Many Christians pray but do not receive answers to their prayers. Have you ever prayed earnestly for something and did not get the answer? I think we often get frustrated because we do not pray the way Jesus told us to pray.
In Matthew 21:22 Jesus said, “If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Now either Jesus told the truth or he lied and deceived. Followers of Christ know that Jesus never lied because he is God and God cannot lie. So he spoke the truth when he said that believing prayer always receives an answer. What many Christians miss is the necessity of believing.
What does it mean to believe? I saw a contestant on a game show once that quoted this verse as he took a gamble on the money he had accumulated so far in the game. He said, “If you believe you will receive.” He then proceeded to lose the game and all the money he had won up to that point. Believing is not a mantra that you quote for wishful thinking. Believing means to have faith. Faith is the key to answered prayer.
How do you possess the kind of faith that leads to answered prayer? Romans 10:17 tells us that faith comes through hearing the Word of God. This means that our faith is built through believing and acting on the proclamations of the truths of Christ. We must believe and act upon God’s promises so that our faith increases. The kind of faith that leads to answers to prayer comes from acting upon the promises of God. When we pray the promises of God we get answers every time.
Let me give an example. I prayed for my uncle, Tom Phillips, to be saved for over fifteen years. For many years he struggled with addictions. He even told my mom that he would never become a Christian. I prayed 2 Peter 3:9 that states God is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. I stood believing that it was God’s will for my uncle to be saved because God said that was his will. After fifteen years of praying in faith he got saved.
If you want to pray with that kind of faith, then find a proclamation or promise from the Bible and pray it. When you have the kind of faith that is rooted in God’s promises and you take God at his word you will get an answer to your prayer. If you do not have a proclamation or promise from the Bible or you don’t pray about something that is rooted in the character of God, then don’t pray that prayer. That is not praying in faith. Praying that your neighbor breaks his ankle because he blew his grass clippings on your sidewalk is not rooted in the character of God. That is not praying in faith no matter how much you “believe.”
When you pray find a promise of God and stand on it. Build up your faith through believing and acting on God’s proclamations. Stop worrying and start resting on his word. Believe and don’t doubt God. When you do you will get an answer every time.