Do you struggle with how or what to pray? You are not alone, even the disciples struggled. Jesus prayed to His Father in heaven all the time and explained how to pray to the Father in Matthew chapter 6.
The Bible says, He will give us what we ask for, so why doesn’t He? Matthew 7:7, 8 states, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 8) For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.” Jesus spoke these words during His sermon on the mount. Verses 7 and 8 are clarified in verse 11, where Jesus explains, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” This verse identifies two reasons why God does not give what we ask for in prayer.
When we pray with thanksgiving, praising God, and ponder Scripture, then our spirit draws near to Him, and He promises to draw near to us (see James 4:8). Do you only pray to Him and read your Bible in church on Sunday morning and maybe Wednesday night service? Do you say a nightly prayer after spending the day worrying or doing and thinking about worldly things? If your answer is yes, then you are not abiding in God.
If you were to appear before a King or Ruler of a Nation and was given the chance to ask him or her to do something, how would you dress and act? Take a moment and visualize it. Would you be humbled, cleaned up, neat, polite, be conscious of customs as to not offend, etc.?
Why are some prayers answered, but some are not? The Bible promises in Matthew 21:22, “And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” James 1:6-8 states, “But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. 7) For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord 8) he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.”
1John 5:14-16 states, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. 15) And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
The prayers God answers are humble prayers. James 4:6b states, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” And, 1John 3:21-23 states, “Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; 22) and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 23) And this is his commandment, that we believe in the name of his Son Jesus Christ and love one another, just as he has commanded us.”
What authority do we have over wrong thoughts, unhealthy beliefs, and the influence of the demonic Spirit World? Yes, we are influenced by unseen evil spirits. Ephesians 6:12 states, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” People are not our enemy, though it seems that way when they do evil things and are unkind.