Five Keys to Answered Prayer

We pray because we know God hears us, and we want him to take care of whatever is burdening our hearts. But sometimes our prayers go unanswered. This post gives the five keys that will unlock answered prayer for us.

Also when I cry and shout, he shutteth out my prayer.

Lamentations 3:8 KJV
We’ve all been there, right? We cry out to the Lord in prayer and it seems the doors to his throne room are locked tight against us.

Yes, I’ve even shouted at the Lord before. It didn’t make my words get any cloer to his ears. The only thing that will are learning what gives our prayers a free pass into the  presence of God and what keeps them from getting past the ceiling.

1. Ask in Jesus’ name. This key is found in John 14. Jesus tells his disciples (that’s us) that anything they ask in his name will be given them. But it’s not a blank check. The request has to meet the rest of the requirements, too.

2. Ask according to God’s will. In 1 John 5, the Apostle John gives another qualification for getting a yes from God: we have to ask according to God’s will. That means if that new car we want isn’t God’s will for us, it doesn’t matter how often or fervently we ask for it.

3. Obey God’s commands. This should be a given. What parent rewards a disobedient child? In 1 John 3:22, we’re assured that the only way we’ll get the answers we seek from the Lord is if we’re doing the things he’s told us to do.

4. Confess our sins. Let’s face it, sometimes our prayers are like a wish list to Santa Claus, and at the end we’ll tack on, “And forgive my sins.” Yeah, that is not what confession looks like. Confession spells out exactly the sin and admits how horrible it was. If we hold onto our sins, Psalm 66:18 is clear: God won’t hear our prayers. And if he doesn’t hear them, he’s surely not going to answer them.

5. Get along with others. This command is given to husbands and wives by the Apostle Peter (1 Peter 3:7), but principles outlined in the Gospels regarding holding onto grudges and failing to forgive suggest it’s intended for all relationships. Our prayers will be hindered if we fail to forgive others and don’t honor people with kindness.

Maybe you’ve heard all of this before. Maybe you’re sure you’ve been doing all these things and still: silence.

Silence doesn’t mean your prayer isn’t being answered. Sometimes the answer is no. I’ve heard so many nos from the Lord in the past two years, I’m wondering if he’ll ever say something different. Seriously. I prayed recently, “God will you please say yes to something I ask.”

Bold, I know. I’m getting desperate to hear something positive from my Savior.

And sometimes the silence from Heaven means wait. As humans, we don’t like to be told to wait. In our instant everything society, we expect a quick answer to our prayers, too.

We might not be ready for a yes at this moment. God is working on our hearts to bring us to a place where we’ll be able to thrive when he gives us the answer we’re waiting for.

And it will always be better for us than getting what we want when we want it.

Trust me. Father God knows best.

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