Are you frustrated by your prayer life? Do you wonder why you don’t see answers to most of your prayers? Don’t lose hope. When you pray the right way, you’ll see the answers to your prayers manifest.
A closer look at the Scriptures reveals one important detail many of us have not understood in relation to prayer. That is the word “receive”.
To see answers to your prayers, pay attention to the following eleven principles. They are keys to receiving answers to your prayer requests.
#1. Receive what God has already provided.
Many times we are begging God to do things for us and we pray for long hours hoping this will make him do what we want. Yet the death and resurrection of Jesus provided us with everything we need from God, we need only receive.
Jesus put it very simply in Mark 11:24, “Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” He clarified that before you can see answers to your prayers, believe you have received what you have asked God.
#2. Have faith when you Pray.
You’ll notice that many times Jesus commended those who came to him for healing and deliverance for having faith. He used phrases like, “your faith has healed you,” or “according to your faith let it be done to you;” for the faithless he used, “you of little faith” (Matthew 9:22,29; 14:31).
Jesus could not do miracles in places where they had no faith (Matthew 13:58). Faith is key to having God answer your prayers. Have faith in God and trust that he will answer your prayers without fail.
Sometimes God expects us to take action after prayer. We do so by faith. Build your faith by spending time in the word of God.
#3. Pray God’s will.
We pray many prayers that are not God’s will but our will. God responds to the promises he has given us in his word. 1 John 5:14-15 tells us if we ask anything according to God’s will we are confident he hears our prayers. Because we know he hears us we are sure we will receive what we have asked of him.
When you pray God’s will into a situation, he will answer your prayer. Pray Bible verses over your troubling situations and see them change. Your will is most of the time driven by desperation, frustration, fear or selfishness.
Ask God for his will in a situation and then pray with that revelation.
#4. Pray with the Right Motives.
According to James 4:3, you will not receive answers to your prayers if you pray with the wrong motives. Many of our prayers are prayed with selfish motives without considering the big picture in the situation. God wants to do so much more with our prayers and we need to discern that.
Saying a prayer with the wrong motive means you are not praying out of a pure heart. Your request is not even what you think you need. Thank God that he doesn’t answer prayers that do not reflect his will. If he did it would harm us.
Pray that God will purify your heart so that you can pray with the right motive.
#5. Don’t doubt when you Pray.
When you pray and doubt, you have a double mind and you’ll not receive answers to your prayers from God (James 1:6-8). Doubt negates your faith and short circuits your prayer. By doubting, you show that you do not trust in God’s ability to give you what you are asking him.
In Mark 11:23, Jesus shows us that the only way the mountains in our lives will move is if we pray and not doubt. Believe that God will carry out your request. Doubt diminishes your faith, and that is why Jesus always said “You of little faith” (Matthew 14:31) to those who doubted his ability to heal and deliver.
Address the reason for your doubts so they don’t hinder your prayers.
#6. Believe God is willing to answer your Prayer.
Sometimes we don’t believe that God will do what we are asking him. A man with leprosy came to Jesus for healing. He told Jesus that if he was willing, he could heal him (Matthew 8:2). The problem with this kind of thinking is that Jesus purchased healing for us on the cross and we need only receive it.
For example, you don’t have to wonder if God will heal you. He has made healing available and you are to receive it by faith (1 Peter 2:24). This applies to other things you pray for like financial success, the salvation of a loved one, difficult situations, etc. God is willing to give you what you ask of him in prayer.
#7. Pray over your unbelief.
A problem can persist in your life and as much as you are praying to God to deliver you, your heart can harbor unbelief. Like the father whose son was demon-possessed from childhood, your unbelief can make you think that it is not possible for God to handle your situation. It has been in your life for so long.
This father cried out to Jesus and said, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!” (Matthew 9:24). He wanted to see his son healed even if it meant admitting to Jesus that he had unbelief. Ask God to help you overcome your unbelief so that you can see the answers to your prayers.
#8. Forgive others.
In Mark 11:25, Jesus tells us to forgive others as we pray. Unforgiveness is holding on the sins of others yet we expect God to forgive ours. This blocks answers to our prayers because we violate God’s word.
God forgave you your sins when you made Jesus Lord and Savior. He expects that in the same way, you will forgive others (Colossians 3:13). When you release others from the grip of your hands, you open them to receive the blessings of God.
Where you struggle to forgive others, ask the Holy Spirit to help you. Forgiveness is not a one-time event, it takes time.
#9. Have Patience.
In this day and age of having anything we want when we want it, waiting for answers to prayer isn’t pleasurable. We want God to answer our prayers NOW! That is not how prayer works.
Romans 8:25 teaches us to wait with patience for what we don’t already have. God answers prayer according to his will and in his timing. Our timing is not God’s. God knows the right time for certain things to happen in our lives; trust him.
When you pray, God works on your situation and that takes time. There are times you are not ready for what you are praying for and God has to prepare you to receive an answer to your prayers. Wait for him knowing that he will come through for you, in his time.
#10. Persist in Prayer.
Like the parable of the persistent widow in Luke 18:1-7, pray and don’t give up. Sometimes the enemy blocks your answers so you may lose faith in God. That is why he is your enemy. He takes pleasure in taking you away from God. He wants you to believe you are wasting your time praying.
Your persistence will overcome him because you have the authority to destroy all the barriers he puts in front of you (Luke 10:19). As you continue in prayer, you are destroying his strongholds in your life.
Persisting in prayer is not trying to convince God as to why he should answer your prayer. It is continually seeking God until you see the answer to your prayer manifest.
#11… Ask the Holy Spirit to help you pray when you don’t know what to Pray
Have you ever prayed and run out of words? Ask the Holy Spirit to help you. The apostle Paul told the Romans that we don’t know how to pray as we ought and the Spirit of God is there to help us (Romans 8:26).
When you don’t know how to pray for a particular situation, ask the Holy Spirit to show you what to pray. The things he shows you to pray may not have crossed your mind. Pray in the Spirit and you will be praying God’s perfect will into the situation.
The Spirit of God knows the mind of God and helps you pray according to what God desires.
If you want to see your prayers answered, let the above principles guide you. Instead of getting frustrated at unanswered prayers, ask God if there is anything hindering you from receiving answers to your prayers. When he shows you deal with it. Look for wisdom in the Scriptures on how to overcome hindrances to prayer.
God always answers prayer. You need only believe and you will receive your answers and your joy will be complete.