How many times have you heard yourself saying something like “God, if you are real then….” or, “God, if you are really out there then…”?
Out of desperation you may have cried out His name hoping He would hear your voice, yet some if not all of the times, He did not answer your prayers. At least, not the way that you wanted them answered.
I recall in the mid 90’s hearing a song by Garth Brooks titled “Unanswered Prayers”. At the time, I knew the lyrics were perfect for me since I was going through a significant struggle in my life that seemed to match the words Garth would sing.
Years later, I began to question the phrasing of the lyrics. Is there really such a thing as an unanswered prayer? Back then I believed those words to be true. Now, I know they are incorrect.
God always answers prayers. Sometimes they are answered with a solid “Yes”. Other times the response is an unwavering “No”. While many other times He gently says “Not now. Just wait”
So why does it seem that God doesn’t ever hear or answer your prayer? Do you wonder if there is a secret way to pray that moves the hand of the Almighty God?
The truth is, there is no one way to pray, but His word does speak of a few ways when we call upon His name.
In Philippians 4:6, He states that we are to pray “with thanksgiving,” when we make a request.
1 Timothy 2:8 explains that we are to pray lifting our hands to God, “without wrath and doubting”
Luke 18:1-8 records Jesus explaining the parable of a judge and a widow who was seeking justice from her adversary. She was relentless in her pursuit and finally the judge, tiring of her constant requests sees that “she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually come and attack me!’ ” (Luke 18:5). God wants us to never stop pursuing Him. We are to “pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1)
Although we are to “pray continually” (1 Thessalonians 5:17), there are no special words to use when praying. Even more so, God wants us to “not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words.” (Matthew 6:7). Instead, we need to speak whatever is on our mind or in our heart.
We are also to not make a big giant dramatic deal about our prayers. Rather on the contrary, God says to “go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6) Not everyone needs to hear all of the specifics of our concerns. Sometimes that is just between God and us.
Most importantly, we don’t need to have a “Holy Man” stand in between God and us. A direct line of communication has been made, “For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time.” (1 Timothy 2:5-6)
Are you starting to pick up on God’s expectations when you pray? Our prayers have to do with the condition of our hearts. If our heart is not right with God, He will hear us calling, but He may not listen to what we have to say. In response, it may seem that God does not hear you, but the reality is He is moving his hand to guide you and direct you onto the path that you are to go. The path that leads you back to Him, if you are willing to trust.
Looking back on your life, how have you seen God answering your prayers when you believed at the time He didn’t even hear you?