A friend told me once that God never answers his prayers. Unfortunately, I didn’t know how to answer him at the time. Now I do. God isn’t your magic genie. Yes, prayer is just talking to God and Jesus did say, “Ask and you shall receive…” (Matthew 7:7-8). However, you must pray with the right attitude — an attitude of gratitude.
Now, you don’t have to open every prayer with thanksgiving. For instance, every time I hear a siren, I pray, “God, bless them and whoever they’re going to go help!” That’s a quick “911 prayer”. Or when I see a homeless person begging in the corner, I pray, “Lord, help him/her get the help that they need.” Fast and simple. Those prayers work because they’re not about you. They are intercessory prayers and they are unselfish. You can’t help everybody out there, but you can pray for them.
If you ask God for something out of greed, pride, envy, jealousy, gluttony, etc. (the 7 Deadly Sins), you probably won’t get it.
James told us…
2 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. 3 And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.James 4:2-3 nLT
Paul told us…
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
“Peace that exceeds understanding“! Believe me, it works!
Jesus told us…
13 You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father. 14 Yes, ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it!John 14: 13-14 NLT
Yet, he also said…
5 “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.
7 “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!Matthew 6:5-8 NLT
What about praying the rosary?
Praying the rosary may make you feel good because is a form of meditation — like yoga, but it’s exactly what Jesus told us NOT to do — “don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again!” It’s the same thing as saying penance after confessing to a priest — it’s a pagan ritual that does absolutely nothing. It certainly doesn’t save you or buy you “grace points.”
The posture in which we pray is not important. You can pray kneeling — if you can and your knees don’t hurt — sitting, standing, working, walking, running, driving, lying down, whenever and wherever you are!
- Look up — that’s where God is
- Look down — humbling yourself
- Eyes closed — to help you focus on the prayer and not the world around you
- Eyes open — if you’re driving or reading a prayer
- Write it down
- Pray on the fly
- Pray alone
- With a friend or with a group — together or on the phone (I’ve been participating in a weekly Zoom prayer meeting with over 250 people from all over the world. It’s awesome!)
- Hands clasped or upraised
- You don’t need beads
- You don’t need a Bible
- You don’t need to be in a church
Just Pray and Give Thanks!
7 The Lord is my strength and shield.Psalm 28:7 NLT
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
If you’ve been praying and you haven’t felt anything, examine your attitude.
Paul told Timothy…
I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them.1 Timothy 2:1 NLT (bold emphasis mine)
4 Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks.1 Timothy 4:4 NLT
As I wrote in my prior post, everything we have it’s because God allowed us to have it. We have to thank Him. When we do, He appreciates it and will show us favor.
How Does God Answer Prayer?
So, you’re praying with the right attitude of gratitude, but your prayers are still not answered. What’s up with that? Well, God answers prayers, just not always the answers we want. It could be “yes”, it could be “no”, it could be a “not yet” or “wait”.
Remember what Peter told us….
6 So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor. 7 Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.1 Peter 5:6-7 NLT
We humble ourselves when we thank God for everything first. “At the right time” is HIS time — not our time! We need to seek His will for our lives.
Do You Have A Relationship with Him?
It really doesn’t work if you don’t truly have a personal relationship with Jesus. Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross so we could have religion. No! He sacrificed His life for you so you could have a relationship with Him! Yes! Anyone can have a relationships with God! That’s a benefit of salvation. What do you have to do?
Believe. Repent. Be Baptized. Receive the Holy Spirit.
- Believe — have Faith — that Jesus is the Christ and He died taking your sins away forever and that He rose from the dead 3 days later.
- Repent of your sins — stop sinning! Do a complete 180 in your life and surrender your life to Him.
- Be Baptized — show the world and yourself that you have died to your old life and are born again in Christ.
- Receive the Holy Spirit in your heart.
If you’re not sure if you’re saved or not, if you truly want to be born again and have the assurance of salvation, receive the Holy Spirit, and get a 1-way, non-stop ticket to Heaven after you die, or that you won’t be left behind at the Rapture, this is what you have to do…