True Christian Life | How to Pray Effectively So That God Answers Our Prayers? (Part 1)
Editor’s Note: In 2020, larger and larger disasters have been occurring all over the world. During this difficult time, what we should be doing as Christians is praying, repenting, and asking God to give us faith and for Him to guide us through these difficulties. But if we find that God isn’t responding to our prayers, how can we pray effectively to God so that He will listen? Keep reading to find out.
Actually, there are a few reasons why God may not listen to our prayers. I will share my personal understanding of this with everybody.
● First, do we pray to God with a sincere heart?
● Second, do we pray to God with rationality?
● Third, does our church have the Holy Spirit’s work?
First, do we pray to God with a sincere heart?
The Lord Jesus said: “When the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him” (John 4:23). God’s words have shown us how we should pray to worship God in accordance with His intentions. What God focuses on the most is whether we have a sincere heart when we are before Him and whether we speak sincere and true words to Him. As long as we have a reverent heart toward God and have a sincere heart when we pray to God, God would find our prayers acceptable. However, when we pray to God, we often are unable to quiet ourselves before God and use a true heart to pray to God. Our lips move but our heart is thinking about family or work and filled with anxious thoughts. Sometimes, our lips move but our hearts do not move. We do not have an honest attitude, and we are simply going through the motions and going over old ground, doing it perfunctorily. We even frequently say some dignified, pompous and empty words, words that merely sound good or some diluted words to deceive God. For example, we love our parents more than we love the Lord or we love our career more than we love the Lord, yet when we pray, we say, “O Lord, I love You! I am willing to relinquish everything and expend for You with all my heart!” When our families encounter some unhappy incidents, our hearts become negative and we complain to the Lord. Yet, when we pray, we give thanks to the Lord and say words of praise to the Lord…. Basically, in prayers, if one is not sincere and only goes through the motions, using some big and empty words, false words or if one disguises oneself before God and only says some pleasant-sounding words, he is deceiving God. God will not listen to prayers that are not sincere.
Second, do we pray to God with rationality?
Much of the time, when we pray to God, we blindly demand things from God or we have all sorts of extravagant requests for God. For example: if we do not have a job, we ask God to provide us with work. If we do not have a child, we ask God to bestow a child to us. If we are sick, we ask God to cure our illness. If our families are experiencing difficulties, we ask God to help us out. Business people pray to God and ask Him to bless them so that they can make lots of money. Students ask God to bless them with intelligence and wisdom. Old people ask God to protect them from sickness and calamities so that they can spend their last years in peace. In life, regardless of what difficulties and trials we encounter, we are never able to submit to God’s arrangements. We always hope that God would save us from our troubles so that we would no longer suffer. We always ask the Lord to protect us so that we can be happy and peaceful. This type of prayer is not a prayer from one of God’s creations to God. Instead, it involves asking God for things and asking Him to do things in accordance with our own thoughts. When people believe in God, they hope that God will satisfy all their requests and desires. This is basically entering into a business deal with God and it is without a shred of conscience or rationality. These kinds of people do not have genuine faith and love for God nor do they genuinely obey or revere God. They are instead using God to attain their goals. This is precisely as God said, “This people draws near to me with their mouth, and honors me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matthew 15:8). Therefore, God does not listen to prayers that people make with improper intentions.
Third, does our church have the Holy Spirit’s work?
Recall the initial stage of the Age of Law when the temple contained the work of the Holy Spirit. When people committed sins, they received the Holy Spirit’s discipline. If the priests who were serving God broke the law, fire would come down straight from heaven and burn them to death. People were very afraid and they had hearts that revered God. However, during the latter period of the Age of Law when Jesus appeared and worked, the Jewish people could not keep the law, used the temple as a place to exchange money and sell livestock. They had turned the temple into a den of thieves. It no longer contained the Holy Spirit’s discipline. Since the Holy Spirit had already left the temple in order to defend the work of Jesus, those people who stayed in the temple and refused to accept the salvation of Jesus were eliminated by God’s work, falling into darkness. Even though they prayed in the name of Jehovah, God did not listen. Even more so, they were unable to obtain the Holy Spirit’s work.
Let’s take a look at our church today. The pastors and elders’ sermons are dull. There is no new light. Brothers and sisters do not receive life nourishment, and their spirits become more and more withered and dark and unable to feel the Holy Spirit’s presence. They would even start to lust for flesh and the pleasures of life as well as seek status and power. Conflicts would erupt between co-workers. Their transgressions would frequently claim victory over them and they would not feel indebted to the Lord. They do not follow the Lord’s words, nor do they keep His commandments. They have totally violated God’s will, becoming the ones who resist God…. What is the difference between this kind of church and the temple that existed in the later period of the Age of Law? This completely fulfills the prophecy in the Bible, “And also I have withheld the rain from you, when there were yet three months to the harvest: and I caused it to rain on one city, and caused it not to rain on another city: one piece was rained on, and the piece whereupon it rained not withered. So two or three cities wandered to one city, to drink water; but they were not satisfied: yet have you not returned to me, said Jehovah” (Amos 4:7–8). Actually, God has left the church of the Age of Grace. There are many brothers and sisters who clearly feel that the church no longer has the Holy Spirit’s work and that God has already covered His face from us. So how is it possible that our spirits do not become withered? How could God listen to our prayers?
The three circumstances mentioned above are the main reasons why the Lord does not listen to our prayers. All we can do is come before the Lord, seek His intentions and reflect upon these issues. We must also seek how to pray to the Lord so that He would listen. This is a truth that we urgently need to enter. Now, I will share with everybody three methods of implementation so that you will know how to pray in accordance with God’s intentions. As long as we are able to put them into action and practice every day with our heart, I believe that the Lord will listen to our prayers.
Do you know the 4 principles of Christian prayer? Read now to find the answer and learn how to pray properly to gain God’s approval.
4 Principles of How to Properly Pray to God