Why are there unanswered prayers

An encouragement from Joyce Meyer | Reading time: 4 minutes

People want to pray. I've noticed this in more than 40 years of service. They want to experience that God hears them and that their prayers change something in their lives. But for many of them, prayer is too complicated. But the opposite is true: prayer is an easy journey.

Prayer is much easier than you often do.

The wonderful thing is: God wants to hear us and answer our prayers. He wants to change our lives and the lives of others on this journey.

But the fact is that many of us are not satisfied with our prayer life. We long to have a deeper and more dynamic relationship with God through prayer. Sometimes we wonder deep down if God even hears us when we talk to him. When our prayers go unanswered, doubts and frustration arise - we wonder if we are praying “right” and long enough. But prayer is very simple: We talk to God and listen when He talks to us.

It may well be that we really want to live as Christians and are anxious to do God's will and yet have serious questions about prayer. Even the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray, even though they had already spent a lot of time with him (see Luke 11: 1). He helped them and I believe that if we ask him, he will help us too. Then not only will our prayer life become more effective, but we will experience new freedom and joy in prayer and develop a closer relationship with him.

Yes, there are different types of prayer and many things that can prevent prayer from being answered. But I don't want to focus on all these things now, I want to explain prayer to you in such a way that you can relax and start praying. No longer should the thought of prayer intimidate you; instead, you should look forward to spending times doing something that is natural, as natural as breathing.

Prayer is a personal matter

Because God created us as unique personalities, knowing about prayer is not enough. He wants to live an intimate and personal relationship with us. Therefore, he will teach us how to pray, knowing what he wants to make of us. Of course there are principles of prayer that apply to everyone, but God will guide us individually. He does not ignore us and pays attention to our current phase of life. For example, a young mother who has several young children cannot devote as much time to prayer as someone whose children are grown up.

I remember times when I imitated others in their prayer behavior whenever I learned what prayer experiences they had had. I once attended a seminar where a woman talked about how she prayed from five to nine o'clock every morning. That grabbed me, I went home, determined to do the same. But because God's calling to me was different from that of a woman, it became a boring and tiring business for me. This woman had the grace of God - was thus supernaturally enabled by him - to pray four hours a day, but I did not.

But thank God, through the help of the Holy Spirit, I saw that the Lord had a personal plan for me. I had to find out what this plan was like and follow it and stop trying to copy someone else's purpose. God wants to do exactly the same for you. He is happy about our uniqueness and wants this to find its expression in our prayer life. In addition to the common church services, he likes to spend time with everyone personally - just as we enjoy being alone with very special friends.

Prayer is based on friendship

I am convinced: Facing God as a friend is the key to effective prayer. If we do not know God as a friend, we are reluctant to ask him something because we do not feel that we have “earned” something through good behavior. So our trust that he hears us can be quickly destroyed. However, if we, you and I, see ourselves as close friends of God, then we want to spend more time talking to him and are not afraid to ask him for help when we need it.

You may find it difficult to become a friend of God. But if you lead a life with Jesus, then you are already his friend. In John 15:15, Jesus says that he calls us his friends because he has shared with us everything he heard from his Father. Friendship is based on an open and honest exchange and our exchange with God takes place through prayer. A good relationship with God is not built by always going to him for help in times of need. It is based on experiencing shared times of exchange and community.

In our life we ​​develop good friendships when we let the other partake in our everyday life and it is exactly the same with God. Our friendship with him deepens when we take him into our lives every day. We should let him participate in our thoughts and conversations as we go about our daily chores. We can make a habit of talking to God when we are getting ready for the day, while driving, shopping, walking the dog, or cooking food. He really wants to take part in every area of ​​our life. However, as with other friendships, it is up to us whether we have a casual or a close friendship.

The more time and energy we invest in building an intimate friendship with God, the stronger and more exciting our prayer life with him will become.

Prayer takes courage

As our friendship with God deepens, we not only become more courageous in praying for others, but also more effectively overall. In Luke 11: 5-8, Jesus speaks to his disciples about prayer. He tells them a story of a man who goes to a friend's house at midnight and asks him for bread. The English Amplified Bible says that because of his insolent tenacity and perseverance, the man got what he asked for. I think the man was so insolently persistent in asking a friend for something. Likewise, you and I will only persist in praying for something if we have a close relationship with God. God wants us to be close friends of Him. In Hebrews 4:16 he invites us to stand before him with confidence:

So we want to stand before the throne of our gracious God with confidence, so that he will show us his mercy and let us experience his grace and that we will receive the help we need at the right time.

The Bible: Hebrews 4:16

The deeper our friendship with the father grows, the braver we become. For example, if Dave and I go out to eat, we will freely ask the waitress for anything we need. However, we wouldn't ask them to bring us to work the next morning at six o'clock because our car is in the workshop. While we are friendly to our waitresses, we are not so close friends with her that we would be free to ask her such a favor.

But I also have very close friends who like me a lot and I would confidently ask them if they could drive me to work - even if it were very early in the morning. Why? Because I know they would like to do it for me. I have a deep friendship with them. This trust also develops in friendship with God and is expressed in our prayer requests - whether for us or for others.

Prayer blesses others

The better we know God, the more trustworthy our prayers for others will be. When people come to us and tell us their needs, we may be able to help them a little, sometimes a lot, or not at all. But if we are God's friends, we know the one who can help and we are allowed to say: “I cannot help you myself, but I know the one who is able to. I ask my friend to help you! ”We can even ask God to do us a favor by helping someone else - that is one of the benefits of being friends with God.

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I remember times when my father didn't know Jesus and I was very sad about his spiritual condition. I had been praying for his salvation for a long time and I still could not see any change in his life. At one point I had even gotten to the point where I thought it pointless to keep praying for him.

But then God had a request for me that was very difficult for me: my parents should move near us, we should buy them a house and look after them until they die. After they moved to our area, another three years passed during which I did not see any major changes in my father. One morning when I was on my way to work, I told God again that I had already complied with his request and that I was looking after my parents. I now asked him for a personal favor: save my father and develop a relationship with him.

A few weeks later my father called. He invited Dave and me to come and see him. On that day he asked my forgiveness for the years of abuse against me and accepted Jesus as Lord in his life. I believe that because of my friendship with God, my prayers were able to make this change. As we enter into a deep relationship with God, our prayers will be more effective for others and make changes in their lives - changes that will work into eternity.

Prayer is exciting and has an impact

Prayer means talking to God and listening to him. If we ask him to teach us to pray, he will answer. He made each of us unique and He will teach us to pray according to our personalities. When we are friends of God, that is the key to an exciting, influential prayer life. Once you develop your friendship with God and include him in everything you do, you will become courageous and confident and ask him not only for yourself but for others as well. The Holy Spirit will help you make your prayer life engaging and effective. God's power should work in you and changes will happen in you and your environment!

Start your adventure - simple prayer has power!

From: Joyce Meyer Magazine September 2016

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