Does God answer prayers? Yes!
We were told that God gives good gifts, but each time we kneel and say, "Our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be thy name; one question comes to mind: "Does the heavenly Father hear? Does God answer prayer?
Many, if not all, have at one point whispered this age-old question. Either in the depths of their hearts or pillows at night, a query that transcends age and experience and is asked by the curious toddler and the seasoned believer.
But does God really answer prayer?
Emphatically, yes! And because David was confident of this truth, he declared in Psalm 65:2 because you answer prayers. People everywhere will come to you[ GNT].
So without mincing words, God answers prayers; Jesus taught us in Jn 14:13. He said whatever you ask in my name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. In this article, we will learn how God answers prayer and how we can receive our requests.
The Power of Faith in Receiving Answers to Prayers
Faith plays a crucial role, if not the most important, in receiving answers to prayer. [Heb 11; 6] For without faith it's impossible to please God, he that must draw must believe he is and is a rewarder of those that diligently seek him.
The truth is if you don't have faith, you won't get answers. Faith is that important. When Jesus was on earth, he couldn't perform miracles in his hometown because they didn't have faith. Mark 13:58 And he did not do many miracles there because of their lack of faith.
You can liken faith to a currency with which heavenly things are gotten. In our shop, we've got Prayer ropes, Crosses, books, gifts, and more. But the only acceptable legal tender for purchases is the dollar[USD], undermining whatever you are buying. Just as we accept only dollars for our purchases, faith is the currency that gives you your request from God.
Different Ways God Communicates His Answers
God indeed answers prayers. However, the answer comes in different ways. It may be Yes, No, or Wait. There are times when we get the answers almost immediately. Other times, it may take longer before our prayers are answered.
Prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah that he was going to die. When the King heard the words of the prophet, he immediately cried out to God in prayers, and before Isaiah could leave the King's house, God told him to return and tell Hezekiah that he had heard him and had added 15 years to his life. [II Kings 20:1-7]
How amazing it would be if our God answered our prayers instantaneously; however, it's not always the case. Sometimes, God says No. It happens most often when we pray with the wrong motives. But even if our motives are right, God can still say no.
Apostle Paul, the man who wrote two-thirds of the New Testament, suffered an affliction on his flesh and prayed that God should take it away, but he didn't.[2 Cor 12:8-9]].
In situations like this, the devil begins to whisper in our hearts that God is wicked and doesn't hear. But you must trust the process, knowing that God has good plans for you and will definitely see you through [Jer 29:12].
Other times, he may say wait. This can be more painful than "no," but God knows best and will answer our requests at the right time. Even if we pray the orthodox prayers or use the most powerful bible verses, it doesn't change the time. Most times, God wants us to wait to learn patience. [Rom 8:25]
We saw the same scenario with Abraham, who wanted an heir but was told to wait. While waiting, Abraham gave in to pressure from his wife and had intercourse with her slave, Hagar, and she bore Ishmael. Today, the generation of Ishmael is at war with the Children of Israel. So when God says wait, let's hope on him patiently and not do anything that will later be a problem to our blessings.
Recognizing Signs of God's Response to Your Prayers
God listens and has been speaking from the beginning of the age; even to this minute, he still speaks [Heb 1:1]. This is where many miss it. They want to hear an audible voice saying Jake, I've heard you. While this is not out of place, we must understand God is omnipotent and can respond in different ways. Let's discuss some signs to know your prayer is answered.
1 Inner Peace
There are times when we pray and feel calm in our hearts, even when the problem is still there. It's a crystal sign that God has heard you. This kind of peace only comes from God. In Phil 4:6-7 The Bible says do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. So, if you've been enveloped with this peace, know that's God's way of telling you he has heard.
2 Through Instructions in our spirit
It might not be calmness in your spirit. There are times when we get prompts or a voice in our spirit to do certain things when praying. It might be to read a particular bible verse, call somebody, or go to a place; it might be a fragment of the verse or even a song. Jump on it and take action because in it lies your answer to your prayer.
3 By Witnesses
If you've been to law court, you'll understand the power of witnesses. They help authenticate a narrative. If you've been in a situation where it seems everybody is speaking to you. You go to your church, and it looks like you told the Pastor your challenge, and he prepared the sermon solely for you; you open a book, and it seems the author knew your condition. These are witnesses and a sign that God has heard you. In 2 Cor 13:1 In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."
4 Direct Response
Getting responses like an audible voice or vision and dreams may not be typical; however, God still communicates his answers through these media. The more you fellowship with the Holy Spirit, the more you understand how God responds to your prayers.
Overcoming Doubt: Trusting in the Process of Divine Communication
Everybody wants their prayers to be answered immediately, including me; however, this is not always the case. There will be a time when it will seem as if God doesn't even hear you, and doubt will start rising. When this happens, you must understand that you're not the only one that experiences such circumstances. It happens to everyone in the faith, even the orthodox church icons. David and Jesus Christ had their share of it and cried Father, why have thou forsaken me[Psalm 22:1, Matt 27:56
Our survival in this period is dependent on the relationship we have with the Holy Spirit and the amount of God's word we've got on our inside. So, in times like this, we should do things that will keep our communication with God even when the flesh is weak. Here are a few things we could do;
Keep reading the bible and praying.
You've to keep reading the bible to learn how God delivered the patriarchs in their days. Their testimony will spur your faith in God. Also, you've to pray. Paul admonished the Thessalonica brethren to pray without season.[1 Thess 5:17]. If you feel too weak, ask the Holy Spirit to strengthen you. You can also get an orthodox Christian prayer book to guide your prayers. The Holy Spirit inspires these books and can help you pray the will of God; however, you shouldn't make it a replacement for the bible.
Another thing that can spur you to pray is to create a prayer corner in your room. You can put scripture on the walls or anything that will bring the consciousness of prayers. If you don't know how to do it, you can get prayer corner ideas from the church.
Participate in spiritual activities;
It doesn't stop with you reading your bible and praying. Engage in godly exercises as they offer a lot of benefits. [1 Tim 4:8]. You can go for evangelism, serve in the church, give alms, and fast; if you want an organized fasting schedule, you can follow the orthodox fasting calendar.
Aside from this, it is best always to attend fellowship, listen to tapes, and download sermons. This is where our faith in God is strengthened, as faith comes through hearing the word of God.[Rom 10:17]
Yes! God answers prayer. But to understand the signs and hear him clearly, you must be a child of God and refrain from sin. The good news is that even if you have sinned, the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse your iniquities and make you a righteous person before God. Whatever you may be passing through, always bear in mind that God hears us and is eager to answer our prayers. Talk to him; he said he will never leave nor forsake us.[Heb 13:5].