It is easy to pray with faith about the things we know are God’s Will. For example, it is God’s will for every Christian to share the Gospel with others. So I know God will grant me courage and boldness when I pray for those things. But what about a health issue, a certain job application, a potential friend for marriage, and how many children to have or if any at all? How long do we pray if we have not received an answer from the Lord yet? The answer is simple, you pray until you get an answer from the Lord. Remember the widow with the unjust judge and the persistent neighbor. Another example is Paul the Apostle; he prayed three times regarding his thorn in the flesh and then received an answer from the Lord.
2 Corinthians 12:8-9 “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. Vs 9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee…”
Be sure to understand that God always answers His children with a yes, no, or wait.
How long does a person wait? Until they get an answer!
Wait with faith. To wait with Faith means you trust the Lord and His best!
Let me give you some encouragement while you wait.
1. Be willing to wait as long as it takes.
a. Do not be distracted or consumed while you wait with your prayer request. b. Do not lose focus with other responsibilities that are happening around you.
2. Be faithful toward God while you wait
a. Do not violate Biblical principles. b. Do not manipulate or try to make things happen by your own strength.
3. Be doing the Will of God while you wait
a. Know what you need to do and do it. b. Get busy doing what God wants you to do.
Psalm 37:34 “Wait on the LORD, and keep his way…”
4. Be willing to let others pray with you
You do not have to make it public if you do not feel comfortable. But find a few godly people you can pray with.
James 5:16 “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”
5. Be willing to accept God’s answer when it comes.
Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred maketh the heart sick…”
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Vs 6 In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”
Remember, God wants His will fulfilled in your life more than you do, and He knows what is best for you!
Turn to: Psalm 62:5-8 “Trust in him at all times…”
Question: When do I stop praying for a particular request, as it seems that God is not answering my prayers?
The simple answer would be, we keep praying until God answers our prayers. God used the parable regarding the widow and the unjust judge to teach “…that men ought always to pray, and not to faint.” If an unjust judge answered the widow’s request, then how much more would a righteous and good God answer the request of His Children.
God will always answer His Children’s Prayer: However, we must be sure of a few things.
1. It must be requested according to God’s will
1 John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: vs 15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
We must understand that God will not answer fleshly and lustful prayer requests.
James 4:3 “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
2. It must be requested in Jesus’ name
John 14:14 “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”
Praying to the Heavenly Father and in the name of Jesus is a Biblical pattern for prayer.
3. It must be requested with a pure heart
Psalm 66:18 “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:”
Unconfessed sin in our lives will hinder our prayer.
1 Timothy 2:8 “I will therefore that men pray every where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.”
Unconfessed sin in our lives will result in living a double life and being double minded, thus our prayer will be vain. James 4:8 “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded.”
4. It must be requested by Faith
Matthew 21:21-22 “Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. Vs 22And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.”
Faith is believing God will answer according to His will. Having faith is waiting for God’s best! Praying is one thing, but believing God will answer our prayer is another. Faith-filled prayers are vital.
We have a living God who is able to hear our prayers, and we are to be purposeful in our prayers.
1 Timothy 2:1 “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men;”
As Paul begins to encourage Timothy and say “…first of all…” he seems to indicate that prayer is a Vital part of the Christian life. Then he indicates that prayers are to be made for all men; whether it be for the believer or unbelievers.
Here are some types of prayers which are purposeful.
a. Supplications = a petition: or prayer request
This would be a petition or request in which we would ask of God, or we would ask others to pray for us regarding a specific area.
Notice Paul’s supplications:
2 Thessalonians 3:1-2 “Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you: vs 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all men have not faith.”
b. Prayers =OurcommunionwithGod
John Wesley Said “Supplication is here the imploring help in time of need: prayer is any kind of offering up our desires to God.”
Romans1:9 “For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;”
Which also leads us to the next type of prayer…
c. Intercessions = praying on behalf of others
Romans 1:9 “…that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;”
Paul gives an example in 1 Timothy 2:2
1 Timothy 2:2-3 “For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. Vs 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour;”
There a difference between vain repetition and praying without ceasing. These prayers are no doubt purposeful and are acceptable in the sight of God.
d. Giving of thanks
Thanking God for others is not sinful or vain. It is appreciating the work of God in a person’s life.
Paul did this several times:
Philippians 1:3-5 “I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, Vs 4 Always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, vs 5 For your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now;
These are not vain prayers, they are vital, purposeful prayers!