What Is Prayer?
According to the American Heritage Dictionary prayer is simply communication with GOD and God communicating with you.
Prayer is the inspiring experience of conversing with and praising God as our loving, heavenly Father. Few experiences can equal prayer in empowering Christians and lifting them above their problems. Many times lack of character can be traced to lack of a prayer life. When it is hardest to pray, one should pray hardest. Our prayer life should be such that we come to know the Lord Jesus in a personal way. Our prayer life becomes effective as our relationship with Christ becomes more intimate.
Jesus explains in Matthew 6:1-15, that the five components to a successful
prayer life are:
5. BEING IN THE SPIRIT, (WITH the HOLY GHOST).
Let's examine the five components to successful prayer a little closer:
Being sincere is the first step to a successful prayer life. Prayer must be approached in Spirit and in Truth, (John 4:24). Don't pray with vain repetitions like hypocrites', (Matthew 6:7), for the Father knows what things we -need, before we ask Him for them- (Matthew 6:8). Be sincere, God knows your heart.
The next step is to be humble when you pray and know that it is a privilege to come to GOD in prayer, (Matthew 6:9). GOD gives grace unto the humble and resist the proud, (James 4:6). In II Chronicles, Solomon prays for the Israelites and GOD answers him Saying, humble yourselves and seek his face, and to pray before they will hear from Him, (II Chronicles 7:14).
Next is repentance (Matthew 6:12,13) - Sin causes separation from GOD, which hinders prayer from being answered. Men should pray everywhere without wrath and doubting, 1 Timothy 2:8.
1 John 1:9.
If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.
14. For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.
15. But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.
5. BEING IN THE SPIRIT, (WITH the HOLY GHOST).
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost,
Mark 13:11 (KJV)
11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost
This is a both/and scenario. We study to show ourselves approved. In addition we c¬¬¬an depend on the Holy Ghost to teach us particularly when we have not yet learned.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR PRAYERS SEEM UNANSWERED.
I want to share about what to do when your prayers seem unanswered, and I want
to put the emphasis on the fact that your prayers, "seem", to be unanswered.
The truth is that God always, always answers any prayer that is prayed according
to His Word in faith. In 1 John 5:14-15 it says, "And this is the confidence
that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth
us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have
the petitions that we desired of him." That is a lot of confidence. God
always answers prayer, but it doesn't always look like it's answered.
Matthew 7:7-8 says, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that ask-eth receiveth; and he that seek-eth find-eth; and to him that knock-eth it shall be opened." Those verses are saying that God does answer prayer. Yet every one of us can think of a time in our lives when we asked for something that we believed was a right thing, a good thing, not totally selfish or outside of God's will, yet we didn't see the answer.
God's Word says to ask, and it will be given to us. But our experience says we asked, and it wasn't given to us. Which is true? The answer may surprise you, but the truth is that probably both are true. Most people think, Now, wait a minute, God's Word says He will answer, and I didn't see it happen. John 4:24 says, "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." God operates in the spiritual realm to answer our prayers, but it takes faith on our part to manifest. Faith is what takes things from the spiritual world and moves them into the physical world.
This is basically what Hebrews 11:1 says: "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." It didn't say faith is the evidence of things that don't exist. They do exist, but they are not in the seen, physical world but in the unseen, spiritual realm. Faith reaches over into the spiritual realm and draws those things into the physical world.
It's like a radio signal. Radio and television stations are broadcasting constantly. You can be in a room where you can't see or hear the signals, but that doesn't mean they aren't there. You have to turn a radio on and tune it to the frequency you want to hear. Then the radio pulls those signals out of a realm you can't perceive and rebroadcasts them in a realm where you can hear them with your human ear.
God answers our prayers in a similar way: He gives things in the spiritual realm, and by faith, you have to reach out and bring them into the physical world. The physical and spiritual worlds move parallel to each other. God moves and answers your prayer, but you may never see it manifest in the physical unless you let faith bridge the gap between the unseen spiritual realm and the physical world we live in.
For example, Daniel, a man of God, was praying and asking God to give him a revelation. For the sake of time, I'll summarize the story. The Lord sent the angel, Gabriel, to appear to Daniel and answer his prayer. Daniel 9:22-23 says, "And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth; and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision." Here is the point: Gabriel said that at the beginning of Daniel's prayer, the commandment from God came for him to bring the answer. If you read how long it took to bring the answer, it was about three minutes, a three-minute lag time between God's command and the physical manifestation.
We make a lot of suppositions that if God is really God and something is His will, it just happens like the snap of a finger; but that's not true. In this instance, God gave the command, and it took approximately three minutes for Gabriel to cover that distance. I don't have all the reasons for this, and it's really not essential. The point I'm trying to make is that from the time God gave the command, there was a lag time of approximately three minutes before it was manifest. Now if that was the longest we had to believe for an answer to prayer, most of us could probably hold on, but it's not always that way.
In Daniel 10 we find the same man praying another prayer, and this time it took three weeks for the answer to come. Many people who read this would say, "Why did God answer one of Daniel's prayers in three minutes and the next prayer in three weeks?" Daniel 10:11-12 says, "And he said unto me, O Daniel, a man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak unto thee, and stand upright: for unto thee am I now sent. And when he had spoken this word unto me, I stood trembling. Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words." This shows that God commanded the messenger from the very first day of Daniel's prayer. It took three weeks for that answer to manifest, but God is faithful. Scripture that says He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8).
If you put chapters 9 and 10 together, I believe God answered both prayers instantly. One took three minutes and the other took three weeks, but God wasn't the variable. Here's the point: God answers our prayers. He does things, but there are a lot of variables that can happen between the time He answers prayers and you see the answers manifest. You have to believe; faith has to reach into the spiritual realm and bring the answer into the physical realm. So faith is one of the critical ingredients.
Also, you can see in verse 13 of Daniel, chapter 10, "But the prince of the kingdom of Persia withstood me one and twenty days: but, lo, Michael, one of the chief princes, came to help me; and I remained there with the kings of Persia." This isn't talking about a physical person but a demonic hindrance. Satan is another variable in the process. Sometimes God answers our prayers, but Satan hinders them through other people. For instance, if you're believing for finances, God isn't going to give you money personally.
He's not going to counterfeit United States currency or any other currency of this world. He's not going to make money, rain it down from heaven, and put it in your pocket. Luke 6:38 says, "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give unto your bosom." God will move and answer your prayer, but it's going to come through people. Some people are bound by greed, and if they are angry with you or you're doing things to offend them, Satan can hinder the manifestation of your prayer through them. When you're praying, especially for finances, you need to recognize that other people may be a part of your financial miracle, and you may have to pray for them.
God is faithful. He has never failed to answer any prayer that was based on His Word and prayed in faith. He always gives, but you may not see the manifestation, depending on other variables. I pray this will help you to build your faith and let you know that God always answers your prayers.
• The scripture.
• Class notes.
• Disciple Evangelism: Andrew Wommack.
• Prayers That Avail Much: Germaine Copeland