Principles of Answered prayers
Prayer is God given, inspired and mandated. To achieve productive end of prayer, there is need to understand the essence, call to, priority, power, purpose, principles, protocols etc. that govern prayer.
Prayer is nothing more than humanity reaching out in communication with divinity.
Communication is a 2-way street, we talk to someone (in this case God) and expect Him to respond. God typically says yes, no or wait. Our foundational scripture records a narrative of an interaction between Jesus & His disciples. In these narratives we find that he issues directives on prayer and impresses on them the need to recognize and uphold what is imperative. The story says that they observed him praying in a certain place and based on their particular observation and a recognized pattern of a prayer lifestyle, they approach him.
Fundamental to our discussion is the fact that prayer is taught. No one is born as a prayer warrior but prayer is an event, a process and lifestyle all rolled in one. It takes disciples; committed, focused and dedicated followers of the Lord to come to these conclusions and be taught how to access Heaven and gain audience with God.
Prayer is also a womb that process the seed of our requests unto a due time of delivery.
It extends an open invitation for God to intervene in the affairs of men. As we discover, prayer begets even more prayer. The disciples observe that there is a purpose, pattern, process, principles and power in prayer. Jesus says to them when you pray; “say”. In other words, formulate thoughts into words and articulate them. He lays a principle of recognition of our common heritage in God. “Our Father” suggests that we all have one father, thus we irrespective of origin, race or where we stand socially are brothers by reason of our common inheritance and destiny in one father. He directs them to observe that He is in heaven and then give him worship. The Kingdom agenda must always be foundational to prayer and then seeking his will and purpose to be here fulfilled. Prayer can also seek exemption from trials and temptations.
There is a call and instruction to come to prayer.
James 5:13, Jeremiah 33:3 and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 all call us into ceaseless prayer. It is also important to note the words of the mighty Apostle Paul in Ephesians 3:20 as he indicates that our thoughts matter to God. There must be an authentic cry from our heart and spirit and not mere rhetoric, hence our thoughts matter to God as much as the words that we speak out in prayer. We gain a clear understanding that there are different kinds of prayer (Eph. 3:16) yet there is one Holy Spirit who must direct us at all times in the great endeavor of prayer. Prayer’s purpose and priority is to enforce God’s will on the planet and God is waiting on us to pray (Job 38:33 & Rev. 8:2). The immortalized words of Charles Wesley ring true “surely it seems God can do nothing for humanity unless someone prays”.
The essence of prayer then is:
To enforce the will of God on earth (Job 38 v33, James 5 v17 & Genesis 32 v22)To maintain our relationship with God (John 12v 31, John 14v30)
To effect the purposes and changes that God desires on the planet (Ezekiel 22:30; John 16:23-24; John 14).
Our attention was called to the foundational truths that guide our prayer. Firstly, that we must believe that God always hears us; (Psalm 65:2), that we are sons of God (Rom. 8:15, Gal. 4:6). We must in prayer always reverence the name of the Lord, pray His will be accomplished and desire to enforce that will whilst maintaining a Kingdom agenda – giving priority to the Kingdom’s purposes and ethics. In this regard, desire for souls to come to the Kingdom, consistent intercession, selflessness, the anointing to prosecute the divine agenda and seeking divine favor must preoccupy us. In 1 Peter 2:5-9 we are twice reminded that we are called as priests of the Highest God. A priest basically presents people assigned to him to God. Paul teaches that Christ is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek in Hebrews 7. We are called after that same order and thus as believers we are priests unto God (to stand in the gap, pray for and bring a people that are His back to him). To achieve this, we are given unlimited and unfettered access to the throne of Grace in Heaven (Heb.2:17). Christ has delegated a certain amount of His authority in the earth to His Body, the church. Our decisions as believers -- which we can express in prayer -- make a difference in our lives and others' lives.
Our attention was also drawn to 12 spiritual keys of prayer. Firstly, that Faith is essential to prayer-Mark 11:24". . . whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them”. (NKJ). Secondly that
attitude matters in prayer: James 5:13-18 esp16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective...” Other key spiritual laws; prayer is defiant of seasons & feelings, prayer requires discipline, prayer requires focus, persistence and patterns, prayer requires faith with no place for doubt and prayer brings healing. We also learn that posture matters in prayer ((Eph.3:14), it is imperative to depend on God’s grace and confess our sin to keep our access unblocked. Other points of consideration are that righteousness is a requirement of prayer, one must be mindful of the law of acceptance (Ps 141:2) and finally bring the quality of earnestness in prayer and stay in it (Colo. 4:2; James 5:16 & Luke 6:12)
Let us conclude with a cursory examination of the protocols of prayer as captured in Matthew 6:5-9. Notably; keep it real and avoid hypocrisy. Communicating with understanding and not merely making a display. (Eph.3:14, 1 Peter 1:17). Praying must always be in accord with the will of God (1 John5:14 & Rom. 12:2). Always important to understand the law of relationships (1 Corinth. 1:19 & Rev. 3:20). To be effective in prayer one must have faith in the veracity of the word and trust God to uphold his word always. (1 Kings 8:56 & Isaiah 40:8). Prayer must necessarily be done in the name of Jesus as per John 14:13-14 and prayer must be birthed of the heart and not the intellect (Ps.51:17). In Matthew 7:7 Jesus insists that in prayer we must always “ASK”. The import of this is to be consistent in prayer and increase or intensify our prayer volume and focus until we obtain desired results. Perseverance is imperative but does not negate the law of legitimate need. We can persevere but if our needs are not legitimate, desired results and responses elude us. Our legitimate needs maybe logistical (Luke 11:3) or spiritual (James 1:5; Eph. 1:18-19) or even seeking direction or divine guidance. The law of legitimate need dictates what we cannot pray for and instructs us to understand that though we may pray for a legitimate need, we must understand the ultimate sovereignty of God in all matters. He has the authority, power and full freedom to bless you as He sees fit and without being questioned.