with Kristy Yates Photography
Are Prayers Really Answered?
Do you believe God answers prayers? Do you REALLY believe that really can do anything?
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” Matthew 21:22 NIV
I want to tell you that my faith is unshakeable, to give you the first answer that comes to my mind. That of course God can do anything, we just need to have faith and believe. But if I am being completely honest and examine my prayer life, I find that deep down, there are seeds of doubt. Let me explain.
Have you ever had something that you just don’t even bother praying about because you know that it probably won’t happen? Something that seems like it is just a wasted prayer, that too many things would have to happen for that prayer to be answered.
Especially if it involves another human being. Humans have free will to make choices, and you just know that the person involved is never going to make the right choice.
So you focus your prayers on something else. Something that might actually be within reach for God to answer. You try to push aside the really “big” prayer to the back of your mind and just deal with reality the best way you know how. Relying on yourself instead of Him, which is actually a lack of faith.
Maybe you have someone who has hurt you so badly that you just avoid thinking about that person altogether. A parent, sibling, spouse, or best friend.
Maybe you have seen someone act or behave in a way that is unspeakable and know they are so far from God that they will never be saved.
Maybe it is a situation that you are in that seems impossible to find your way out of. A bad relationship, in debt, a job environment that is harmful.
Maybe you are in a mental state or depression that you cannot seem to dig your way out of, so you just keep trying to medicate, knowing that it probably won’t ever get any better. Avoiding it.
Or maybe YOU have done something that you think is so bad God will never forgive you, so you don’t even bother asking. You avoid that prayer altogether.
“Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.” Mark 11:24 NIV
Do not believe the enemy. Nothing is too big for my God, He wants to answer all of our prayers if they are good for us. However, we must rely on our faith. It all starts with believing. If we pray but do not believe, your prayers are no good. It all comes down to faith.
And there is the root of my problem…. Faith.
I don't have the faith I need to believe that God will really change their hearts. But, I do have faith that He will help me. He will step in when I am not strong enough to have the faith I need for those prayers. That is what He is there for, so that we can lean on him.
I don’t need to have faith in a person changing, I just have to need to have faith in my God, and do what He has called me to do. Love others. Pray for them. Forgive them. He will do the rest if I just lean on Him.
“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.” James 1:6 NIV
So, I broke down and prayed for them. My enemies. The ones who hurt me. That’s what I am supposed to do, so I did. Will they change overnight? Nope. Do I just stop praying? Nope. We are to persevere. I do not know the outcome of the situation, but He does. The Lord does everything in His perfect time. I am to simply pray, have faith, and persevere. He will take care of the rest.
“As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11 NIV
I challenge you to dig deep into your thoughts. Is your faith as strong as you believe? Do you have a prayer you don’t bother with praying? Is there someone or something that you think doesn’t have a chance? Write it down. Pray these verses over it. See what changes God brings into the situation. You might just be surprised and what miracles He can do through prayer. I believe that I will be.