Luke 18:1 GNB Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to teach them that they should always pray and never become discouraged.
Why would Jesus tell us to always pray if prayer does not work? Why would He also tell us to not lose heart or become discouraged when we are praying for something?
I believe that He knew that it was a great possibility that we could get discouraged while we were praying for something.
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 CEV Always be joyful (17) and never stop praying. (18) Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ. This is what God wants you to do.
Why don’t we pray more or why do we stop praying?
We can get discouraged in our prayer life because:
- Perhaps, we have prayed for something that did not happen and we get discouraged.
- Or it may seem that God is not moving in that situation that we are praying about and so we get discouraged.
There could be some things that we do not understand about prayer and therefore our prayers are not answered.
- We must believe that God is looking for ways to answer our prayers not get out of answering them.
There are many types of prayers and there are different principles for every type of prayer.
Ephesians 6:18 NIV And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.
We treat prayer like it is all the same and there is nothing different about each type. What if we treated sports this way? It would not work.
In the Prayer of Consecration or Dedication you are committing yourself to the will of God, so your prayer would contain, “if it is your will…”
Luke 22:41-42 NKJV And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, (42) saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”
Because Jesus prayed this way, some people like to add to the Prayer of Petition the phrase, “…if it be thy will…” If you add this to the Prayer of Faith, you have just undone your prayer because that does not apply here.
Mark 11:24 NKJV Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
Praying in Faith
- Prayer by itself does not change things.
- The God Who hears and answers prayer is the One who changes things when believing prayer is made.
Prayer does play a role in change by inviting God to move but God is the One who changes things.
When Jesus Himself was faced with death itself, the thing He confessed and the thing He reminded Himself of, was that He was heard by God.
John 11:41-42 NKJV Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, “Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. (42) And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me.”
- It’s not the act of praying that grants the answers to your requests; it’s a hearing Father.
No praying does any good except that prayer be heard. Apart from a hearing God, prayer is fruitless and accomplishes nothing. Ask the Muslims, or Buddhists. They are diligent in prayer but to what end?
To be heard in Heaven is to be assured of the answer! To be heard by God is to have the petitions we desire of Him.
Being heard by God = having the answer
1 John 5:14-15 AMPC And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. (15) And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
How do we guarantee that God hears our prayers:
- God hears the prayers we pray according to the will of God.
God and His Word are one.
(John 1:1 NKJV) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
- We can be assured that we are praying in line with God’s will when we pray in line with God’s Word.
- It is guaranteed that if we pray God’s Word, God will hear you and you will receive the answers to your prayers!
You must base your prayer on the Word of God. You cannot pray beyond your faith and you cannot have faith beyond the Word that you know and have in your heart.
- Sometimes, you need to spend time with the Scriptures that cover what you are believing for.
Meditate on them and confess them over and over and build the capacity for faith in your spirit.
Joshua 1:8 BBE Let this book of the law be ever on your lips and in your thoughts day and night, so that you may keep with care everything in it; then a blessing will be on all your way, and you will do well.
You must get full of the Word before your faith will work. Many times our faith comes up short because we are not full of the Word. We are full of too many other things and it hinders our faith.
John 15:7 MSG But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon.
Romans 4:20-21 NKJV He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, (21) and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform.
- Spend time with God’s Word about your life until you are fully convinced!