Answered Prayers: Here Is The One Secret To Having Your Prayers Answered!

The bible is full of a marvelous God’s command and advice; pray! Yes, Jesus clearly told us; ask, seek, and knock for whoever asks shall receive, seeks shall find, and knocks shall have the door opened for him (Matthew 7:7). 

Apostle Paul emphasizes; pray all times in the spirit, with all prayers and submissions (Ephesians 6:18). He again says; don’t be anxious about anything, but pray with thanksgiving and let your requests be known to God (Philippians 4:6). Yes, pray and make your requests known to God. That is the rule, the command. But are our prayers answered?

How do prayers work?

Few days ago, I asked this same question to my Facebook friends, and their answers were so amazing! Some said that prayers work in the same way I predict Arsenal winning against Manchester. In other words, prayers are predictions; they work in our favor or not! Another one said that there is no way we can explain how prayers work; it’s God’s secret. And yet another confessed that prayers of righteous men work though he couldn’t tell how and why. He thus deducted saying; “I am (him) confused”. But then, how do prayers work, according to you?

Prayers work by means of God’s will!

The Bible says in 1 John 5:14 that “this is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us”. You may say; hearing us does not mean answering us or giving us what we asked for! And so I insist you go on and read the next verse; and if we know that he hears us-whatever we ask-we know that we have what we asked of him (1 John 5:16). Do you need any better explanation? Prayers, all prayers work by means of God’s will.

In other words, God is ready to provide for us, to answer all our requests as long as they fall into his will. In one of our earlier articles, we had said that prayers and disciplines of faith or Christianity don’t move God (He is already there) but move us towards Him. Listen to how our pastor put it on this December 31st 2017 overnight (at Kampala Baptist Church);

God does not change, we do. Praying in Spirit simply changes us to align ourselves with God’s already designed plan or provisions. God was there in 2016, 2017, and, He will definitely be there in 2018. He is not limited by time and years. But the question is; how prepared are you to walk with God in 2018? Actually, 2017 could have been hard for you, but, yes, 2018 could even be harder! The only difference is your walking with God.” (Paraphrased). 

Have you got the point? The point is that God answers our prayers if they are according to His will. We cannot make God provide and do things He wouldn’t do in the first place, but indeed we can have favors, blessings, and answers that God had determined or willed to bestow upon us through faithful prayers. And so we say; prayers work! They indeed work for through prayers we are positioned for God’s blessings. Listen to John Piper expound on this;

“The key to praying with power is to become the kind of persons who do not use God for our ends but are utterly devoted to being used for his ends” (When I don’t desire God, page 109).

What are we saying? We are saying that the surest way to have your life's resolutions or requests or needs or 'demands' work is inviting God to participate with you and enable every plan and action to materialize or come to pass. And the best way of carrying out this invitation is through prayer. But the question was; how do prayers work? The answer has come saying ‘prayers work by means of God’s will’. The next powerful and, probably, the last question is; how can we tell or know God’s will so that our prayers are actually in line with it and thus answered?

Knowing God’s will

God Reveals His Will or Himself!


At The Complete You Ministry, we promised that we shall have a detailed article covering what God’s will is, knowing it, and how to do God’s will in our every day’s life choices and actions, but before we can accomplish that, let’s briefly look at how we can know God’s will.

Theologians agree that by the fact that God is infinite we cannot understand or know His will with our finite minds and understanding. However, still as agreed by theologians, God has (still according to His will) decided to reveal Himself to us (Romans chapter 1 says we have no excuse for not knowing Him). The Bible clearly says that whatever is beneficial or is relevant to our being and perfect relationship with God has been revealed except the unnecessary (to us) secrets of God (Deuteronomy 29:29).

The Bible confesses that God has revealed Himself to us through nature (the creation), prophets, history (and Providences in the day to day life), and even through the internal make up of man (especially the moral and rational aspect of human beings) [See Psalm 19 and Romans 1; Genesis 1:26).

The book of Hebrews chapter 1 emphasizes that God speaks to us today through His son, Jesus Christ. Indeed, Jesus was or is Immanuel which means or meant that God is with us. Whatever Jesus was and did was God’s way of speaking and revealing His plan or will to us.

But as we all know Jesus went back to heaven and left us with His Spirit who will explain to us His word. In other words, God speaks to us today through His son by use of the Holy Spirit through His word (the Bible).

The Bible is a living word, God speaking to us through His word. The Bible in Hebrews chapter 3:7 says; “So as the Holy Spirit says (not ‘said’ but ‘says’).....” Wait! Says what? Can you imagine the words quoted there had been spoken long time ago (see Psalm 95:7-11) and yet the writer of Hebrews emphasizes that actually the Spirit is speaking (present tense) by the same words? In other words, God (or the Spirit) speaks today through the word. Period. Yes, the only channel through which we can tell of God’s will for our lives is through His word (the Bible).

By the way, is the Bible really God's word? We will have time for this soon.

Let’s see what Jesus says about it; “If you abide in me (in his word), and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you” (John 15:7). 

Seriously, this is literal. Jesus is saying that we can have our requests met only if we abide in Him first (take care of his word first). Put another way; delight in the Lord and He will gratify your desires! (Psalm 37:4). Can you imagine that? God is saying; take delight in me (make me the whole purpose of your life, the center of your joy and pleasures, the only joy and pleasure for you) and I will take care of your desires! God, are you serious? I mean, shall you take of my desires if i obey your word

And what is the logic behind? What desires!

The logic is simple; when we drown our lives in God’s word and allow the Spirit of God to communicate with us, we get familiar with God’s will (His tastes and preferences) and this later shapes our lives and prayers. We die to ourselves and live for Christ (there is total renewal of what we regard as our needs and desires). Yes, we finally pray in line with God’s will. And that is the true secret of answered prayers. 

The Bible says; we are new in Christ Jesus, the past is gone and we have started afresh. Don’t you think the newness includes our tastes and preferences? (I mean, the things that we regard precious and meaningful in life also change and even the means of acquiring them). We are trying to be like Jesus both in mind (thoughts) and actions-sanctification. Maybe you still don’t get it, and so let John Piper help us again;

Delighting in the Lord—in the hallowing of his name and the seeking of his kingdom and the doing of his will—transforms all natural desires into God-related desires. That is what happens when the Word of Christ abides in us”.  

He continues; “Prayer is not for gratifying our natural desires. It is for gratifying our desires when those desires have been so purified and so saturated with Christ and his Word that they coincide with his plans. This happens more and more as the Word of Christ abides in us” (When I don’t desire God, page 109)

And he (John Piper) winds up with a great advice: If you ever longed for a life of deep and fruitful prayer, give yourself to the Word of God. Read it. Think about it. Memorize it. Be shaped by it.John Piper

Conclusion

There is so much that we can do to make our prayers work (prayer in action or rather, actions of prayer or actions of faith), but the only surest way to achieve any of your life’s resolutions, requests, demands, and desires is if God wills so. And you have already discovered how to unlock this secret; read and study God’s word and pray in Spirit.

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Nemeyimana Nemvicx Vicent

Born from Uganda, Nemeyimana Vicent (Nemvicx) has become what people call, "coming from nothing to something". Professionally, he is both a nurse and public health officer and currently works with Mulago National Referral Hospital. In 2016, he wedded his wife and great sweetheart, Amulen Winfred (also a professional Midwife and counsellor). Besides their professions, Nemvicx is an inspirational writer, singer, motivational speaker, author of several digital books. He a theologian and blogger at www.nemvicx.com (The Complete You Ministry).

Contact them at thecompletey@gmail.com