the importunate widow to emphasize the need to be tenacious and persistent in prayer. If the wicked judge in the parable ends up avenging the widow for her persistence, how much more does our loving and just God hear us and be ready to answer us!
God does not delay because He does not care about us or because He is unjust. But sometimes He delays teaching us patience, perseverance, and faith—faith that He hears us and has our best interests at heart, even if we can’t understand why He doesn’t respond immediately.
Consider Daniel. He fasted and prayed for three weeks for an answer, and finally the angel of God said to him, “Daniel, fear not; for from the first day when you had at heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words have been heard, and it is because of your words that I come. The ruler of the kingdom of Persia resisted me twenty-one days” Daniel 10:12-13 (KJV).
These stories are preserved so that we can always pray and not slack off. We can’t know everything that goes on behind the scenes, but we can have faith that God is looking out for our good.
Let’s not forget that God uses prayer to answer us, not just to give us the things we have asked for. When our requests are in accordance with His will, made in faith or with full perseverance, He responds with joy, as we expect. But sometimes God says “ no ” or “ not now ” because He does all things good in His time, which is why we should have the attitude of perseverance.