CONDITIONS FOR ANSWERED PRAYER -- SELF-TEST ã

Dr. James C. Boswell, Sr. 

 

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

 

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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.  

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.

What types of prayers do you expect God to answer?

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Whose prayers do you expect God to answer?

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Why do you expect God to answer prayer?

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When do you expect God to answer prayer?

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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.

List the things you have asked God for or are currently asking Him for in prayer.

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List the things you need, but have not asked for.

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a.

Ask With Right Motives -- He 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.

When God does not answer right away, do you become depressed? ___________________

What do you consider to be right motives?

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How effective are you at delighting yourself in the Lord when you have trials, problems, or tribulations?

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What do you believe it means to ‘delight yourself in the Lord?’ How do you do this?

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Do you ask because you simply would like to have it, or because you believe that it would benefit  the Kingdom of God?

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b.

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

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

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

List the things that you positively know that you have revelation from God about.

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How many of those things above are you still asking for with expectation? Make check marks in front of the ones you are asking for with expectation.

List the things that you are praying for that you do not have revelation (Rhema) about.

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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].

What is the definition of faith?

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How often do you waiver in your faith?

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What are the things most likely to make you waiver?

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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. There are teachers who only read the King James Version of the Bible who teach that to ask God more than once demonstrates a lack of faith. However, that doctrine does not agree with the Word of God. The Bible says to ask and keep on asking until either you have absolute Rhema that it is already done or until it actually happens.

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.

How many of the things that you know God revealed that He wanted to provide, accomplish, or do through you have you given up praying about? (give a #)___________________________

List them: 

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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.

The Greek word "PISTEUO," which is translated into the English words "believe, believeth," means to adhere to, to trust in, to rely on, to live according to. It is not a mental acceptance word. It literally means that you are so convinced of the truth of a thing that you are willing to commit your life to live according to that truth. In this case, Jesus Christ is the truth. If you believe in Him, you will trust in, adhere to, rely upon, and live your life according to His principles.

List the things you are doing of which you do not feel Christ would approve. These are things you would not do in front of Him; things you would not like others to know about.

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List the things you are not doing that you know that Christ is asking you to do.

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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.

Make a list of your priorities. Make the list in the order of your actual choices.

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Does God have first choice in every area of your life? __________________________________

 

 

ACTIONS      
6.

Agreement -- Two Or More Agree On Anything & Everything

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

Matthew 18:19 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.

List the names of people with whom you currently have discord, disharmony, or strife of any kind.

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What should you do about eliminating this discord, disharmony, or strife?

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Would you rather keep your pride, anger, or resentment than have God answer your prayers? ________________________________________________________________________________
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.

Do you believe that you are vitally united to Christ? Do you receive your strength, wisdom, and knowledge from Him? Would you be lost or useless without Him?
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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.

List the areas of your life in which you are not obeying the Lord.

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List the areas of your life that may be displeasing to God.

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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.

List the ministries and/or projects to which you are giving financially. Place a check mark by the ones to which you know Christ is directing you to give.

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List the ministries and/or projects to which you know Christ wants you to give, but to which you are not giving.

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List your reasons for disobeying Christ.

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10.

Without Sin 

Are you sure that you are covered by the blood of Jesus? Have you asked for the substitution of the death of Jesus 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.

DEALING WITH ACTIVE SIN AND COVERED-UP SIN

Place a check mark beside any of the following sins that still seem to have power in your life (the ones you are still struggling with, have accepted as unchangeable, or you enjoy practicing and think that you can get away with).

 

__ Anger __ Lust __ Greed __ Lying
__ Bad language __ Laziness __ Criticism __ Adultery
__ Fornication __ Pornography __ Hatred __ Condemnation
__ Jealousy __ Pride __ Impatience __ Competitiveness
__ Bitterness __ Depression __ Self-Pity __ Gossip
__ Gluttony __ Slothfulness __ Stealing __ Envy
__ Abortion __ Homosexuality __ Rape __ Drunkenness

 

Other sins not on the above list:  

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Review this list with your Pastor or discipler. Together, set up a time to practice the principle of biblical repentance. In addition, you should be given homework assignments to deal with your soul (mind, will, emotions) life. Your habit patterns need to be changed.

 

Continue to practice the concepts of biblical repentance until you have revelation of the completeness of the sacrifice that Jesus made for you. Accept the magnitude of it and glorify Him until you feel completely free from guilt. Not because you deserve it, but because Jesus loved you enough to pay the price for you. Continue to give thanks and praise to the Lord Jesus for releasing you from the penalty of sin.

 

For each of these sins, ask yourself, “Have I biblically repented?” Biblical repentance requires that you confess your sin, specifically ask God to accept Jesus’ suffering and death as a substitute for your punishment for your sins, and tell God how you intend to change. If you have not done this, then you have only humanistically repented. The penalty and guilt of your sin may still be with you.

 

Satan and his evil spirits implant deception in your mind about many things that the world considers to be normal human traits, but are condemned by God as sin. These evil spirits try to get you to believe that everybody is like that, or that you inherited that trait and can do nothing about it. Sins such as anger, lust, greed, lying, gossip, criticism, laziness, pornography, fornication, and adultery are often accepted as normal. Satan attempts to convince you that there is nothing you can do about them.

 

There is nothing you can do until you biblically repent! Repentance delivers you from the penalty of sin and eliminates the source of power or influence evil spirits have in your life. You can then "resist the devil and he will flee from you" (James 4:7). The only right or access to your life that evil spirits have is through any sin for which you have never biblically repented.

 

Covered-up sin is the most destructive of all sins because it more quickly restores Satan’s legal rights to control and dominate your life. Clean your house (your life) with repentance, then fill it with the Holy Spirit!

 

DEALING WITH BURIED SIN

This condition for answered prayer is directed toward your relationship with God. However, one of the things that break relationship with God is a broken relationship with people. You must restore relationship with others, as well as with God. This concept is better explained in my teaching entitled Biblical Forgiveness, but this is a necessary place to start.

 

On the following chart, list all of the times you can remember when you did something to hurt, wound, injure, offend, or grieve someone, and you have never asked them to forgive you

 

NAME OF PERSON

WHAT DID YOU DO TO HIM/HER?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As the Holy Spirit gives you guidance, go to each person (if possible) and biblically repent. Until you do, there will always be an emotional wall between you and that person, and between you and God. Check off each one as you do this, until all of your relationships are restored. It is possible that the other person will not forgive you after you have repented and, therefore, the relationship cannot be restored. Simply do all that you can do and God will take care of the rest. Do not continue to feel guilty if any of these people you have wounded have passed away or are not accessible.

 

DEALING WITH RATIONALIZED SIN

On the chart below, list all of the people whom you feel have hurt, cheated, abused, used, rejected, cursed, or offended you, or caused you pain or loss in any way.

 

NAME OF PERSON

WHAT DID HE/SHE DO TO HIM/HER?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To be able to have Kingdom living (righteousness, peace, and joy), you must do two things:

1.    

 Forgive each person by an act of grace, even though they may not deserve it. If you do not forgive them, then God will not forgive you (Matthew 6:14-15). Forgiveness means to close each issue and not bring it up again to yourself, the other person, others, or God. You do this as an act of your will.

2.

Repent of your resentment, anger, hatred, self-pity, bitterness, or any other negative feelings you have toward that person. All of these feelings are sin and will cause you great problems until you repent of them. You will probably say, "But I did not do anything wrong; it was the other party who sinned against me." That is a satanic deception that must be dealt with.

 

DO THESE STEPS IN THE PRESENCE OF YOUR PASTOR OR DISCIPLER (MENTOR). It will help break the power of pride that has bound you in your sin.