One would think that everyone who prays would want their prayers to be heard by God. In fact, one of the apostles gave it an endearing term—confidence.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him,” (I John 5:14-15). In short, if God hears then we have. So, what can we do to pray prayers that God hears? Let’s consider 3 things.
Pray in submission to God’s holy character and sovereign activity. Our praying should be to participate with the heart and for the heart of God in all things. It’s okay to cry out with our hearts, but, in all respect, we should never treat God as our servant to whom we demand our rights or become consumers of our own pleasure (James 4:3). I speak this as it relates to individual believers and the corporate body of the church.
In Romans 11:36, after the apostle Paul is completely awed by God’s sovereign work in the salvation story, he summarizes everything with these words, “For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.” This concise statement tells us that all ministry activity, even prayers, should originate with God, be carried out by the power of God, and return to God for His glory. If we are too busy or ambitious or rebellious to submit to His stated way, we will always be missing His will, praying wishful but ineffective prayers and wasting our energy on fruitless works. “Not our will but thine” is always appropriate.
Go deep in fellowship with God or I could say “be silent and listen.” Look at this amazing truth: “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,” (I Corinthians 1:9).