CONDITIONS FOR ANSWERED PRAYER

Dr. James C. Boswell, Sr. 

 

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The following conditions are divided into two categories:  Attitudes and Actions. Some of these conditions require both attitudes and actions. However, I have placed them in what I consider the most appropriate category.

ATTITUDES

1.    Believe & Expect God Will Answer Prayer (Unwavering Expectation)

Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask for in prayer, having faith and [really] believing, you will receive. 

2.    Ask -- You Have Not Because You Ask Not

James 4:2 You are jealous and covet [what others have] and your desires go unfulfilled; [so] you become murderers. [To hate is to murder as far as your hearts are concerned.] You burn with envy and anger and are not able to obtain [the gratification, the contentment, and the happiness that you seek], so you fight and war. You do not have, because you do not ask.

a.         Ask With Right Motives -- God will give you the desires of your heart if your motives are right*

James 4:3 [Or] you do ask [God for them] and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is [when you get what you desire] to spend it in sensual pleasures.

Your motives will be right if you are delighting yourself in the Lord and not walking in the flesh.

*Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself also in the Lord and He will give you the desires and secret petitions of your heart.

b.         Have Revelation -- Ask According To His Revealed Will (Rhema)

There is a difference between what you want and what God wants. You must bring your will into harmony with God's will.

1 John 5:14-15 And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. 15And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him

 

c.    Ask In Faith, Without Wavering

James 1:5-8 If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him. 6Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind. 7For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord, 8[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].

 

3.     Persistence -- Ask And Keep On Asking

The Greek text does not say to ask only once, but to ask and keep on asking, seek and keep on seeking, knock and keep on knocking. Persistence is the key in this condition.

Luke 11:9-10  So I say to you, Ask and keep on asking and it shall be given you; seek and keep on seeking and you shall find; knock and keep on knocking and the door shall be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks and keeps on asking receives; and he who seeks and keeps on seeking finds; and to him who knocks and keeps on knocking, the door shall be opened.  

 

4.    Steadfastly Believe (Be-Live) -- Live according to, trust, rely upon, adhere to, cling to

 Christ 

 

John 14:12-15 I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, if anyone steadfastly believes in Me, he will himself be able to do the things that I do; and he will do even greater things than these, because I go to the Father. 13And I will do [I Myself will grant] whatever you ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], so that the Father may be glorified and extolled in (through) the Son. 14[Yes] I will grant [I Myself will do for you] whatever you shall ask in My Name [as presenting all that I AM]. 15If you [really] love Me, you will keep (obey) My commands.

 

5.    Seek First The Kingdom Of God And His Righteousness   

Do not seek things, but rather seek His kingdom and righteousness, and the things will be given to you.

Matthew 6:33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.

 

ACTIONS 

6.     Agreement -- Two Or More Agree On Anything And Everything  

Agreement means to have no discord, disharmony, or strife of any kind between the individuals praying about a matter.

Matthew 6:33 Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven.

7.    Abide (live vitally united to) in Christ and His Word (Rhema) Abides (lives) in You 

John 15:7 If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you.

8.    Obey His Commands And Habitually Do What Is Pleasing To Him

1 John 3:21-22 And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God, 22And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.  

9.    Sowing And Reaping

You will reap in relationship to how you sow.

Luke 6:38 Give, and [gifts] will be given to you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over, will they pour into [the pouch formed by] the bosom [of your robe and used as a bag]. For with the measure you deal out [with the measure you use when you confer benefits on others], it will be measured back to you.  

10.     Without Sin

The blood of Jesus covers you. You have asked for the substitution of Jesus' death for the penalty for your sin. Sin blocks God's willingness to hear your prayers. Biblical repentance restores His willingness to listen. 

John 9:31 We know that God does not listen to sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and a worshiper of Him and does His will, He listens to him.

 

 

Copyright 1995 by Dr. James C. Boswell, Sr.   All rights reserved.

Scriptures taken from The Amplified Bible, Old Testament. Copyright 1965, 1987 by The Zondervan Corporation. The Amplified New Testament, copyright 1954, 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.