I am going to start a topic on prayer. Why? Because everyone has a story to tell.
There are many worldly people that do not believe answered prayer is little more than coincidence.
Does God answer prayer or is it really coincidence?
Does He only answer certain prayers, like a good parking spot, or all prayer?
Maybe you got a lousy parking spot but the good health to walk those additional steps.
Does God heal some or all?
I believe that if a prayer is in God's will, then it should be answered. Read Col 1:9-14.
What are answered prayers?
Does the Bible say anything about yes, no or wait?
I believe if the answer is no or wait then it is NOT answered prayer.
How would you know if it is no or wait?
If you come to Him on your terms you will not get an answer. Not NO or wait. He won't even acknowledge them.
Below are some excerpts from a debate I had on another forum sans the 5 or 6 debaters.
Post 1 - God does NOT hear all our prayers contrary to what preachers teach. There are no scriptures to back up this teaching.
If you start with 2 Chr 7:14 stop after the first line and think, "have I humbled myself?".
Is this according to the Bible? Have you read James recently? Is this a need or a greed? "NO" is NOT an answer, it is "I can't hear you."
"Please humble yourself and come with a contrite heart and I will hear you."
"wait" means what?
How do you know the prayer is going to be answered?
Are you waiting, or is God waiting for you to approach Him on His terms.
A-ask, is coming to Him to petition with 2 in agreement, no unforgiveness in your heart, abiding in His ways, with a prayer that is right, for all this is pleasing to Him;
S-seek, now you go into your prayer closet and seek Him, not the answer but the Master. I always get this wrong. I seek first, then ask;
K-knock, if you have done everything right you can boldly approach the throne of grace and knock.
A-S-K for answered prayer.
I believe there is no such thing as unanswered prayer or wait or NO if you are coming to God on His terms. You'll be waiting a long time if you think God is asking you to wait.
"Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16)
Post 2 - It sounds like some Christians are worshiping the mythological Greek, Roman or Norse gods. These gods were cruel and would play games. If a person prayed to them they would test them, they would make them wait and they would say "no" to their petitions.
I thank God my Bible says He will answer prayer if I come to Him humbly, believing (Mk 11:24; Jn 14:13,14)), without unforgiveness (Mk 11:25)), if I abide in Jesus and keep His commandments (Jn 15:7,10), do what is pleasing in His sight (1 Jn 3:22), come with my head uncovered (1 Cor 11:4) unless you are a woman then the head should be covered (1 Cor 11:5), ask in the name of Jesus (Jn 16:23,26)....
Post 3 - I didn't make the rules. God did. And this is not the whole "LIST". There are rules for everything and we can cry "it's not fair", but let's not forget who is God. It is not us. Play (pray) by the rules or get off your knees.
Some of the most common rules I didn't mention because I thought most people would know that God cannot hear a person with unconfessed sin (Jn 9:31; Isa 59:2; Ps 66:18; Hab 1:13). Thank God that we only need confess (1 Jn 1:9) and we have an advocate (1 Jn 2:1) who forgives us and allows us to pray to the Father in His name (Jn 16:23,26).
Post 4 - As mentioned above, what kind of God would give us the promise of answered prayer and say no?
Post 5 - Finally can you imagine a person standing up at the front of the church, giving a testimony to God's goodness in answering prayer. Saying that God has answered all my prayers. Even though all the answers so far have been no, I keep praying that it is just wait.
Post 6 - NO is NOT an answer to prayer. No scriptures support this teaching. Again why would we pray if He is going to deny us. God is not a man that He will change His mind. Unlike our earthly father who will give in if we bribe, cry or promise. You heard about Jesus praying till He sweat blood and His prayer was not answered. Was His prayer in the Father's will (1 Jn 5:14, 15)? In the end didn't Jesus say not my will but Yours be done. I think that is our problem, we think that God doesn't have rules to abide in His will. We want our will to be God's will.
I don't know why God allows terrible diseases. But I have prayed with/for people and they were remarkably, miraculously healed. I was having a run of success on hearing problems when the Holy Spirit prompted me to lay hands on a person with an ear implant and pray for healing. When I prayed with him he had doubts and said that even a pastor at a Benny Hinn crusade prayed for him and he still couldn't hear before the implants. He was also diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. I saw him 2 days later and he said his hearing hadn't improved but the pain from his cancer left the moment I laid hands on him and the test he had taken a week before came back negative. His cancer was gone! God is soooo goood. Did I pray right and others wrong? I don't know but I never question a miracle from God. 3 years later he is still healthy.
Post 7 - If a person asks to die, is this God's will? Did He say no or did He ignore their frivolous, spontaneous requests? If Elijah really wanted to die he needn't have fled from Jezebel. She would have obliged him. Paul didn't want to die, he wanted to be raptured. Job didn't really want to die, he questioned whether he should have been born if only to suffer. Jesus, I believe wasn't praying not to die but to not become sin. The most offensive thing in God's eyes. So offensive that He can't even look upon it, in this case His only begotten Son. Maybe that's why He made it so dark when Jesus did become sin?
And I adamantly stick to my conclusion that "NO" is not an answer according to scripture. He doesn't hear prayer if not presented humbly, with a contrite heart. But according to scripture, He doesn't say "NO".
If your prayer is for someone that is NOT in agreement with you, than it is not according to God's will either. After all He gave them free-will. But if it is for someones salvation, I urge you to continue praying in earnest.
I never pray for a person's healing unless I feel moved by the Spirit. I am but an instrument and can't do it without Him.
Post 8 - Did Paul say that his prayers weren't answered?
Did Paul say that it was God's will to have this messenger from Satan depart? (the Bible does say prayers have to be the will of the God) (Col 1:9-14)(1 Jn 5:14, 15)
Didn't Jesus also have Satan tempt Him in the wilderness? The power of Christ in him was more important to Paul than freedom from his tormentor. Read Acts 14:3; 15:11, 12 and you will see what Grace did. Read Romans 3:23-26 to see what grace is, and read Romans 16:20 and see what grace will do. His grace is sufficient! We are under grace not under law. Which law? Read Romans 8:2. Hallelujah!
You must remember that this is a letter written by Paul and it is a recap of a conversation Paul had with God/Jesus/Holy Spirit. Which I don't know, but all would be involved. In Acts and in the Pauline epistles Paul states that his knowledge comes directly from God not book learning.
So it appears that he had direct communications with God and he would know that it would not be a valid prayer to ask that his will be God's will. If the scriptures don't contradict teachings by Jesus on prayer, and they shouldn't, then what I have quoted in these posts from scripture are true. His answer to prayer is affirmative if on His terms, otherwise it would be senseless to petition in prayer.
Post 9 - Supplication means to humbly ask in prayer and supply means to provide what is necessary. We supplicate and God supplies. NOT withhold.
Post 10 - I think quite simply God said "I AM God, don't question what I do" Where were you when I did such and such, etc.? When Job wanted to know why he was being tested, (now there's an understatement) God need not answer as to why. That is why I don't think Paul prayed for relief from his testing. Never question God as to why, but look within and say what am doing that needs to be changed. Why am I being tested. Not a question, a statement.
If there is an ambiguous scripture always reconcile it with scripture that is obvious. The Bible will interpret itself. There should be no contradictions.
Jesus/God is not a respecter of person's, so why would He answer one person's prayer and not anothers. Unless.....
Jesus said if you do this and that, and such and such, My Father in heaven will hear you and answer your prayers. This is all I've been saying all along.
If you take the scripture "Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them." (Mk 11:24) Is Jesus a liar?
Is He saying that even if you believe, the answer can be "wait" or "no." What about the caveat? Mk 11:25,26? It's nice to say "God, what about your promises?" and ignore our unrighteousness.
Jesus never said God's answer to prayer would be "wait" or "no", it is a catch-phrase started by some preacher that didn't have his prayers answered. He only needed to study God's word and pray accordingly. That is why I joined this discussion, so people would know that if their prayers are not answered, seek God. If your prayer is legitimate, stop thinking the answer is "wait" or "no". Believe and you shall receive. May God bless all your prayers.
In His service