They may know that God exists, and they might even worship God from time to time.
But those who never seem to have their prayers answered probably don't have a relationship with him. Further, they have never received from God complete forgiveness for their sin. What does that have to do with it you ask? Here is an explanation. But your iniquities have separated you from your God. Your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear.
It's pretty natural to feel that separation from God. When people begin to ask God for something, what usually takes place?
They begin with, "God, I really need your help with this problem And the person knows that it's not just them; that God is aware of it too. There's a feeling of, "Who am I kidding? They might not know that they can come into a relationship with God so that God will hear them.
This is the foundation for God answering your prayer. You must first begin a relationship with God.
Imagine that a guy named Mike asks the president of Princeton University to co-sign a car loan for him. If Mike doesn't personally know the president of Princeton, that car loan is not going to happen. Yet, if the daughter of this president asked her dad to co-sign a car loan for her, it would be no problem. With God, when the person is actually a child of God, when the person belongs to God, he knows them and hears their prayers.
Jesus said, "I am the good shepherd.
I know my sheep and my sheep know me I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. When it comes to God then, do you really know him and does he know you? Do you have a relationship with him that warrants God answering your prayers? Or is God pretty distant, pretty much just a concept in your life?
If God is distant, or you're not sure that you know God, here is how you can begin a relationship with him right now: For those who do know him and rely on him, Jesus seems to be wildly generous in his offer: Then they're able to ask him whatever they want. Here is another qualifier: And if we know that he hears us -- whatever we ask -- we know that we have what we asked of him. Where we trip up is assuming we know God's will, because a certain thing makes sense to us! We assume that there is only one right "answer" to a specific prayer, assuming certainly THAT would be God's will.
And this is where it gets tough. We live within the limits of time and limits of knowledge. We have only limited information about a situation and the implications of future action on that situation. God's understanding is unlimited. How an event plays out in the course of life or history is only something he knows.
And he may have purposes far beyond what we could even imagine. Does this mean God will never answer my prayers if I just ask for things I want? But above all, He wants what is best for us, and what is best for us eternally does not always include the circumstances we desperately hope for. So how to pray to align these two circles? I came up with a little formula to help me in my prayers.
The two circles from my graph have grown much closer since praying in this way. Celeste graduated from BYU with bachelor's and master's degrees in sociology. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. In my distress I called to the Lord; I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you so that you might go and bear fruit—fruit that will last—and so that whatever you ask in my name the Father will give you.
But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.