Did you know that you might be sabotaging your prayers from the very start? Without ever knowing it you can undermine the answer to your prayer. There is one simple key to getting more of your prayers answered. And when I tell you what it is…you’re going to think I’m crazy. But I can promise you that you’ve left out the key before…everyone has.
Now…I have two boys. At the time of this post they are five and two. Let’s suppose it’s the middle of the day and my youngest son gets hungry and wants a snack. There are these certain snacks that he absolutely loves…Starburst candy. (Actually he pretty much just likes the red ones…Why can’t you just buy a pack of those?)
If lunchtime is only a few minutes away and my wife has prepared something great to eat (which she always does)…When my son comes to ask me for a Starburst, I will probably tell him “no” or “you can have one after lunch”. But you know what happens when you tell a two year old they can’t have something…They ask again…then they ask again…they ask louder…they start to cry…then they cry louder…then they throw their self on the floor and kick their feet while crying at amazingly loud decibels.
If you have kids then you’ve probably experienced something close to this before….So let me ask you a question…Why does the two year old act that way? I mean sure…they want the candy, but there’s more to it than that.
My two year old acts the way he does because he knows deep down that I have what he really wants. And every little kids knows instinctively that if he just keeps on asking, and crying, holding on, or throwing a fit…that he’s probably going to get what he wants. Because they know that you have what they really want.
The one simple key that we so often leave out of prayer…is the prayer itself!
Here’s what I mean:
- You wish for things to be better.
- You really want your life to be different.
- You hope that things change.
- You think about it constantly.
- You never actually say the words to God and pray about your need.
I’ve met so many people whose “prayer” simply consisted of hoping that things get better. As important as hope is to prayer…just hoping for an answer is not the same as praying for as answer.
To pray you have to ask.
I mean you have to literally form the words with your mouth and address them to God.
How many times have you thought about praying; but never really prayed? Here’s a secret…God can’t answer a prayer that’s not prayed.
Hope is the part of prayer that convinces us God will answer our prayers. But the next step is to actually pray.
Real faith asks, because it knows down deep that God has the answer.
Maybe you’re not really asking God for the thing you need because of other reasons though…
- Maybe there’s a difficult person that makes your blood just boil. You won’t actually ask God to make things get better in this area because you’re afraid when you do, God might just ask you to change the way you act towards them. So you don’t pray, you don’t ask…and things with that person just get worse.
- It could be that you are having financial trouble. Maybe you find it hard to ask God for something like money. Maybe you feel like you got yourself in a mess. Let’s suppose you don’t ask God for the money and financial help you need because you’re embarrassed to. So you don’t pray…you don’t ask…and things in that area just get worse.
- Then there are those times when your need is so small that you don’t even feel like you should bother God with it. You’d rather keep your prayers ready for the really big things in life (like you can save up your prayers and answers anyway). So this little issue begins to grow…it’s on your mind constantly…you don’t pray about it, you don’t ask…so it gets worse.
The Bible definitely has something to say about prayer…so I want to share a short passage with you.
5 Then, teaching them more about prayer, he used this story: “Suppose you went to a friend’s house at midnight, wanting to borrow three loaves of bread. You say to him,
6 ‘A friend of mine has just arrived for a visit, and I have nothing for him to eat.’
7 And suppose he calls out from his bedroom, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is locked for the night, and my family and I are all in bed. I can’t help you.’
8 But I tell you this—though he won’t do it for friendship’s sake, if you keep knocking long enough, he will get up and give you whatever you need because of your shameless persistence.
9 “And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
10 For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened.
The one simple key to getting more of your prayers answered and growing your faith is to actually ask. To actually say your prayer in words to God.
Wishing, wanting, hoping, and thinking are not the same as praying. Prayer is talking to God. Prayer is asking God. Real faith really asks God, because it knows deep down that God has the answer.
Do these two things to put this key to work for you:
- If there’s something you need God to do for you…ask Him – Get down on your knees if you have to. Set aside time if you need to…but whatever you do…literally form the words and ask.
- Keep on asking – Don’t stop with one prayer; but pray with shameless persistence. Every time you need comes to mind, pray. If you are at work…pray about it quietly under your breath. The key we see in the Bible is to ask, and ask, and ask again, and again.
It takes humility to ask God for something and truly mean it. It shows your sincerity of faith when you continue to ask.
So…What are you going to do?
What if today you were only one prayer away from receiving the answer you need? Are you going to stop praying or ask again?
Question: What’s the most difficult thing you’ve ever had to pray for?
I’d love to hear your answer…please leave one in the comments box below.