A Compilation of messages that explain Bible verses on this topic.
THE PRAYER OF A HUMBLE HEART THAT IS READY TO UNDERSTAND THE WILL OF GOD, WILL BE HEARD
Then said he unto me, “Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that you did set your heart to understand, and to humble yourself before your God, your words were heard, and I have come because of your words.” - Daniel 10:12
The prophet Daniel had a pure and sincere heart before the Lord. He loved his people and was a man of prayer for his nation, even while in captivity. Once, when he was seeking the Lord fasting and praying, it took 21 days until he received a response from the Lord through the visit of Archangel Gabriel, who told him that he had been heard from day one. How encouraging!
To some prayers we receive an answer right away, for others it may take a while, but we can be sure that when we want to understand God’s will, with all our heart and we are humble and sincere, the Lord hears our prayers from the first day. The reasons why the response we are expecting is delayed, may differ from case to case, but if we know we have been heard, we can wait more patiently, without losing our faith that we will get what we asked for. It is desirable to keep our hearts sincere and allow the Holy Spirit to mold us. The more sensitive we are to the gentle voice of the Holy Spirit, accepting His corrections and acting accordingly, the more effective our prayers will be. The Lord's wants us to pray effectively and He teaches us how to do it, if we have a malleable heart. Hallelujah!
ONLY IF WE PRAY CAN WE RECEIVE WHAT WE NEED
… Thus says the Lord: “Set your house in order, for you shall die, and not live.” Then he turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord, saying, “Remember now, O Lord, I pray, how I have walked before You in truth and with a loyal heart, and have done what was good in Your sight.” And Hezekiah wept bitterly. – 2 Kings 20:1-3
Hezekiah loved the Lord, and although he was not a perfect man (he became proud, boastful and selfish toward the end of his life), the Lord immediately listened to his request and granted an extension to his life. How wonderful is the heart of Father God in His sovereignty! He loves us so much and has so many good gifts in store for us! God showed mercy to Hezekiah's broken heart and sent the prophet Isaiah back to him with His answer! God not only gave him fifteen more years to live, as an answer to his prayer, but also promised to set them free from the Assyrian oppression! And the Lord kept His promise (2 Kings 22: 5-6).
Hezekiah was not necessarily a man of great faith. He even asked for a sign to be sure that what the Lord told him would come to pass. We can all relate to that, can’t we? We pray fervently for something important from the Lord, and when He answers and even additionally promises us something else, it seems too hard for us to believe. We even have a common expression for this: “I cannot believe this!”
What we say with our mouths influences our level of faith. By what we say, we can cancel our faith and replace it with doubt, even without the help of the enemy. That is why it is so important to renew our minds and pay attention to the words we speak. To cancel their destructive power, we must stop thinking negative, condemning and doubtful thoughts, to prevent speaking them. Our thoughts easily become our words.
IF WE REMAIN IN JESUS AND HIS WORD REMAINS IN US, WE WILL RECEIVE WHAT WE ARE PRAYING FOR
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” - John 15:7
The fulfillment of the promise that God will hear our prayers is conditional in that, we must be in union with Jesus and the Word of God. The more we are transformed by the Word, the more we pray and the more we will receive what we are asking for.
It is not easy to have faith that the Lord has heard our prayers when it takes a while to receive an answer. When the answer is not instant, we become vulnerable to the enemy, who misses no opportunity to try to lie to us. The enemy tries to trick us into believing that we have an unconfessed sin and that the Lord is punishing us by not answering our prayers or that for whatever reason, we do not deserve for the Lord to love and help us anymore etc.
The truth is that in the physical world, sometimes it seems that the Lord is not answering our prayers, but in the spiritual world He is continuously working for our good. And even if, for different reasons, depending on the situation, it takes a while until we see the answer, we can be confident that for everything we ask according to the Word of God, living purely for Him, we will receive the best answer.
WE RECEIVE WHAT WE PRAY FOR, WHEN WE PRAY ACCORDING TO GOD’S WILL
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. - 1 John 5:14-15 How do we know what the Lord's will is? The Bible is the Word of God and in it we find His will on any aspect of life. Every interpretation of biblical truths have to be verified by at least two or three verses (or verse sections), in the context they are written, referring explicitly to the situation, mutually supporting one another. Any fact or truth must be supported by two or three witnesses, whether they are eyewitnesses or written verses: “... by the mouth of two or three witnesses the matter shall be established" (Deuteronomy 19:15). This is even a golden rule for verifying facts that the serious news media uses.
The prayer of faith brings into the physical world what God has already done for us in the spiritual world. When we pray and ask for something according to God's will, we must believe that our prayer is heard, that in the spiritual world we already have what we have asked for and it will materialize in the physical world at the right time. The Lord sees the overall picture of our lives, of those around us and all the factors involved in response to our prayer. What the Lord does for each of us often involves the lives of others. That is why sometimes His answer is, or just seems, different than what we were expecting to receive, but it is always what is best for us considering all factors.
OUR LORD JESUS PRAYS FOR US
“I pray for them. I do not pray for the world but for those whom You have given Me, for they are Yours. And all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them.” - John 17:9-10
Our Lord was praying for the ones that God gave Him. Who are those? From Jesus’ prayer, we learn that they are those whom He had taught, have received the truth, who were to remain in the world and “… those who will believe in Him through their word” (John 17:20) and those are us.
Before the Father gave us to His Son, we belonged to Him, but then, Jesus gave us back to His Father and at the same time we belong to both of them, as they are one. In the next verse, Jesus says that all that are His, are the Father’s too and all of the Father’s are His also. As long as we live for Jesus, He and the Father will be glorified in us.
When Jesus calls us His sheep, He emphasizes again that we are in His hand and in the Father’s hand at the same time, as He and the Father are one, as we read in John 10:28-30: “And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.”
JESUS PRAYS FOR THE UNITY BETWEEN CHRISTIANS OF ALL AGES
“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.” - John 17:20-21
Jesus concludes the list of His requests to His Father, with a great statement in our favor. He also prayed, for the generations of believers that were to come, to know Him after hearing the Gospel. All generations after the apostles, including us and the future ones, are part of them and all that Jesus prayed to the Father, is for us too. What a blessing and a privilege to have the Son of God praying for us, before we were even born.
Since Jesus rose from the dead and went back to heaven, He is sitting at the Father’s right hand, and making intercession for us (Romans 8:34). God’s will for us is to make it to heaven. The Lord wants us to have success and live blessed lives in obedience to Him, until the end. He wants us, as His church, to love each other and be in unity with one another and with Him, so that those around us can see Jesus in us and believe that He is the Son of God.
THE POWER OF PRAYER, PRAISE AND WORSHIP
Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray. Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise [to God]. - James 5:13 This might seem simple, but this is how our life should be with our Lord, simple. Trusting God for all we need is the key that keeps things simple. We are not to complicate our lives by trying to figure it all out and make things happen. We need to learn to depend upon our Lord and when sickness or other suffering or pain affects us or our dear ones, the best solution is to come to our Lord, telling Him in prayer what our need is. At times, the Holy Spirit may guide us to use the authority we have in the name of Jesus and resist the devil, to overcome a sickness or an evil attack (You may read more on the subject in the article “The Authority of the believer”).
When we are happy and joyful, a praise song is not far away! Some of us prefer to sing out loud, others in their hearts, alone or as they listen their favorite worship songs. It doesn’t matter how we do it, as long as we sincerely praise our Lord.
Even when we are sad, worshiping and praising God is the best way to overcome sadness and despair. When we worship the Lord, we focus on Him and it is easier to let go of what bothers us and we take hold of our thoughts and emotions, trusting God for solving our issues!
WE CAN LIVE BETTER LIVES, IF WE PRAY FOR OUR NATION
Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. - 1 Timothy 2:1-2 We are called to pray for other people, according to their need. It might be a petition, which is a very a specific request for particular benefits; or intercession, which is prayer in its most individual form, as one enters in a close communion with God praying for someone else as for himself. Giving thanks for all that God does is very important, too.
Praying for the leaders of our nation is another important part of our prayer life. Our citizenship is in heaven and there is where we are headed to, but while we are still here on earth, we do care for our nation and for the quality of life in the area we live in. To pray for those in authority to fear God, be honest, have God’s wisdom and a heart for the people, is what we should do and it contributes to a better life for us and our fellow citizens. The better examples the leaders are for the nation, the more godly and integer people try to become and as a result peace, dignity and respect are increased throughout the nation.
LET US PRAY ONE FOR ANOTHER
And for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, - Ephesians 6:19 It is so important that we, the church, function as the body of Christ. By being “members of one another,” we can efficiently sustain each other and even intercede or “stand in the gap before God on behalf of” our brothers and sisters in Christ. The apostle Paul had not asked the churches to pray for him personally, but for his ministry, so that even more people to be saved and start to live right for God.
The apostle Paul’s ministry was full of power and through the epistles he wrote, inspired by the Holy Spirit, he has continued to bless Christians throughout all times. We all need the prayers of our brothers and sisters in Christ for God’s help to share the Good News of salvation through Jesus Christ. When we pray one for another, the love and unity grow in the body of Christ and God’s Kingdom expands.
PRAYING IN TH HOLY SPIRIT
Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints. - Ephesians 6:18 Prayers led by the Holy Spirit are efficient and powerful. Jesus encouraged the disciples, by telling them that after His departure from this earth, His Father would send them "another" Helper, meaning “one of the same kind,” someone like Him. The Lord referred to the Holy Spirit who is one of the three persons of God's trinity. Jesus had to deal with the limits of time and space while on earth, living in a human body, that could only be in one place at a time. The Holy Spirit is God and omnipresent, there is no place that He is not present. Through Him, God the Father and the Son live in our hearts.
Jesus said: “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit knows all things and everything we need. If we ask Him to help us pray and teach us what we need to know, He will do it. If we pray under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, to Father God, in the name of Jesus, we know that we pray according to God's will and we will receive what we are asking for. If we are truly led by the Holy Spirit, we will pray for what the Lord wants to give us, because He knows better than we do, what is best for us and others. In the "Holy Spirit Articles" section, you may find more information about who He is, what He does, His fruit, His gifts and the baptism with the Holy Spirit.
BY PRAYING IN THE HOLY SPIRIT, WE STRENGTHEN OUR FAITH
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. - Jude 1:20-21 The apostle Jude, presents himself as a bond-servant of Jesus Christ and brother of James, even if he was half-brother with the Lord also. Jude and James did not believe that Jesus was the Son of God until He was crucified and resurrected. But once they realized the truth, they became 100% sold out to the Lord.
It is up to us to pay attention to what we believe and think about. Our beliefs and thoughts dictate how we feel, what we talk about and how we act. The best way to handle it all correctly, is by following the guidance of the Holy Spirit. When we pray in the Holy Spirit, it is not our mind that leads the prayer, but the Spirit of God, who uses an earthly language, or tongues (You may read more about it in the articles “The Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit” and “The baptism of the Holy Spirit”). To be able to keep on growing in our faith in God, we need to remain in Jesus and in His amazing love. God’s mercy is there for us, to help us spend eternity in heaven with our Lord. By reminding ourselves on a daily basis how much God loves and values us, we can understand God’s love more and more and stop doubting it when we have to go through hard times.