*POSITIVE CONDITIONS FOR ANSWERED PRAYER*
*A. The Christian Must Pray ACCORDING to GOD’S WILL* 1Jn5:14,15
A sovereign God has a perfect plan that will come to pass and which brings the most glory to Himself. God is sovereign at all times, and our prayers, in order to be effective, must be in accordance with His sovereign will for us. If what we ask of the Father is not what He intended us to have from the foundation of the world, He will not give it to us. This is why we must pray “in the Spirit” so our prayers will be energized by God and be according to His will.
To pray or to be ”IN THE SPIRIT” means to allow God to take total control: in my thinking, in my decisions; (of course one first must be born again through faith in Jesus in order to receive the Holy Spirit Rom8:9; then this person needs to allow the Holy Spirit to take control continually); to be ”in the Spirit” means to be filled with Christ as I am looking at Christ, for the Spirit elevates Christ (Jn16:13to15) and to accept my co-crucifixion, co-burial and co-resurrection with Christ; being in the Spirit comes by reading and believing the Word of God (2Pet1:20, Col3:16, Eph5:18to20). The word ”filling” means ”to be controlled”. Will write more about this subject soon.
*B. The Christian Must Be Abiding IN CHRIST AND IN HIS WORD* Jn15:7
The Christian is to be in fellowship with his Lord and reveling in His Word before there will be effective prayer. One cannot pray according to God’s will until he knows what God’s will is, and God’s will is found in the Bible.
The Christian Must Be Obedient to the Word (1Jn3:22): The believer who chooses to be obedient to God will most certainly see God bless him in his prayer life. Answers to prayer will come in direct proportion to the willingness the Christian has to do God’s will Mat6:33.
NOTE: There are many who would like to have answers to prayer but they are not willing to sacrifice time to know God’s Word.
*C. The Christian Must Ask IN FAITH* James1:5,7
One must believe that God can and does answer prayer. Faith is going beyond the natural to the supernatural. Faith is simply trusting in God’s faithfulness.
*POINTS TO PONDER*
1. The Christian is to come as a child to the Father and ask, not demand, things.
2. If the Christian is abiding in the Father and obeying Him, then the Holy Spirit will prompt the believer to pray according to God’s perfect will. Rom8:26,27
*HINDRANCES TO EFFECTIVE PRAYER*
*A. Cherished SIN* Is59:1,2; Psa66:18
Sin, which is rebellion to God, breaks temporal fellowship with the Father. Until a Christian sees his sin, admits to it, confesses it, and seeks to forsake it, he will never have an effective prayer life. Sin is an awful thing, and one of the most awful things about it is the way it hinders prayer. Anyone who would have power in prayer must be merciless in dealing with his own sins: 1Jn17,9
“Search me, 0 God, and know my heart;
Try me and know my anxious thoughts;
And see if there be any hurtful way in me,
And lead me in the everlasting way.”
*B. SELFISHNESS* James4:3
So often we ask for things in prayer when our motives are putrid. The human heart is very deceitful Jer17:9 but God answers the prayer of an honest man in faith. For instance, why should a woman desire the conversion of her husband? First of all and above all, that God may be glorified; she should pray because she cannot bear the thought that God the Father should be dishonored by her husband trampling under foot the Son of God. The wife would be selfish if she prays for the salvation of the husband so that she would be spared from his critiques of her Sunday church going, or spared from him spending money on alcohol when she could spend that money on her hair style, or that he is watching dstv instead of doing house shopping (these can’t be primary reasons for the salvation of the husband, but the desire of change in the husband is obviously good; however, the husband could change and become very moral and loving: does that mean he does not need salvation?).
*C. Stinginess Towards the POOR* Prov21:13
Those to whom God has given much in the way of material blessing are to share it with those who have been given very little. There is perhaps no greater hindrance to prayer than stinginess, the lack of liberality toward the poor and toward God’s work, which is oriented towards the poor spiritually; how can you selfishly enjoy fellowship with God when there are so many lost souls that God loves and desires to bring into fellowship with Himself?
*D. BROKEN RELATIONSHIPS* Mat5:23,24
If you have sinned against a brother, go to him and ask for forgiveness; if he doesn’t forgive you, you have done your part, God accepts now your prayer but not his, because he refuses to forgive; unforgiveness is sin Col3:13
*E. POOR MARITAL RELATIONSHIP* 1Pet3:7
Husbands and wives have biblical responsibilities to one another, for they are joint heirs of the grace of life.
*F. IDOLATRY* Ezek14:3
An idol is anything that takes the place of God, anything that is the supreme object of our affection. “Little children, guard yourselves from idols” 1Jn5:21
Here is a great book on prayer (PDF book, *”How to pray”*, by R.A. Torrey; 54 pages, less than 1mb):
Pastor Daniel, ggzim.org