From my book Encounter with Life
When it comes to the prayer, a general opinion is that God may or may not hear our prayer and that it is God’s prerogative to answer or not to answer. This may be partially true but definitely this is not the whole truth.
Remember, He is a just God and will not lie or cheat or break His promise or turn from His own Word. He does not back-off from his word. God has expressed his attitude and character in the Bible. Let us see what it says about it. In the book of Jeremiah 29:12 –
“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”
New Testament confirms God’s promises of Old Testament in various scriptures. Jesus also said in Matthew 7:7 (and Luke 11:9) –
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
At continues to say in verse 11, “If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
Yet again in Matthew 18:19 –
“Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven.”
And then in Matthew 21:22 –
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
In Mark 11:24 –
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.”
Our God is Alpha (beginning) and the Omega (end) Revelation 1:8, who changes not and remains same yesterday, today and forever (Hebrews 13:8), who is holy (1 Peter 1:16; Leviticus 11:44,45, 19:2, 20:7) and perfect (Deuteronomy 32:4, 2Samuel 22:31).
if we know Jesus and His nature, we know God and we can rest assured that he answers, always. Need of the hour is that we must tune ourselves to be able to hear that answer. Very often we use the tuning process to listen to our favourite channels in radio or watch programs in television; it is as simple as that. We need to tune our mind to listen His still small voice.
If our prayers are not heard by God or we do not hear answers from Him there has to be a reason. The reason is not God’s carelessness but our unbelief (or perhaps belief on wrong person or wrong way). I have seen many people blaming God while the mistake is their own.
For us to be able to stand on God’s promises and claim them for ourselves and receive our blessings, we need to meet certain conditions and also need several most important ingredients in our prayers.
The condition to be met before we pray so that God may hear and answer our prayer are to abide in the ways of the Lord as instructed in His Word that is fully tuned for hearing the rhema (the living and spoken voice in our hearts) word of God, leading a sinless life and asking according to His will which is manifested broadly in His Word – The Bible.
If we pray specifically, he answers specifically. If we pray vague, it is very likely that we might miss to see the blessing of God as an answer to our prayer. Moreover, praying specific prayers need God’s faith in us which is the most important key to an answered prayer.