Skip to main content

How can I get my prayers answered?


Through the Book of James the Bible gives us insight as to how we can receive an answer to our prayers. The writer lines out this teaching for the purpose of correcting believers who were fighting with each other having trouble receiving an answer from God when they prayed. Because Christians often quote only bits and pieces of this passage it has prevented many people from seeing the principle that James puts forth regarding how to get your prayers answered.  The text we will be primarily dealing with in this article is James 4:1-7.

v. 1-3 "What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? 2 You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. 3 When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."

The first three things mentioned in the passage are:

1.) Fights and quarrels were happening among the believers.
2.) The strife was being caused by their selfish desires that battled within them.
3.) The selfish mentality was ultimately amounting to unanswered prayers and much frustration.

So God points out a crucial problem that was happening among them and then goes on to show it's direct connection to their failed prayers. In other words, the fact that these believers were allowing themselves to be guided by selfish desires was actually causing God not to answer their prayers. Hence he says, "when you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures."  Let's continue... 

v.4-6- "4 You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. 5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture say “God opposes the proud, but shows favor to the humble.”

A couple of key points in the part of the passage are:

1.) These believers were considered "adulterous" because they were exhibiting loyalty (friendship) to these value system of the world rather than to God. 
2.) Their loyalty to the value system of the world was leading to all of the ungodly behavior that God was pointing out.
3.) Because the world's value system is centered around pride, God was opposing them as they continued to act out of their selfish desires which is the pattern that the world follows. One indicator of God's opposition was unanswered prayer.

So here we find James beginning to put all of the pieces together for us. Loyalty to the value system of this world leads to ungodly behavior, ungodly behavior leads to prayers being prayed with the wrong motive, and prayers being prayed with the wrong motive leads to no answer from God. So what do we do?

v.7- "Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

The prescription that James gives to the believers is for them to stop submitting to the things of the world and submit to God instead. This involves a change of focus from your selfish desires to a relationship with Christ. It ultimately leads to a renewing of the mind.

Romans 12:1-2-"Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Paul reiterates in Romans 12 the process that James alluded to in James 4:

1.) Submit to God -- Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice
2.) Do not be loyal to the world -- Do not conform to the pattern of this world
3.) Pray with right motives according to God's will -- renew your mind and you will know what God's will is.

So ultimately through submitting to God and letting Him change our hearts and minds through His Word we are able to pray according to His will and see an answer to our prayers. Let me leave you with this beautiful scripture:

1 John 5:14-15- "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we ask--we know that we have what we asked of him."

To view my detailed video teaching of this topic click here: How to Get Your Prayers Answered

Written by: Kyle Bailey, M.Th.

For more inspirational content SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Is it ok to let your kids believe in Santa Claus?

"A wink of his eye, and a twist of his head, soon led me to know I had nothing to dread."- Twas' the Night Before Christmas, Clement C. Moore As a kid I was taught that Santa Claus was going to bring me the presents I wished for on Christmas morning. I watched movies and cartoons about Santa riding his sleigh with gifts to give to all of the children around the world. Some of the stories depicted Santa as giving coal to bad kids and toys to good kids and I was told jokingly by my parents that I would "receive coal if I was bad," but it was never made to be a serious threat. Up until around the age of seven I really believed that Santa magically came down the chimney and left presents for my brothers and I, and it never caused me to have any resentment toward my parents for telling me he was real. I saw it as my parents wanting to give me a fun Christmas adventure, a magical experience that my brothers and I could use our imagination with. As I learned

Did Ben Shapiro debunk the resurrection of Jesus???

In Ben Shapiro's recent interview with Christian apologist and philosopher Dr. William Lane Craig we find him presenting 3 major objections to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In this article we will be analyzing these objections in detail. For the video version of this interview clip and analysis you can simply click THIS LINK . Objection #1: Many resurrections have happened in the Bible, why is Jesus’ resurrection unique? The resurrection of Jesus is unique to other Biblical resurrections in a few different ways. Dr. Craig correctly pointed out that the religio-historical context of Jesus being tried and condemned as a blasphemer and then subsequently raised from the dead, sends a message that God approved of Jesus’ claims about Himself. Also, other resurrections in the Bible were performed by a human conduit, in the case of Jesus we find God Himself raising Jesus from the dead, confirming His unique status as the Son of God. Lastly, other resurrections from the dead only

William Seymour- The son of former slaves that turned the Christian world upside-down, forever

Just five years after the American Civil War in the year 1870 two emancipated slaves in Centerville Louisiana named Simon Seymour and Phyllis Salabarr had a son named William. These Catholic African Americans could never have imagined that their son would become the founder of one of the largest Christian movements in the history of the world, affecting every part of the globe and every sphere of society. Simon Seymour served in the Union Army during the civil war and returned afterward to the South where his family experienced poverty and racially volatile circumstances alongside of many other blacks during the reconstruction period . Although the war had ended, and slaves were now emancipated, the Seymour family like many others faced economic conditions that crushed the hopes and dreams of many African Americans in the South. Nevertheless, God had his eyes on Simon Seymour's son William, and the world was never going to be the same. Not much is known about William Seymour's