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Answered prayers

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I was going to post this in the "Prayer Requests" forum, but I thought I'd post it here since it does not involve me praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ. I wanted to share some info on having our prayers answered, and the reason why is because most of my prayers come to pass and I want to share why I believe (according to scripture) our prayers are or are not answered. I think most of us, at one time or another, often wondered why our prayers seem to go unnoticed or unheard by God. Since the day I received the Lord into my heart, my prayers being answered grew significantly. I have a prayer log and log every prayer I've prayed for, and put a check mark next to every prayer that has been answered. But then I pondered why some of my prayers weren't answered, so I searched the scriptures for answers. Let's just say that If most of your prayers are answered, then your "batting average" is good, you are truly to be commended.  Here is what John says: And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us. (1st John 5:14). So the promises we have received that our prayers will be answered hang upon the caveat above -- and a good thing too. If all prayers of all believers were instantly answered in precisely the way they asked for them, 1) where would the building up of faith be, since no patience would be required, and 2) since many ask for the wrong things, even if the motive is good, the mess ensuing would be enormous.  But God the Father is the perfect parent.  So just as we would give our five year old a big bottle of nitroglycerine -- just because he asked for it -- so our Father knows best what we need. In my experience, He always answers our prayers -- just not in precisely the terms we cry out for; rather, giving us precisely what we do need: He knows, we usually don't, at least with precision. What can we do to make our prayers more effective?  Get a better handle on the Will of God through greater attention to the Word of God.  In other words, the answer to this question as to most others is "continue to grow spiritually". Some of the reasons why our prayers are not answered are the result of "unconfessed sin", or it will be answered in "God's perfect timing" for His will in our lives; and not "forgiving others for their trespasses", or it is not His will for our lives and He has better plans for us.

Now we know that God heareth not sinners: but if any man be a worshipper of God, and doeth his will, him he heareth. (John 9:31)

The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit. (James 5:16b-18)

Prayers are the most effective when it comes to spiritual growth. We are supposed to have a saving "relationship" with our God, and not praying often (especially for others) may result in missed opportunities. Feel free to chime in if you have something else to add.

God Bless,


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