© 2022 United Church of God Australia
All correspondence and questions should be sent to . Send inquiries regarding the operation of this Web site to .
Are you ready to have your prayers answered? Written by Bill Bradford
The George Barna research company on religious matters suggests that large numbers of people pray to God on a regular basis, even those with no orthodox religious affiliation. "The emphasis upon prayer during the past five years has influenced many people," commented Barna. "However, many people pray without any sense of assurance that there is a living and powerful God who hears their prayers, or that they are praying to a God who has offered forgiveness for their sins. For many Americans, prayer is like snacking – we don't really think about it, but we do it out of habit and without passion."
May I add, that may be the reason that they really don't want to get answers when they pray. Let me explain it this way. A person may pray, but the prayer can be so general, so non-specific, they are merely going through the motions, so answers aren't really an issue. Prayers are uttered without any expectations of receiving an answer.
Then there is the other side of the coin where people who are religious, don't pray except when they congregate, or before meals, if then. How would they define answers?
It seems to me that it is useless to pray unless you have requests firmly in mind. Of course, prayer involves acknowledgement that God is our God, our Creator and our Saviour. It would involve praise, thanksgiving and confession or repentance. It would also contain requests for forgiveness and daily bread.
A person could easily answer in the affirmative that their prayers are answered.
You and I know life isn't like that. There were many cases where people prayed that Jesus Christ would heal them or a child. (Their request for healing was the same as our prayers),
Elijah earnestly prayed that it would not rain for three and one half years and it didn't, and he prayed again and the heavens gave rain. (see James 5:17-18) That was an answered prayer!
There could be many reasons why prayers aren't answered. One of the big reasons as mentioned here is that the request is never mentioned.
James also said, and it is probably tied in with his example of Elijah and praying for the sick, "You do not have because you do not ask." (James 4:2) Could that be true? So if a person says, he or she prays, but there are no answers, one of the reasons is that they may not be asking.
There could be a number of reasons why prayers may be general and not specific.
One of the reasons is that we doubt that we will get answers, so to make our prayers successful, we don't ask. At least we can say that we pray in response to the expectation that we should pray.
Prayer for specific answers is a test of our relationship with God. How do you see God when you are in need? Can you state them clearly with God? Can you put forth your reasons to God why you are making the request, similar to the way Abraham and Moses did in making their requests. Not demanding, or accusing God, but asking in a way that shows you have thought about it and you need to convince God why you need these answers.
If God has a different answer for you than the one you request, then He has a reference point of discussion with you. If we are vague in our prayers, God could be vague in His answers too, so they may not be recognized.
We could be afraid to be specific because we are fearful of the answer we may get.
Direct and specific prayers to God require specific answers. God gives answers.
What is His will in the matter for which you are praying?
Are you ready for His answers?
We can't be afraid of what He might say. God is always right, as Job found out. And God is faithful. Our faithfulness to God is shown in how we pray. You can learn a lot by praying specifically for His aid in any kind of trial or situation, or for what you really need Him to do for you. That is the road of faith, and Jesus encouraged us to pray in that way.
Do you feel God is answering your prayers? Perhaps you have been asking God for help or relief and God seems as distant as ever. But is this true? Would a loving God turn his back on a sincere request? This sermon addresses this issue which concerns all Christians at one time or another.
In this booklet we will examine the Bible's teaching on conversion—it is not just a one-time event. Instead the Scriptures reveal that it is a process. The process begins with God's calling, followed by the key steps of repentance, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, finally climaxing with the return of Jesus Christ — when the dead in Christ are resurrected to immortality and given eternal life — the ultimate transformation!
Are you desiring a closer relationship with God? If so, where do you start? What tools can you use to grow spiritually and build that all-important relationship with your Creator? This important study aid will set you on the right path. Read and begin implementing these important elements today!
There is a crisis of faith. Few people place confidence in God or the future. Many have no faith their marriages will survive, that political leaders will honourably serve their country or that education will prepare them adequately for the challenges ahead. Faith is all too rare today. This booklet will help you understand the keys to living faith.
Have you ever considered how much the Easter holiday just doesn’t add up? Start with the timing: Jesus said He would be in the tomb three days and three nights. But do the math—a Good Friday crucifixion to a resurrection on Sunday morning is at most only one day and small parts of two others, plus two nights. Also, John’s Gospel tells us Jesus was already resurrected before sunrise, so we can’t count that part of a day. Does the Bible offer a solution? Yes, and when we understand it, everything adds up perfectly! But that’s not all that doesn’t add up about the Easter holiday. What do rabbits, colored eggs and sunrise religious services have to do with Jesus Christ’s resurrection? Discover the fascinating historical truth about all this and much more in this issue of Beyond Today!