Ep.1294: How Can I Transform My Prayer Life? (Part I)
Who God hears, why He says no and how prayer works
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Theme Scripture: Jeremiah 10:23
Prayer is an incalculably awesome privilege, and yet it is massively misunderstood. Prayer can easily become a ritual, an almost automatic activity like brushing our teeth. We know we need to do it because we know it’s really good for us. So, we do it at what we think are the appropriate times and in the appropriate ways. Prayer can also become a time of wishful thinking, a time when we essentially tell God how our lives could and should look. It can also become a complaining session, a finger pointing session and even a pity party. Wait, let’s take a breath! Prayer is the opportunity and privilege to talk to the God of all things through His son Jesus. If we are going to use this amazing tool, we want to be absolutely clear as to how it works and why it works!
Let’s look at a few important and fundamental questions.
First, does God hear every prayer that is offered up to Him?
Going even deeper, does God answer every prayer spoken? There are several scriptures in the Old and New Testaments that give us guidance on this.
The basic answer is no, God does not hear and answer every prayer.Why not? The Bible describes prayers that are not heeded as from those who are wicked, following idolatry and not following God’s Law. We might look at this and think, I’m safe, none of that applies to me! While this may be true, there is another scriptural piece to this equation. How focused am I on seeking God’s will and God’s way over my own? God answers those who truly seek Him.
Second, what about when God says no?
Does this mean we are praying for the wrong things or praying with the wrong attitude? That may be true, and it may not. There are several scriptural examples of very faithful ones receiving “no” answers from God. This can only mean that there are several very good reasons for a no answer.
Third, does God ever want us to stop praying?
While our immediate response to this might seem obvious, there is a much larger and deeper purpose we may be missing. Again, scriptural examples help us understand this.
Check out our August 14, 2023 podcast, “How Can I Transform My Prayer Life? (Part I)” for more. We walk through a detailed explanation of these three fundamental points and set the groundwork for how a vital prayer life actually works. Understanding the attitude of our approach to God and the likelihood of getting strong “no” answers from Him is critical. Our prayers are for the purpose of aligning ourselves with God’s will and way. They should keep us open to hearing Him as we ask, seek and find what He wants us to do. Join us for this journey into the amazing power of prayer. All of this sets the stage for Part II of this series which asks the everyday practical questions of how prayer fits into our busy and emotional lives.