When we pray the fundamental question is how do we get God to respond positively to our request? It should never be whether or not Jesus listens because He is always at the right hand of God (Hebrews 8:1-2), the Holy Spirit lives inside of us (John 14:16-17; 1 John 4:4) and hears even the groans of our heart (Romans 8:26-27) and prays for us when we do not know what to say. Also, God is everywhere all the time so how can the Lord who knows everything, even before it takes place, not know what we are going to say. So, the question is not whether He is listening, it is how do we get God to respond to our prayer? Here are some things to keep in mind:
- “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much” (James 5:16). So, the following is important:
a) Abide in His Word by willfully, despite the circumstances, obeying Him (John 15:7 – grants the desires of our hearts).
b) When we ask according to His Word He promises to answer (1 John 5:13-15).
- We must be persistent (Luke 11:9-13; 18:1-8). This demonstrates the true nature of prayer and our sincere trust in God’s promises.
3. Forgiving others answers our prayer for forgiveness (Mark 11:25-26).
4. When God seems to delay, we must supplicate because it demonstrates our trust in Him
(Philippians 4:4-7; Daniel 9:20-23; Isaiah 40:27-31).
5. When we are committed to help those in need, by not turning away from them, God responses to us (1 John 3:16-24; Isaiah 58:9-10).
6. When we pray, and it is according to His Word, we must continue forward believing that He will do what He said He will do, and He promises to answer (Matthew 21:22; Mark 11:24).
7. Whatever we do we must ask in His name (John 14:13-14).
What does the scripture say hinder our prayers?
- Iniquity in the heart (Psalm 66:18).
- Refusal to hear God’s law (Proverb 28:9; Isaiah 29:13).
- Sinful separation from God (Isaiah 59:2; Jeremiah 14:10-12).
- Offering unworthy sacrifices (Malachi 1:7-9). In our case disobedient in our giving to God.
- When we neglect the needs of others (1 John 3:19-22).
- When we do not live with our wives in an understanding way (1 Peter 3:7).
- Praying to be seen of men (Matthew 6:5-6).
- Pride in fasting and tithing (Luke 18:11-14).
- When we ask with bad motives (James 4:1-4).
- Lack of faith (Hebrew 11:6).
- Doubting or double mindedness (James 4:3).
- A person who is not saved (John 9:31).
God loves us so He is most interested in a relationship (John 15:13), and what is best for us (John 10:10) rather than just answer prayers so we can do what we choose to do.