ANSWERS: 100
  • God isn't real.
  • Maybe God sneezed whilst you prayed. I believe the idea is that under no circumstances are you supposed to ever doubt God because everything is in his master plan. I belong to the least-trusted minority in America: the atheists. I often wonder how it is possible to be so brainwashed into believing all this nonsense, but people have been doing it for the past thousand years. When I ask a fellow classmate who's a Christian why something is "immoral", he says because people have been believing it for two thousand years. But there was slavery for much longer... some things don't make sense. I guess blind faith is what it is called. It is all God's Will. Or not.
  • If we could prove the existence of God by documenting the answering of prayers when in genuine need, there would be no requirement of faith. The point of faith is to see past the world to God, not simply follow a trail of worthy and answered prayers until we can reach no other conclusion. I struggle with faith, but have accepted that documentable proof outside of me is not coming. Likewise, if prayer absolutely never worked, that would conclude something else.
  • Perhaps your prayer was answered, but not in the way you expected. Maybe this "God" of yours knew what you needed better than you did. They say that the "Lord" works in mysterious ways. Also, from a statistical perspective, you can not take a single case and draw general conclusions from it. The statement "prayer works", what does that mean? Sometimes it works? Always it works? More than half the time? Our human languages fail us here. Only if the statement "prayer works" is taken to mean "payer works 100% of the time in exactly the way we think it will" can you then draw a conclusion from your experience. Many studies have been done on the effectiveness of prayer. The scientific studies all show that it is not effective, or can even make things worse. These are invalid conclusions. They don't take into consideration the psychological effect of knowing you are being prayed for. They also fail to account for the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle which says we can't be sure that the act of observing prayer doesn't cancel out its effects. Proof denies faith. At any rate, it's probably not wise to pray in order to get something. Even from a non-religious perspective prayer is useful because it causes us to examine our thoughts and fears in the light of the verbal portions of the brain, instead of letting them run rampant in the lower depths. This, from a Buddhist.
  • Maybe the answer you received was 'No'. His silence can be the answer at times.
  • May be "No answer" was the answer to your prayer. His silence at times is the answer to our prayer. God always gives what we need before we even ask, but choose to hold things from us which He thinks will spoil us.
  • A lot of pain involved in this one. Based on reading the prior answers and comments. I am a Christian and do believe in the power of prayer but also know that our actions as humans are not all Gods work or Gods master plan. The power of prayer does not "work", at least it doesn't work in the way you state it in your question. I also have gone through serious hardships in my life (as many have) but the actions by another on us were not of Gods choosing ... he provided us the choice to do wrong and to do right. You asking this question, after probably many years after that time when you did pray is in itself an action for answers. Prayers are not answered sometimes the way we would think they should be answered. Relatives have died, when we pray they may live. People have gone homeless when they pray for money for rent. Wars have begun when we pray for peace. In this case, the person who did you wrong should have also prayed that he would have the strength to be a 'better' person to you and others. I have also prayed and not been heard but I also have prayed and become a more caring person to others (charity, family, friendships) because of prayer. To me that is the power of prayer.
  • So that you can feel and suffer those pains at that time and later use those pains to lift up others pains. How many like you are still living in the pit of guilt, depression, hurts, and shame. You have seem to come out of it, even though bitter. You can use these pains of yours to help those who are still hurting and still do not know why they had to go thru it. Use your life for others, answer will come automatically. When a healed helper takes the lead, he first heals his own wounds, turns them into scars, and starts balming others wounds. Use your life, do not waste to crap of nothingnes The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it. And so it is with you! we are in charge of our attitudes. Besides, "The things that didn't kill you made you strong!" You are still strong, so get up and move on.... help others to move on too.... become instrument to others to see the light at the end of the tunnel.... you will know why ur prayers were not answered............
  • there is a difference between miracle and magic. i believe God acts through natural law.
  • if you aren't a born again Christian, then your prayer was not answered because God does not hear the prayers of the lost until that prayer of accepting him in your heart. when i say he didn't hear, i mean he may not choose to act on it. for example, while a mom is in the store she can hear all around her kids asking their parents for things, but she wouldn't walk over and give it to them because it is not her child, it is not her responsiblity to take care of them. however, if you are a christian, he may have answered it, but in a way you did not like. sometimes the answers to our prayers are no. Sorry for my narrow view, but: "Enter through the narrow gate, for wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life and only few find it." and i don't make up what i want to believe, i believe what the bible says and believe it with all my heart, soul, mind and strength. I am 100% certain of everything i believe and have absolutely no misgivings about a bit of it. let me reiterate, i'm not saying God never hears peoples prayers that are not Christians. i'm just saying it is not his obligation because they have not accepted him as their father.
  • It is considered acceptable when an atheist goes on the offense towards the believers, but not when a believer attacks an atheist. The believer by all means must take the offence in the name of the God, and an atheist by all means can use words as "Potty mouth" or "One sick God" etc. In this conversation I realized Boredasmustard herself is completely closed to the idea that God ever exists. The bitterness of her soul made me sick to continue the topic here, but I still kept on thinking abt her all day. I realized no matter what I am going to say if I ever used the "God" she is going to come back at me with an offence (one-tracked, single-minded with no God) like she has done to many who have responded to her in context to God. Thus realizing she understands the language of human pains, I posted another answer below where I related to her only as human and nothing else. She loved the comment. I had changed my strategy and it worked. The message was passed to her that is the Master Plan of the God. Just like her I fought with God all my life. I was abandoned by my father before I was born even and then to be raised by a step-father and unloving mother, I called Him too one sick, egoistic God who wants His way or no way. The idea of God giving pains to human, as small as tiny kids made me rebel to Him. I refused to accept the fact God existed and our own destiny and our good work and discipline is all we have. I stopped praying and threw my temple in the sea. I was a Hindu then. Both my parents did not believe in God and did not pray. I was Hindu by birth, but never inherited any religious / spiritual knowledge from my parents. I got married at the age of 18 (arranged) to an atheist as well. He did not believe in God. He was arrogant and violent man. By age of 23-24 I was in deep pain and did not know why I am suffering. I asked to heaven, earth, humans is it not a right of the child to receive at least one loving parent or a partner who can respond to your love? Is it not right of a child to receive two times of full meal? Is it not right of a child to not to get beaten by his parents? Is it not the duties of a parent to protect their children from abuse? Is it not right of a bride to be loved and respected by your groom? Is it not a right of woman to receive her right of a wife from her husband? Is it not right of a human to rest for a while? I worked for 20 yrs after my marriage to give all my earnings to him and his family all for the sake of my love for him and then in return to be ridiculed and mocked at. I asked this question to all I could ask….. I suffered in pain until I wanted to take my life and wanted to suicide by jumping in the sea. There was a church nearby and while driving to the sea, I thought of giving church a last chance. I entered the church and challenged God if He exits then He better dare to show His face to me else I am taking this life that has no more meaning, reason to live. This is when I woman passed me and said God loves me…. I asked her how she knows that. She said while praying there some message came to her that she must walk up to me to tell this news to me…. Absurd that it sounded…. I left church with decision I will not kill myself and give Him one more chance to prove His case to me, I reached church again next day and day after day for next 54 days and dared Him everyday and that is when He told me every single day He loves me….. It still did not answer my reason why He allowed so much of pain in my life…. I dared Him to tell me why He is one Good God and not one sick God. This is when my journey began… He told me the days in my childhood when He gave enough of mercy in heart of my step-dad to not to throw me on streets (can you imagine how it was to be born 40 yrs back out of wedlock in an Indian society, that too as a girl), for my mother to not to abort me, He provided at least one time of meal, clothes to cover, a name, a shelter… how He took care of my education… the brain… the angels He sent to help me… the friends who gave their food to me coz they simply loved me …. And list can go and on….. If it was for my biological parents I was either dead or an orphan. If it was for my husband I was his slave and servant. If it was for my friends, it is ok to suffer and not complain, rather give a stick to my husband to beat me if this is what he desires…. Now the point was still why He allowed it….. Why did He not have mercy on me a child to be subjected to the life of an orphan? Why did He not stop me when my husband used and abused me at the same time? I found out it was He alone who was protecting me when all others were crushing me… He gave me the instinct to survive and thrive… He made me stronger to bear… He gave me strength to fight for my cause…. These were my powers He gave me to be what I am today… He gave me wisdom to know the difference….. These are my special gifts from Him those make my special among others…. I could have been the only one chosen for these pains….. coz He quipped me with His graces….. As the time passed by, He showed the reason for my sufferings and pains and that is when He showed me His plan to use me to lift downtrodden, poor, orphans, hopeless souls….. He has used every blessing He gave me to help others, every pain to understand others’ pains, to let them know there is still hope, there is still life to be lived, and there is still reason to rejoice….. I know I have made difference to many and He has put in His love in my heart and He has not left my Loveless Heart alone. He will turn my wounds into scars and that is when He will use me a Healed Helper. I found out more I help others, faster is my own healing. So I do this for my sake alone, not for others. When I started conversation with Boredasmustrad, I realized the whole thing was a joke, there is no substance to her story as she is not interested to hear the facts with an open minded human… thus after posting my comment on my second answer I closed the topic. I am still struggling with my life, as I am divorcing the man my parents chose for me…. I am still having pains as fresh as live wounds; I still have my struggle in the spiritual journey of my life… I still rebel Him always, I still fight Him and ask why He has allowed such pains in the world… and in my life, but He has revealed His reasoning to me and He has patience with me to tell why? I recommend to all of you who have these questions to read a book “Making Sense out of Suffering” by Peter Kreeft and “In the Grip of Grace” by Max Lucado. May be it will help you…..
  • Bored as mustard sometimes the answer is not what we want. Just like sometimes when you ask a friend to do a favor they say no. And sometimes it's a good thing. For instance I prayed for the money to go visit my Grandmother in December. The money never came but that is a good thing because she has deteriorated so much that I wouldn't have been able to stay with her. I would have had to stay in a hotel and I am sure you can imagine what that would cost in December. So it is a good thing I am not going in December.
  • "God works in mysterious ways." Ok just kidding. First off you must consider what it was you were praying for. Maybe the answer you wanted would have a butterfly effect and turn out worse that it has. God may never explain why he does what he does, sometimes even after hours of prayer. You are not the only one that has felt ignored or that God isn't concerned enough to help you. So what's the explanation to this lack of divine intervention and communication in times that seem to require them the most? Perhaps you did not hear God's whisper to your heart, since you may have been expecting a loud and clear answer. On the other hand, maybe you did not believe what you heard was God's voice because you were expecting or hoping for Him to say something different.
  • Because He is the Creator, the King of the King, the Boss of the Boss. He created us, not vice versa. We never created any single person. If you have kids, doesn't mean you created them. In French pray :faire la priere,Spanish: rogar, both means to beg. If we pray, we ask/beg Him (the Creator)to do a favor. We should be grateful, if He answers our prayers, by the way since He is awesome God, who not only can create the world but also takes care of it, He always does(answer prayers),by saying "1)yes,2)no or 3)wait". There is no doubt about it point. He knows a lot more than us, what's the best for us, He can read our mind, so He knows, what we pray for because He created us. Maybe the answer to your prayer was the second one: no, or or the third one: later,you have to wait ,so we shouldn't tell Him what to do. Would you tell your boss what to do ?. Imagine,somebody's married, she quarrels with her husband, she prays asking God to kill him. He does what she wanted, later she finds out, her husband was right, and she was wrong. There would be a lot of trouble in this world, if He always says "yes" to everybody's answer. He knows that, because He is not a stupid God. And you know what, we should never think, we are smarter than He is .
  • Not every prayer you do is always answered how you want it to be. Also, just because you ask God for something doesn't mean you'll get it. Maybe your prayer was answered in a different way or it hasn't been answered yet. Trust in God.
  • God doesn't always answer the way you want it to be.....
  • I think the power of prayer does work, but not in the way we always really want it to. I think what happened to you was a horrible thing, and not part of 'Gods master plan' or anything. But let me ask you.. Is he still doing it to you? one day you might realise that maybe some of your prayers were in someway answered, just not in the way you thought you wanted. I don't think God really has the ability to ever change things completly, or stop the horrible things that happen to us. And sometimes it makes me angry to, but I have comfort in knowing that when I really need the help I can pray and ask for it, and although it isn't handed on a silver platter i'm given the strength to battle through and make things better for myself. Life is tough, and I don't think you should ever let any body tell you what to believe. If you are athiest and happy with it then don't let any pushy Christian shove their religion down your throat. (And I truely believe the people on here who are getting cross and angry at you for asking this questions are probably c**p Christians anyway, the kind that tell you how you should live your life as a 'good Christian' but break all those rules themselves - and still consider themselves better becasue they are 'Christian') Above anything else I believe you should do what makes you happy - as long as it is not at the cost of anothers happiness. However if there is just a part of you that isn't truly happy, and feels something is better, then maybe you should reconsider God?
  • I am having this problem now. I keep praying but nothing happens. How can God listen to all of those prayers?
  • It is all in the way we look at things. When my Grandpa died, my Grandma had just gotten out of the hospital. She asked why God took him when she needed him. I told her like this, - maybe he didnt take him when you needed him, maybe he let him stay until you were well enough to come home. Maybe God gave him extra time so you wouldnt be alone in the hospital, and also maybe God knows you could handle this situation better then Grandpa could handle loosing you. It is all in Gods hands, he has his reason and we will never be intelligent enough to think like Him and so we dont always understand, but we just need to trust that it is in his plan and better things are ahead.
  • Ok I just want to say to the person that is writing this question that God does work in mysterious ways and prayer always work. I've prayed about so many things and God didn't always answered when I wanted him to but he was always right on time when I needed the answer. The answer that you want may not come in your timing but in Gods. You have to also keep the faith even after you pray because if not then what you are praying for may never come to pass because without faith it is impossible to please God, so you have to believe that God will answer, but he will do it when he sees the time is fit not when you do. You also need to know that some things in life God is just going to allow you stay in, because God wants to use what your going through at that moment as a testimony to bless someone else's life. There was a time when I got to the point of feeling like I wanted to commit suicide if God didn't answer my prayers and get me out of the situation that I was in, but I am a much better person and I am more grateful to God for allowing me to stay in the situation that I was in because had I had given up and quit life then I wouldn't be able to tell my testimony of what I was going through at that time in my life, and the devil would have loved for that to happen because he doesn't want us to tell other people what we've been through because he knows that if we do then it will cause other people to be free from what they're going through and that's not his desire. God hears your every prayer, so I say to you just hold on because change is gonna come if you just believe. Don't quit yet and give up now, you have obviously come to far to quit now, because if you didn't then you wouldn't be on here trying to get help from specifically christian people. Your testimony can change so many people's lives if you just don't give up. The devil would love for you to keep what you have been through at 12 inside, but it could be that very thing that you don't want to share with others that God could be trying to pull out of you because maybe somebody else needs to hear. If you survive through whatever it is that you are waiting for God to bring you through or whatever prayer it is that you need answered and you make it through and tell other people about how God answered your prayer then they will begin to believe that they can be free and that God can answer their prayers too. Trust me if God can answer my prayers then he can do it for you or anybody. I don't know what religion or faith background you come from but I'm a christian and I mean God has brought me through some stuff okay! I mean sometimes things that we do we bring on ourselves and God has to discipline us, so he allows us to stay in our mess until we can't take no more and then just before it gets to the point where it looks like the devil has counted us out he pulls us out just when we least expect it. Count it all joy the bible says when you run into trials and temptation because the trying of your faith worketh patience. Your faith is being tested right now. So I encourage you to not quit even if the trial came at 12 believe me they can come again, your faith is always being tested and God just trys to see whether or not we will pass the test so, hold on because help will be at your doorstep before you know it in any situation that you find yourself in, whether it be right now in your life or whether it was when you were 12. It's when you lease expect it that God will open doors for you. The devil wants you think "oh God can't really answer prayers and does the prayer really work?" Don't listen to that voice because it's the devil only trying to decieve you. The greatest trick of the devil is to make you think that he doesn't exist!! Don't believe that, it's a lie. Sometimes too when we pray we need to wait for God to give us an answer. I noticed that too. When I would pray sometimes I wouldn't give God a chance to say anything back because I would get up off my knees as soon as I finished saying what I wanted to say, but I never just stayed there until God gave me an answer, so that's important that you tarry there in your position of prayer looking and waiting to receive an answer from God. You can't just say what you want and not give God the chance to say something back to you. Sometimes answers come in different ways too. Answers don't always come from God speaking back to you after you pray. Sometimes God will want to show you the answer in the bible or he will send the answer to what you need through another person or through a message at church or a song, I mean it could be anything. How you know it's really God? It's when you feel this real strange feeling in your stomach or your whole body will get like real hot or some people cry, some people start shaking uncontrollably, and of course the famous one, your heart will start beating like a thousand times per minute it feels like, or your palms sweat or you feel kind of nervous or something, that's God. I'm sure there could be other ways too, to feel God, but that's how I know it's him. Sometimes though you see things too in your mind, like a vision or something and that could be your answer. God's voice is that still-small voice that you hear in your head, it sounds kind of quiet/soft. I hope that helps a little. Try praying again and try some of these things and see what happens!! God loves you and so do I (in a godly/christian) way God Bless you!!!
  • Simple answer, God's will is done first. If your prayer was not in God's will then it will not be answered in the way you want it to. Almost every prayer should be supplicated with "Thy will be done" I can't just ask God for a million dollars because God does not will me to have a million dollars. If he did then I would have the million dollars but I'm not so arrogant as to ask God for things for me. I almost never pray for myself.
  • I know you asked for a Christian answer, but take this one from an Agnostic. I've heard MANY Christians say, "God has a plan.". What if answering your prayers would mess up that plan? What if helping you caused pain and misery elsewhere to maintain balance in the Universe? Or if your pain and suffering was part of His plan to make you a better, stronger person? I think even bow2thelord will agree with me when I say that God (or whatever name you give to the higher power(s)) works in mysterious ways that us mere mortals can not comprehend.
  • I'm sorry that you are doubting that whether or not your prayer was answered and for whatever your problem was that you think you did not recieve an answer for. God always answers prayers, but like an earthly father, the answer may be "no". I have prayed and asked for many things and he has alway come through for me whether I liked the answer or not. Later I realized that if I had gotten the answer I had wanted, then the outcome would have been worse than the situation I was in. I'm not going to tell you that you are not within your rights to doubt, you certainly are. I have been angry with God plenty, believe me. But I have not let that stop me from continuing my faith in Him. Faith and religion is a very personal thing that you have to work out for yourself. But, being a Christian, I know God answers all prayers but he sometimes says "no". As much as my child begs me to play in the road, I will say no because I know the danger and what the outcome will be. God knows what the future holds and what would happen if he said "yes". There are plenty of instances in the Bible where God said "no" and his reasoning for it. I would start there if you are looking for a Biblical reason. Good luck with your quest to find the answer you are looking for.
  • Well, boredasmustard, hopefully you're not that bored anymore because you have all these answers to read. HAAAAA!! I crack myself up. Anyway, I think you're question is a common one. If someone claims they have never wondered why God didn't come through in a particular situation they are probably lying to themselves. Even the most devout and strong Christian have experienced some form of anger towards God. I have at least. I know that God has seemingly dropped the ball on a couple occasions in my life, but I also know he has come through on many as well. The Bible, the Word of God, has a lot to say about the power of prayer. When we pray there is always opposition to the realization of our request. The devil for instance, comes to steal, kill, and destroy. He doesn't want our prayers to be answered. He uses things like fear, doubt, guilt, anger, shame to keep us from praying, to keep us from acting in faith on the word of God. My guess is that your experience when you were 12 has prevented you from talking to God in a meaningful way. That is want the devil wants. He wants you to be discouraged, to be convinced that God doesn't hear you and doesn't care. Do not be ignorant of how the devil operates. He'll tell you things, get you to swallow lies that are floating around in society to the point where you wonder if they are your own thoughts. Ask yourself this question, are you operating in fear or faith? They're opposites. Don't let the fear of your prayers being unanswered keep you from exercising the spirit of power, love, and of a sound mind that God has given to you! Keep praying, and see if anything changes. Also, unforgiveness sometimes prevents prayers from being answered. Forgiving someone who has wronged you sets you free from the burden of having to avenge yourself. It doesn't justify what happened, it just means that you aren't going to let it hold you down anymore. Give thanks for what areas he has answered you in and remember, the fervent and effectual prayer of a righteous man avails much! Do it. Do it.
  • BAM: I know a bit of your history. So, please don't think I am being insensitive to you. You have toughed it out. Where do you think the intellect and courage you received came from? You have already taken credit for your own destiny, that is good. That is the plan. Now we would all like to have God on speed dial, but it doesn't work that way. God is not like a "genie" in a bottle that you can call at will to come to your rescue. You can't define a thing by what it is not. You will eventually put your hopes and faith in some belief system for there is no such thing as a "no-belief system." I can't say God has ever answered my prayers, but that doesn't allow me to believe in a souless, uncaring universe either. I do believe in ultimate justice for those who suffer and for those who inflict suffering. I don't know that I'll ever see "justice", but I believe the picture is bigger than I can comprehend. There seems to be a pattern of wisdom and logic in creation. We are very limited in our ability to define, explain or comprehend it. Yet we try. Our answers will never be satisfying because we lack the knowledge and intellect to define a concept as large as creation. Life is like a huge novel with many characters, some major and most minor, who play their parts without knowing where the author is taking the last chapter. Play your part well and be a part of the answer. Peace.
  • Not knowing what you prayed for, I may be giving an incomplete answer (and it's not my business, so don't tell me). God sees a much bigger picture than we do, and He may not have answered because it was not in our best interest. It's sort of like the child who wants something really badly, and the wiser parent refuses because that something isn't the best thing for her child. God may have looked down the road and known that eventually, what you wanted would do more harm than good. Or maybe the prayer involved another person and God saw it was not in the best interest of that other person. But don't feel alone. Even we Christians find that not all prayers get answered, at least in a way we can see, or how we want. And we're not perfect. There are times, if we're honest, that we get miffed at God for not giving us what we want, no matter how good or right it seems.
  • Perhaps it just was not answered in the way you expected it to be. It could be that He was holding you and giving you the strength to make it through your ordeal. It is by "walking through fire" so to speak that we are brought closer to Him. There is a saying "that which does not kill us makes us stronger". God may have known that you needed to be made stronger in order to survive something in your future. Think back on the situation. You don't have to answer these questions but unto yourself....Are you now a better person for what you went through? Are you now stronger and better able to cope with difficult situations? How can what you went through be of benefit to someone else? How would your life be different if the incident had never occured? How would you as a person be different if the incident never occured? God knew what He was doing. He gave you the strength to get through it and to keep on going. And He led you here to Answerbag where you have made many friends who love you for who you are.
  • god said no or not now
  • your problem is your praying to a faketishes person made up by people along time ago to scare people into doing what they want
  • You did not hold your mouth just right.
  • Maybe he answered you and you didn't realize. Sometimes God knows that just because we want something doesn't mean that that is what is good for us or others. For instance I have Grandmother who lives in Israel. She has moderate alzhiemers. In the beginning I would pray for her memory to be as it was. But my grandmother was not a happy person. All of her friends are gone. She can't do many of the things she used to. Basically her life was the confines of her 1 room effiency. It is sad to say but my grandmother for the most part is happier when she is confused. So why should I insist on God making her better when she is happier the way she is just because I miss her. Edit sorry I din't realize I had already answered.
  • Not all prayers are answered, that's for sure. When God says "YES", it means "the prayer is a 'GO'!" When God replies with a BIG "NO", it means "You need to know...."; and when God states a "Maybe", well.... "perhaps it isn't so...." We don't always get what we want, my dear friend. Life has always taught us the HARDER WAY AROUND, ever since we were young. The WISDOM of HEAVEN is UNFATHOMABLE compared to the wisdom that a mere man thinks he has. One must always remember this TRUTH at all times. When prayers are unanswered, it does not mean, of course, that we have lost our place in God's LOVE. Perhaps there was something "different" with the prayer, or with the one who prayed, or with the very intentions that he/she has when the prayer was verbalized.... who knows?! Only GOD does so..... :)
  • Sorry if you truly need an explanation. I don't have one. Then again, I'm not Christian. Maybe that's why I don't have an explanation. I wonder if simply BEING Christian would make some Christians believe they had to have explanation?
  • I think the short and concise answer would be that God did not think what you were praying for was right for you at that time in your life. At least that is what i have always been told
  • Sometimes, our desires for our lives is not God's desire. He has everything under control. Sometimes He doesn't work they way we want Him to work, because He's God, and He knows exactly what He is trying to do in your life. He has a plan for your life, and He will show Himself in many different ways. But remember God is God, and He sits on the throne. He has heard your cry, but you must continue to have faith in Him, and humble yourself before Him.
  • Did you always get waht you asked your dad and mom forNO. its like that with our creator he doesn't alwasy say yes, it depends on what you ask for.
  • Who were you praying to? God always answers prayers. You have to pray to "The Father in The name of Jesus." Now, just because you prayed one way doesn't mean He was going to answer you the way you wanted. "His ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are higher than I thoughts." I remember that one time that I prayed that God would save my brother who was dying of brain trauma. Now, I thought that my brother would get up out the bed, but...he died. Then The Lord gave me a poem to write "Saved at the Point of Death." God did save him. He gave him eternal life because in this life he wasn't saved. He died, but yet he lives. Now, I don't know if you can understand the concept, but I have so much faith and trust in God that I believe Him. Sometimes God delays in answering us because he wants to do some house cleaning in us first. Please know that God answers prayers, but not in your time, but in His. When He answers, expect it to be unexpected because He's just that way. LOL(LOTS of LOVE
  • Prayer is the tool that is available to the people who are low in the socio-economic hierarchy. If prayer really had power, militaries would have prayer teams. I'm not saying prayer does NOT have power, but like I said, there's a reason that countries have armies.
  • Because it's nothing more then chance. In prayer, they're three outcomes. "Yes", "No", and "Wait". So, anyway around it - it will or won't happen. If you pray for $1,000 and get it the next day, week, or year, it was condience. But odds are you won't get it, and why? There's no one there.
  • He does wht is in your best interest for your growth as a person. You may never know till you die as to why the prayer was not answered, but it is ALWAYS done with your best interest at heart. He knows what you need more than you do.
  • You do not need to be Christian to pray to God, the one who sent His only Son to die on the cross. Jesus came to heal the hurt. You are seeking the truth, and one day more than one prayer of yours will be answerd. Know this, there are many people who have every thing they could want, but are unhappy. There are those who have nothing but are content. Why do you suppose that is? I had a school friend who's dad gave him anything he wanted. You know what he prayed for? For his dad to spend time with him. he hardly ever saw him.
  • you had no faith.
  • This cannot be explained by Christian teachings. Jesus is known to have said: "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened." Matthew 7:7-8 "And whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything of me in my name, I will do it." John 14:13-14 "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you." John 15:7 And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, `Be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen. "And all things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." Matthew 21:21-22
  • God doesn't exist, prayer doesn't work. Explained.
  • God has his plans already set for your life. Sometimes when you pray, it's answered. But when you prayer goes against his will, there's nothing you can do.
  • God is not a magician. Yes, He does see the big picture--and there is a war going on out there that we cannot imagine. Troubles come to all of us. Of course there are casualties, but He remembers every one of His own children. In every person's life comes a time of confrontation with God. If we look, we will see the miracles He performs all around us. Life is a series of trials, which God does not necessarily remove from us. If we remember the things He has done in the past we will be encouraged that although we suffer, He is there with us, holding our hands. How would we grow if everything was easy? If every bad thing were to be removed from this earth by God, who would be left? We are all sinners and it's only because of His love and longsuffering that any of us are here! Thanks to Him we know the ending -- this is not all there is, my friend!
  • Could it be that possibly you were given an answer that at the age of 12 you did not recognize? I have experienced 'God's time', in other words, having to wait longer than I would have liked for an answer to my question(s), especially regarding problems with my disabled son.
  • Well I personally believe that God can and would have answered your prayers if he wanted to, but he has a plan for all of us. if this was a lesson he wanted you to learn then he wasn't going to give it to you. If all the prayes that are said are answered in the way WE want them answered then there would be no sick, hungry, hurt, pain in the world and no one would ever die. if the bad were punished right away and the good were rewarded right away then this would be the perfect world. or would it be? we wouldn't have the choice would we? we would not have our free minds. You must have faith in the Lord, and his Son. you can also think of it this way. there is a story that is told about faith. A hungry woman placed stones in the oven and prayed for them to turn in to bread. after her prayer she looked in the oven, there sat the stones. she said "I knew it wouldn't work".... Where is the faith. "if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed." Epistle of James chapter 1 verses 5-6 I hope this helps.
  • Every prayer is answered, unfortunately the answer isn't always yes. No, I did not get this from Bruce Almighty.
  • Only God knows that since only He knows the hearts of men. But eventually, you will get a chance to ask Him.
  • maybe god answred the prayerin a way that you were not expecting.... we can not everything in exactly the same way we want them can we
  • Nowhere in the bible does it say that if you pray for something you will get it. What are you praying for? Prayer is your personal time with God.Do you believe in God or are you praying to see if it happens. The problem is that when we pray we expect the answer to come when we want it to, but it may come years later, or it may be answered but you missed the sign, or you could have asked for something unfair, like to save someone from dying,when this will not happen(even jesus died)! In short, I don't know what God is thinking!
  • "Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.." -Garth Brooks
  • Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.
  • That's when your faith is tested. You could say," God isn't real... he didn't help me." Or you could say," Maybe God didn't help me because of something. He must have his reasons." I'm not trying to promote Christianity, I'm just providing two points of view.
  • maybe he did answer your prayer, but since you do not know of Him and His ways,at least not intimately, you did not notice that He did. And, do not doubt, maybe you doubted Him and thats why you do not recognize it...but it all depends on wat ur prayer was. ...
  • It sometimes depends on what type of prayer it is, how it is done, and what you have already done to answer it yourself. Many of my prayers go unaswered, yet I keep praying. Sometimes a prayer is answered and we may not realize it. Like it or not, faith or trust in whom your praying to is necessary requirement. I equate faith to self will and positve thinking, now someone has called "the power of positve attraction". The "power of postive thinking" also comes into play with all of this ( and this principle has been around for a long time). Christianity is but one way to develope the this mind set. what are you doing now for help, do you still seek help from a greater source?
  • If you think of God as your heavenly father, and then compare it to asking your parents for things. You will not always get what you want when you ask for it....your parents decide if it will be beneficial or not to your development, growth, maturity, etc....God doesn't always come when we call...but in my experience, He always comes in time. Sometimes there are reasons, although very difficult to understand at the time, for the trials and tribulations we must face in life.
  • The logical reason is that there is no god. let's, for fun, change the word god to a toaster. I could pray to my toaster and as long as i had faith in the toaster good things happen and i should think the toaster is my immortal creater. But if it dosent happen its not the toasters fault it is my own. The toaster is the almighty toaster regardless of what i say or what happens in reality. I can't actually prove the toaster makes these things happen but i am to afraid to not think it does. Don't question the great toaster for you are unworthy. It's silly to think of a toaster. But why is it not silly to imagine a mystic creature. Life can be really lame. At least ya learned it when you where 12. It took me tell about 20 to stop waiting/asking on god to handle things for me.
  • Wow... tough crowd. Your prayers didnt get answered because you needed something real. I am sorry that talking to yourself (prayer) about what was going on wasnt enough for you. I hope that over time you talked to people about it, and I hope that helped. I dont believe in god, but i do believe that prayer helps some people as its a time to reflect and think. Maybe it didnt stop something from happening, didnt bring someone back to life, But did you think maybe slowly over time it helped you to accept what happened? I hope you are happy in your life now, I hope you have learnt how to live with the pain. I hope you found your own way. Prayer is not for everyone, its not for me, I prefer to use the term meditiation or self reflection.
  • this should tell you that the 'power of prayer' is a load of old rubbish.
  • why doesnt God answer when someone calls for help? i've had God answer prayer.. and i've had some go unanswered. i'm trying to learn why so that happens less. i know that walking in love toward others, and believing God's word are big factors though.
  • People get this general idea that if they pray har enough God will grant them whatever they want. We, newsflash, God doesn't. God will only give whatever it is you need, at the time you need it, not before. He will not give you what you want when you want it - if that happened, we would all be rich, our enemies dead or poor and we would all do what we wanted without consequence. It is sad when we pray sincerely for something we believe we need and we don't get. But God also wants us to grow up and be able to take care of ourselves, solve our own problems, work for what we want and need and care for others. If He just gave all of that to us there would be no point and no growth. That doesn't mean we stop praying - being human we won't, but it does mean that we need to think about what we are asking of God.
  • I'm sure a caterpillar would pray to have help getting out of a cocoon but he won't become a butterfly and a one year old would want his mom to pick him up when he was struggling to walk, but what would happen if they got that help, they would never learn, "sometimes God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers"
  • This god doesn't exist. That's why your prayers weren't answered. When prayers "are answered," it's just people confusing cause and effect. No worries.
  • I'm not an expert on this matter. The only thing I can say about your question is I know the God has answered my prayers, not always in the way that I was expecting. Some of my prayers are still unanswered. Does that mean that they won't ever be answered? My beliefs say no, not necessarily. I can tell you just from my own personal experience that in order to hear God, you have to give yourself to him, to open yourself to true belief. God loves everyone, even thoese who choose to deny him. And God speaks to all of us, some of us just choose not to listen. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Go in peace.
  • The power of prayer in your statement indicates your belief in the prayer of petition. You asked God for some help you needed. God does answer prayer, but sometimes not the answer, which we petitioned him. Whatever the reason, God knows what is best.
  • When one prays, they must have no doubt of the outcome. When Jesus healed people, He had no doubt he could heal them. He did not ask God to heal them, he THANKED God for healing them. It is one thing to sort of believe on the outside your prayers will come true, it is another to KNOW for a fact that your prayers will be answered. If one has no doubt about it, knows for certain that what he desires to come true, is thankful for the action ecen before it happens because he KNOWS God can deliver, true miracle can and do happen. One must stop doubting the true miracles prayer can perform. One must be certain, have not even a semblance of doubt - and prayers will be answered, are answered. Also, one must remember that we are eternal. It is very sad to lose someone you love, yet the sadness is ours because we will miss them. Their spirit lives on, and will for eternity, God promised us that. It is very hard to do, but one must try to take that experience and make it their own, examine the feelings of it every way they can, then, the hardest part of it all, understand that it happened for a reason, even an "accident" and try to garner what you are supposed to learn from that experience. Just remember, have no doubt about it, we are eternal. The human body you knew may be gone, but that spirit will live on forever and ever and ever.
  • To me this has to do with the "Thy will be done" part of the Lord's prayer. We can pray and ask for things and God DOES answer prayer but the answers always come in the context of His will. I could pray very hard that a briefcase containing a million dollars would materialize on the floor next to me but odds are slim it'd ever happen.
  • Your chances of getting an answer from any of the many man-gods like jesus is impossible. Don't assume that dead man-gods have any power to answer any prayer.
  • Although I do not know what you were going through and it is none of my business, I know that God knew. Maybe He did answer your prayer but not in the way you expected. It may not have been His will. Or, probably most important of all, did you have your faith in Him? Were you and are you one of His own? I hope that this may help. Thank you and God bless you!
  • It depends on what kind of prayer you prayed & the condition of your belief... Not every prayer goes answered if it is something that you will spoil... Also the way you word your question without giving more information is shady at best...
  • Empty prayer will be given an empty answer ... how full of belief and how strong of faith was the prayer offered in ... ??? ... just mouthing the words is a waste of breath ... also, was the prayer a display of how you only think of yourself, asking for a gift with YOU at the center of your world, or was it asking God for a way to help you glorify God, by making you a better you, so you may serve him better ... in other words, did you ask for a free hand out, or a loan to be repaid with interest ... ???
  • I don't mean to sound mean but god helps the good not the evil so may be u were evil. I'm a christain but I don't worry a whole alot about what sins I does, most people does things that the bible goes agaisnt like for example having sex before marriage.
  • God answers all prayers. God knows what we need more than we due. God answers prayers with a yes, no, and or wait, ect. Just becuase we may not get what we prayed for means God answered with a no or a wait. We may get what we prayed for but at a later time. We may also get what we prayed for right away. Normally whe God answers with a wait or a no, some people believe or think God did not answers prayers. I also know that it is all in God's timing not ours. I hope this helps with your question. May God be with you and Bless you.
  • The answer was no.
  • There is power in prayer. Maybe what you were asking for was not what you truely needed. I feel that God is wise and loving and all he does and doesn't do is for our good. Just because we want something, it may not be what we need. James: 4:3 Have the right purpose. I also believe there is a way one should pray: 1. Luke 11:2 Address your prayer to God 2. John 14:6, 14 Ask for these things in Jesus name, recognizing as a sinful human you need his intercession on your behalf. 3. 1 John 3:22 Must be pleasing to God 4. 1 John 5:14 *According to God's will* Don't lose faith. Keep praying.
  • what did you want
  • God answers in three ways: yes,no,and wait a while. so although you didn't get the answer you wanted, He still answered you.we don't always know why things happen, but they do always happen for a reason.
  • Prayer doesn't work, that's why. Speaking to an imaginary being or force in your mind does not make you better. 95% of people diagnosed with lung cancer die within 2 years. 20 people are diagnosed, they all pray, 19 die, the last person thinks that prayer saved them. Did the other 19 not pray hard enough? Did they not deserve to live? These are the kind of dilemmas you will get stuck thinking about if you buy into this garbage. And anything that people pray for to get better, sicknesses, cancers, etc etc, they are all things that have a chance of getting better anyway. There is an age-old argument that nobody has ever regrown a limb due to prayer, or returned someone from being braindead. All praying is doing is lying to yourself about reality in a cheap effort to make yourself feel better. It's a tool for weak people that don't know how to deal with the reality of a finite existence of little importance in the universe(aka our pointless lives on an insignificant rock that is transparent to the rest of the universe).
  • it could have been for many things. but you have to keep in mind taht things happen for a reason even when you don't think so.
  • Are you use to getting everything you ask for?
  • I bet it was answered, but not in the way you wanted it.
  • Whatever happened to you was part of Gods plan and it was meant to happen that way. God does not always answer prayers. And there are many times that God does answer our prayers, but we dont realize it becasue it was not answered the way we wanted it to be answered. For instance... You may pray for money one night and find a dime on the sidewalk the next day.
  • Because God isn't a vending machine. You don't put your prayer in and get what you always want out of it. But He does listen, and he does answer.
  • It is impossible to answer without knowing what the prayer was or without being God Himself and so I suggest that you ask Him. If He truly exists I am sure that He will make known to you the answer if you truly want to know! The problem with questions like this is very often the questioner is more interested in knocking people of faith than receiving an answer. I do not judge your reasons only you and God know that.
  • It was not His divine will that your prayer would be answered. He alone can see the larger picture and knows what is in your best interest. We often don't know what we need when we are 40. You would not know at 12. God was saving you from yourself.
  • When you ask God for something, he doesn't always have to agree with you, or respond on your schedule. Trust in God; he knows more than you do.
  • I am not catholic or christian(i'm not sure if theres a difference between the two actualy) but I'm spiritual. I believe thatthe source doesn't come from outside of yourself(the source of prayer). It comes from what you can yourself do about things, and what your mind understands through what you tell yourself, and from mind linking togethere with an intention so strong that it brings help along the way. God to me is an inner source, and it doesn't work like magic..(and prayer).. it is a way of knowing better things are to come, or/and reassuring yourself that you can make better things happen,ad that people are on your side, sometimes wether those truths show themselves at 1st or even if it takes a while for you to actually feel it. If you say, i want a bike, and it doesn't come, that doesn't mean "god" was bad to you" bedause there is no one in the sky who is supposed to be bringing you a bike.. you would have to will it with others help and visualization..which is about energies connecting through what we ask of the universe. And lets say you wanted someone who is sick to get better..it would be wise to pray for there protection wether they live or die..becaues each person is responsible in a sense ofr there own lives and if that person as meant to be sick i htae to sound cold but thats what there doing now(not to say at all that they deserve it because the don't.)I like seeing things this way rather than a person up in the sky neways because it is more reassuring..you dont have to rely on anyone but the power of yourself and the help of people who are really with you..rather than some unidentified thing that controls us. its the other way around you have the positive control and prayer works mysterioiusly..and its ok to not realize that until its brought to your attention somewhere along your path, like possibly now. And good more you for being open-minded and asking.And with prayer, things don't always turn out how we expect them too yet there is alwys a reason things are the way they are. resaerching info on the celestian prophecy(such as celestinevision.com, could help you with that.) goodluck :-)
  • god always answers prayer but it isnt always in the way we expect sometimetimes we can relect on our experiances years laterr and we can see god had his hand on the situation sometimes our faith has to be stretched
  • mmm...i know what you feel like. kind of. im christian but had a bit of a relapse about 2 years ago because my mom passed away from cancer. i prayed, the church prayed, my friends prayed - but she still died and it was horrible and i was very angry. now looking back i realise that the greater plan of God. i dont know what happened to you but i do feel it my duty to tell you (cliche as it must definately sound) that whatever happened for a reason. I now know that if the whole thing with my mom didnt happened i would not have been able to comfort and help 2 of my friends who also lost relatives to cancer last year. i am now able to help others. i started praying again and talking to God daily - if you have a real relationship with God He will help you and guide you through anything that crosses your life path. i found a site recently that helped me a lot with growing in my relationship with God - if you want to have a look. if not i really hope that you can work through what you have gone through! http://pray.theopenprayer.com/ http://howtopray.theopenprayer.com/
  • easy. god doesn't exist.
  • Not enough information to determine if perhaps your prayer was answered or not.....anyway, there is no promise anywhere in the Bible (assuming you prayed as a christian)tht we will be INFORMED of the results (or non-)of any prayers, let alone those prayers of request. Life can certainly suck sometimes -
  • sometimes it yes and no and wait its hard to understand when we dont get answers straight away but sometimes as a parent when our children ask for something we give the same answers as GOD yes no or wait. sometimes GOD looks at things different from us, a friend of ours has had her leg taken off at the hip and she has mrsa people have prayed for a full healing and yet nothing and yet through all this she still goes on telling people how much GOD has done in her life and still doing. remember he knows best
  • God does hear our prayers but he is not just someone to go to when we're in trouble and expect something to fall into our laps out of the sky or expect a miracle. Sometimes he does work in miraculous ways but he also works in the way that he knows is best, being an all-knowing God. Sometimes he says 'yes', other times 'no' and still other times he'll say 'wait'. If people could just pray and have things turn out exactly the way they wanted, I know that everyone would be a Christian. But it isn't like that. And sometimes it can be hard to understand but God is all-knowing and all-wise and he works all things for the good of those who love him (Romans 8:28). Life will never be free of hardship, but eternal life in God's presence will be free of all pain and misery and sadness. But God still cares about what is happening to you right now and when you were 12 and when you are eighty he'll still care. Be persistent in prayer and ask yourself when you pray if you are praying for something that is in tune with God's will, which is good and perfect always. Remember this in times when you struggle with doubt: God is good all the time. All the time God is good.
  • Matthew 21:22 says "and ALL things, whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, BELIEVING, ye shall receive" (KJV) (I put the CAPS there to point out those key words) Some peeps will say a prayer thinking that they have accomplished all of their responsability but wait...re-read the promise..one must BELIEVE and then God will deliver on his part.
  • I guess that depends on if you view God as a magical wish granting genie, or actually trust that He knows what's best for you better than you do.
  • no is an answer to
  • Some Doctrine on Prayer may help U find Answers. Enjoy! John DOCTRINE OF PRAYER A. Introduction. 1. You cannot con God in prayer. a. We do not use prayer to hire God to do what we want done. b. Too many believers use prayer to get their own way, not God's way. c. Prayer must be compatible with God's will and God's way, not our will and our way. d. Prayer must recognize who and what God is, not who and what we are. e. Prayer is not designed to get us out of trouble but to express our helplessness, our humility, our total dependence on God rather than on human ability and power, and our recognition and orientation to His grace and His mercy toward us. f. Prayer is not designed to manipulate God but to conform to the will of God. g. Prayer is not what we want but what God wants for us. 2. Prayer is not designed to fulfill our desires and lusts. a. The believer who fails in prayer is a sleepwalker through life. b. Prayer is an expression and extension of Bible doctrine resident in the stream of consciousness of the soul. We fail in prayer because we fail to understand and utilize Bible doctrine. c. Prayer was never designed to fulfill our lusts and desires but prayer was designed to fulfill the will, plan, and purpose of God for our lives and to give us access to heaven while still living on earth. Too many prayers are expressions of what you want, not what God wants. To express the will of God in your prayers, you have to come to know what the will of God is or how to ask for the will of God instead of your own will. d. Because we have related prayer to our personal desires and lust pattern, we have acquired false values related both to our lives and to the prayers we present to God e. For this reason, our Lord Jesus Christ as our High Priest makes intersession for us at the right hand of the Father, Heb 7:24-25, "On the other hand, He abides forever; consequently, He holds His priesthood permanently. Therefore, He is able to deliver completely those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for us." The fact that our Lord always makes intercession for us indicates that we have not completely understood the doctrine of prayer. f. This also explains why God the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings too deep for words, Rom 8:26-27, "And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He [F] who searches the hearts knows what is the thinking of the Spirit, because He [HS] intercedes for the saints according to the will of God." Our prayers often fail simply because of lack of concentration. We fail to concentrate on doctrine in the power of the Spirit which reflects our failure to concentrate in prayer in the power of this same Holy Spirit We fail in prayer because we fail to metabolize and utilize Bible doctrine. 3. Principles of Prayer Related to our Priesthood. a. The Church Age is the dispensation of the universal priesthood of the believer. Every believer is a priest, both male and female. 1 Pet 2:5, every believer is a holy priest. 1 Pet 2:9, every believer is a royal priest. Rev 1:6, 20:5, every believer is a part of a kingdom of priests. b. One of our great priestly functions is prayer. When you pray for others, you enter into their ministry. c. Two persons of the Trinity are involved in prayer for us: Jesus Christ in hypostatic union in His human nature as our High Priest remembers us in prayer, and God the Holy Spirit who prays for us with groanings too great for words. d. The believer has the privilege of intercessory prayer. One of the greatest acts of intercession for an entire nation was made by Moses, Ex 32:9-16 and Num 14:11-12. Jesus Christ on the Cross prayed in Lk 23:34 the greatest intercessory prayers of all time, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." Prayer is a part of Christian service, and as such, prayer must comply with the doctrinal principles of Christian service. Since every believer is in fulltime Christian service, he should express in prayer the concepts related to that service; therefore, his intercession for others will be divine good rather than human good or dead works. The principles of Christian service apply to every prayer just as much as they do to witnessing or to the fact that your job is a part of Christian service. e. The principle of prayer is based on two doctrines of Scripture: the postsalvation spiritual life, defined as harmonious rapport with God, and the integrity of God is the source of all answers to prayer on the one hand and the explanation why other prayers are not answered. f. We fail in prayer, because in the malfunction of our spiritual life we do not understand the will and plan of God for our lives; therefore, the importance of prayer being compatible with the protocol plan of God for the Church. g. We fail in prayer because we fail to rebound when we sin. Therefore when perpetual carnality sets in, it is inevitable that we get into such serious discipline and so many problems that we start praying to God for help and our prayers do not get to the throne of grace. h. Only the emergency procedure of rebound as outlined in 1 Jn 1:9 can correct that situation. Without rebound there is not spiritual life. i. Spiritual skills must precede production skills for an effective prayer life. (1) Spiritual skills include: the filling of the Holy Spirit, cognition and inculcation of Bible doctrine, and the execution of the protocol plan of God. (2) Spiritual growth increases the power of prayer in your life. Therefore, our spiritual advance through perception, metabolization, and application of doctrine is directly related to our prayer life as a part of our Christian service. (3) The more you learn about the will of God from Bible doctrine, the more effective your prayer life will be. The effectiveness of prayer is related, therefore, to the function of spiritual skills preceding production skills in the performance of Christian service and divine good. Production skills minus spiritual skills equal the performance of human good and dead works in prayer. The key to prayer is the attainment of the spiritual skills: the filling of the Spirit, cognition of Bible doctrine, and execution of the protocol plan of God. B. Definition and Description. 1. Prayer is that function of the royal priesthood whereby the Church Age believer has access and privilege to present two categories of requests to God the Father. a. Petitions--prayers for yourself. b. Intercessory prayers--prayers for others. Your prayer for others becomes a ministry, whereas your prayer for yourself indicates either lack of understanding of the problem solving devices or the failure to properly utilize them in your royal priesthood. 2. This study deals only with the believer's devout supplications and entreaty to God the Father and does not cover prayer to Jesus Christ or the Holy Spirit, which is not authorized, or to any object of worship such as to an angel, saint, idol, cow, etc. 3. Therefore, ignoring all human traditions of religion and the false concepts of speculation which have developed in human history, this study only considers what the Bible has to say about prayer. 4. As part of equal privilege of election, the Church Age believer is a royal priest, and because this is true there has never before in history been such an emphasis on every believer entering into prayer. It is the unique function of the royal priesthood and the equal privilege and opportunity for every believer to have an effective ministry. The most effective service is invisible service such as prayer. a. In past dispensations, there were specialized priesthoods in which certain people functioned as priests. A priest is a person representing the human race (believers) to God. b. Any system of specialized priesthood in the Church Age is a false system. All believers in the Church Age are catholic priests. c. You have the right to represent yourself before God the Father in the name of the Son and through the power of the Spirit. You also have the right to spiritual privacy. 5. From the royal priesthood originates prayers to God the Father as the recipient of all prayers. 6. God the Father, the recipient of prayer, receives prayer from three sources in the Church Age. a. From God the Son, Heb 7:25. b. From God the Holy Spirit, Rom 8:26-27. God the Holy Spirit prays for you when you need help and don't know you need help. He also prays for people who cannot pray for themselves, i.e., for the hopeless, the helpless, the useless, e.g., believers on drugs. This is probably unique to the Church Age and related to the function of the omnipotence of the Holy Spirit on our behalf. c. From Church Age believers as royal priests. Heb 4:16, "Let us be approaching the throne of grace with confidence that we may receive mercy and acquire grace with reference to seasonable help." 7. Prayer is communication with God for the expression of personal needs in petition and the function of intercession for others. 8. The approach to prayer is a part of the protocol of the royal family of God and has a precisely correct procedure. a. All prayer is offered to God the Father, not to Jesus Christ or to the Holy Spirit. Any prayer offered to Christ is automatically cancelled, since it fails to follow God's protocol for prayer. This is illustrated by the model prayer for the disciples, Mt 6:9; Eph 1:17, 3:14; 1 Pet 1:17. b. Prayer is addressed in the name of or through the channel of the Son, Jn 14:13-14; Heb 7:25. c. All prayer is made through the enabling power (filling) of God the Holy Spirit, Eph 6:18. 9. Prayer is related to the omniscience of God. Isa 65:24, "Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking, I will hear." God hears the prayer twice: in eternity past, and at the time of the prayer. Prayers and their answers were entered into the divine decrees, so that answers, rejections, petitions, interjections, and desires are all printouts of the decrees in the foreknowledge of God. God knew and answered all your prayers in eternity past. 10. All answered prayer is part of your portfolio of invisible assets. There is a direct relationship between your prayer life and your portfolio of invisible assets. As a primary asset under our computer assets, prayer is a part of our equal privilege of election, a part of our royal priesthood. As a secondary asset, prayer is a part of our Christian production. Prayer is a ministry designed for every believer. Each Church Age believer has the privilege and the right to enter into intercessory prayer for others which is an actual ministry. 11. Therefore, prayer is one of the most powerful and effective functions in all of history. Prayer is an invisible power directed toward invisible God in relationship to our invisible assets. Prayer is most effective when used by invisible heroes, i.e., believers who have attained spiritual maturity. 12. The more you grow in grace, the greater your spiritual growth, the greater your effectiveness in your prayer life. Effectiveness is not measured in terms of your eloquence when praying in public, but on the basis of your spiritual growth when praying in private. a. The power of prayer increases as the believer advances in the protocol plan of God for the Church Age. b. Accurate and effective prayer is associated with the three stages of spiritual adulthood: spiritual self-esteem, spiritual autonomy, and spiritual maturity. 13. Christ's prayer in the garden, "let this cup pass from Me," could not be answered because the very purpose for the Hypostatic Union was to bear our sins. This was the only prayer Christ ever offered that was not answered. C. The Prayer Mandate. 1. Prayer is mandated for all dispensations. While the mandate for prayer precedes the existence of the Church Age, as in certain Old Testament passages, the New Testament records a separate mandate related to prayer. The Old Testament mandate is found in Ps 116:1-2 and Jer 33:3, "Call upon Me and I will tell you great and mighty things which you do not known." 2. Prayer was at an all-time low just prior to the Church Age. Our Lord encouraged prayer in the interim between the First Advent and the Church Age (the fifty days between the resurrection and Pentecost). Mt 7:7-8, "Keep asking, keep seeking, keep knocking." Jn 15:7, "Ask whatever you wish and it shall be done for you." Since the disciples did not ask, Christ breathed on them the Holy Spirit. 3. The Church Age mandate for a consistent daily prayer life is found in 1 Thes 5:17, "Pray continually" is a mandate for both habitual and spontaneous prayer. Hence this verse can be translated, "Make it a habit of prayer." a. The present middle imperative from the verb PROSEUCHOMAI means "to pray." The gnomic present refers to a state which perpetually exists-- the function of prayer is true for all time, past, present, and future. The dynamic middle indicates that the subject, the believer, acts for himself with reference to himself and others, emphasizing the believer as the subject producing the action. The imperative mood is a command for all Church Age believers. b. The adverb of time ADIALEIPTOS is mistranslated "without ceasing." It means "unceasingly; continually." This does not mean non-stop prayer, but constant recurring prayer. There is habitual prayer at certain times and spontaneous prayer at other times. c. The best translation is "Make it a habit of prayer." 4. In the spiritual life you are always in a position to offer prayer. Eph 6:18, "By means of all prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit [the filling of the Spirit], and with this in view, be alert in prayer for all the saints with persistance and petition." In the spiritual life, you have alertness for when prayer is needed. This is ordering you to make prayer a habit. 5. Phil 4:6-7, "Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your request be known to God. And the peace of God which passes all understanding shall garrison your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus." Thanksgiving is your capacity for appreciation and a part of the function of impersonal love. 6. You cannot divorce the faith-rest drill from prayer. Prayer demands faith, Mt 21:22. Mk 11:24, "All things for which you ask in prayer, believe that you shall receive them, and they shall be given to you." Without the faith-rest drill, prayer doesn't work. 7. The key to effective prayer is understanding and making application from your portfolio of invisible assets. Effective prayer is related to executing the mandates of the spiritual life. 1 Jn 3:22, "Whatever we ask, we shall continue to receive from Him, because we continue to execute His mandates and keep on doing what is pleasing in His sight." D. Effective prayer is related to spiritual adulthood. 1. Confidence and effectiveness in prayer exists when the believer has advanced to spiritual adulthood. a. Confidence is a virtue directed toward God. Confidence in prayer is dependent upon knowledge of God's will. Therefore, effectiveness of prayer must relate to cognizance of the will of God. b. 1 Jn 5:14-15, "And this is the confidence which we have face- to-face with Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask [and He does], we know that we have the request which we have asked from Him." This is really a prayer promise for the believer who has reached spiritual adulthood. c. At spiritual self-esteem we have that cognitive self- confidence to make all of our prayers effective. 2. Confidence in prayer starts at the point of spiritual self-esteem, and continues with maximum effectiveness in spiritual autonomy and reaches its peak in spiritual maturity. Heb 4:16, "Therefore, let us be approaching the throne of grace with confidence, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need." Efficacious prayer exists only to the extent that the believer is grace oriented. 3. For the believer in spiritual childhood, effective prayer is related to the several factors. a. Prayer cannot be effective unless the believer has harmonious rapport with God. Ps 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me." The function of the filling of the Holy Spirit is a prerequisite of all prayer petition and intercession, Eph 6:18. b. The function of the faith-rest drill. Mt 21:22, "All things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." Mk 11:24, "Therefore, I say to you, `All things for which you ask and pray, believe that you shall receive them, and they shall be given to you.'" 4. The most effective prayer life begins in spiritual adulthood, since the believer now has a thorough understanding of God's will and his prayers comply with God's will. 1 Jn 5:14, "If we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." 5. Until the believer attains spiritual adulthood at spiritual self- esteem, his prayers will be semi-effective at best. Prayer is virtue dependent. Spiritual self-esteem is necessary for prayer effectiveness, Jer 33:3. In each stage of spiritual adulthood, the believer's power in prayer increases sensationally. In spiritual childhood your prayers are not very effective because most of your petitions are related to arrogance, and your intercessions are only for those people you like. But all intercessory prayers must be impersonal. The great power in intercessory prayer is impersonal love. Remember also that prayer does not give you momentum; it is not a cure-all. 6. The effectiveness of prayer and the mature believer. a. Ps 66:18-20, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. But in fact, God has heard me and He has given heed to the voice of my prayer. Blessed be God who has not turned away my prayer or His gracious mercy from me." This contrasts the believer in self-pity with the mature believer. Even when prayers are not going to be answered, He still heard all prayers in eternity past. b. Ps 116:1-4, "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He bent down and listened carefully to me, Therefore I will call to Him as long as I live. The snares of death encompassed me and the terrors of the grave have overpowered me; I am suffering anguish and distress. Then I kept calling on the person of the Lord: `O Lord, I beseech You, deliver my soul!'" This believer was dying and prayed for deliverance. The rest of the Psalm indicates his prayer was answered. The real power of prayer is between spiritual self-esteem ("I love the Lord") and maturity. 7. The promise to the believer in spiritual adulthood is found in Jn 15:7, "If you abide in Me, and My doctrines abide in you, whatever you wish shall be done for you." a. "If you abide in Me" refers to your very own spiritual life. b. The important phrase is "and My doctrines abide in you." This promise is not like a blank check on which you can write any amount you want. The key to prayer is doctrine first. When doctrine is in you, then you can "ask whatever you wish, and it shall be done for you." Because by that time, you'll have enough sense to know how to use the weapon of prayer effectively. 8. Every effective prayer is related to your portfolio of invisible assets, i.e., first, under the function of your royal priesthood, a primary asset, and secondly, under the function of Christian production, a secondary asset. One of the most important functions of your Christian service is your prayer life. 9. Every effective and answered prayer is a part of your very own prom chip programmed by God the Father in eternity past as a part of your portfolio of invisible assets. One of your evaluations at the Judgment Seat of Christ will be how many of your prayers were answered. 10. Rom 12:12, "Rejoicing in hope [hope 2 and 3], persevering in undeserved suffering, devoted to prayer." One of the signs of spiritual self-esteem is your devotion to prayer in your own life. Each stage of adulthood perseveres under its corresponding category of suffering for blessing. The combination of these things makes for a unique and fantastic function of the prayer life. E. Effective prayer is related to spiritual childhood. 1. The relationship between the effectiveness of prayer and the faith- rest drill is mentioned in many prayer promises. a. Mt 21:22, "In everything you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive." Believing refers to the first stage of the faith-rest drill. b. Jn 15:7, "If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish and it shall come to pass for you." c. Rom 12:12 emphasizes that there is great blessing for the believer who preserves in prayer. "Rejoicing in confidence, persevering in suffering, devoted to prayer." b. Mk 11:24, "Therefore I say to you, all things for which you ask in prayer, believe that you will receive them, and they will be given to you." This refers to the second stage of the faith-rest drill. 2. Effective prayer begins in spiritual childhood with problem solving devices like the faith-rest drill with dynamic impact as you grow in grace. You can have effective prayer in spiritual childhood. But like everything else in spiritual childhood, it is limited and does not peak out until you reach spiritual adulthood. 3. Effective prayer is a part of our portfolio of invisible assets. Effective prayer is related to your royal priesthood, the integrity of God, and your spiritual life. An effective prayer life is an extension of your spiritual life. Three problem solving devices begun in spiritual childhood have a definite impact on the effectiveness of your prayer life: the rebound technique, the filling of the Spirit, and the faith-rest drill. These, along with your persistence in the spiritual life, determine your prayer effectiveness. 4. Prayer cannot be effective unless the believer is under the enabling power of the Spirit and consistent momentum from metabolized doctrine. Metabolized doctrine will help you to understand both the limitations of your prayer life and the fantastic opportunities of your prayer life. It will limit you in some of your petitions, but it will expand your prayer life in intercessions. With these two areas of prayer correct, you will have a fantastic prayer life and you will enjoy every minute of it! 5. Effective prayer depends upon knowing what you're doing. 1 Jn 3:22, "Furthermore, whatever we have asked we have received from Him because we continue to execute His mandates, and we keep on doing what is pleasing in His sight [spiritual adulthood]." 6. The result of rebound in prayer is noted in Phil 4:6, "Stop worrying about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Worry is mentioned because it's a malfunction of the faith-rest drill, as well as a sign that you're in the cosmic system. Anything that causes malfunction in the faith- rest drill also means malfunction in your prayer life. The faith-rest drill makes your prayers effective long before you've learned enough doctrine to know what's going on in the Christian life. All mental attitude sins are destructive to effective prayer life; they must be eradicated by rebound and the faith-rest drill. 7. Jude 20, "Praying by means of the Holy Spirit." This emphasizes the importance of the power of God in prayer. F. Why the believer's prayers are not answered. 1. The fundamental reason why prayer is not answered is because the believer is under the control of the sin nature. In a state of sin, your prayers cannot be heard or answered. General reasons for failure in prayer are always related to carnality, being out of fellowship, or residence in the cosmic system. Ps 66:18, "If I cherish iniquity in my stream of consciousness, the Lord will not listen to me." a. "Cherishing iniquity" means not rebounding. Rebound is a non- protocol prayer. Rebound is a recovery procedure. Rebound does not belong to the spiritual life. Rebound must precede all divine mandates of prayer, whether the mandates are in the Old or New Testament. Rebound is a non- protocol prayer as an emergency procedure to get back into fellowship with God immediately. b. In carnality the believer grieves (Eph 6:18) and quenches the Spirit (1 Thes 5:19) and your prayers cannot be heard. The only prayer which can be heard is rebound, which is the private confession of your sins to God; in that sense, it is a prayer. c. What the righteousness of God approves (personal prayer on behalf of self and on behalf of others), the justice of God answers through the love of God expressed through the grace of God, when the believer has rebounded. What the righteousness of God disapproves (the believer praying in a state of sin or in perpetual carnality), the justice of God does not answer. But the love of God proves the solution and the means of effective prayer through the grace of God, Ps 66:19-20, "But in fact God has listened; He paid close attention to the voice of my prayer. Blessed God, who has not rejected my prayer nor His gracious love for me." Between verse 18 and verse 19 is rebound. (1) From the standpoint of the believer, the effectiveness of the believer's prayer is living the spiritual life. (2) From the standpoint of God, the effective of the believer's prayer is related to the integrity of God. (3) God is eternally blessed with the integrity and power to answer prayer. God is endued with the divine ability to answer prayer from the essence of God with emphasis on divine integrity and omnipotence. 2. Another reason for malfunction of prayer is always related to the believer's rejection of Bible doctrine. Whatever your reason for rejecting doctrine, it means you have no understanding of the mechanics of prayer. Only Bible doctrine teaches the mechanics of prayer; only Bible doctrine teaches the will of God. Your prayers must comply with the will of God, and must follow the precisely correct protocol procedure for prayer. 3. Indifference to or rejection of Bible doctrine produces three categories of ignorance which guarantee the malfunction of your prayer life. a. Ignorance because of indifference to doctrine. b. Ignorance because of wrong priorities. If wrong priorities persist in your spiritual life, you'll become a loser with no prayer life. c. Ignorance because of the arrogance complex of sins: jealousy, bitterness, vindictiveness, implacability, hatred, self-pity, inordinate ambition, inordinate competition, vilification, slander, maligning, judging, creating the public lie, revenge motivation and modus operandi. Arrogant believers never get through to the throne of grace. 4. The positive side of why prayer is not answered, 1 Jn 3:22, "Furthermore, whatever we have asked, we receive from Him, because we continue to execute His mandates, and we keep on doing what is pleasing in His sight." a. Therefore, prayer is related to your fulfillment of the protocol plan of God and the execution of the Christian way of life. Prayer becomes more and more effective as we execute His mandates. You can have effective prayer right from the start of your spiritual life if you execute His mandates. But to become a great prayer warrior demands your daily intake of doctrine and the daily use of the problem solving devices you have learned. Then you don't depend on others to solve your problems, but you handle your own problems from the doctrinal techniques you've been taught. b. To do "what is pleasing in His sight" describes spiritual adulthood when the believer reaches the peak in his prayer life. c. Hence, failure to execute His mandates and to attain spiritual adulthood ("do what is pleasing in His sight") impedes, obstructs, inhibits, and undermines all effective prayer. 5. The least known of all reasons for unanswered prayer is malfunction in marriage or lack of domestic tranquility. 1 Pet 3:7, "Likewise you husbands, live with your wives on the basis of special knowledge as with a weaker vessel, since she is a woman, and show her respect as a fellow heir of the grace of life, so that your prayers may not be hindered." a. Note that when there is a domestic problem, the husband is not commanded to love (as he is elsewhere in Scripture where no problem exists), but he is commanded to live with His wife on the basis of knowledge, that is, knowledge of pertinent doctrine. The word GNOSIS has a special use. It means "special knowledge." There is a special knowledge required by the husband about his wife in marriage--the fact that she is a weaker vessel. b. The woman is a weaker vessel since she is designed by God as a responder. The weakness comes from the woman becoming either a reactor to the right man or a responder to the wrong man. Being a responder explains why the woman must be under more authority than the man. The application is that an uncontrolled woman is an unhappy woman. An uncontrolled woman also becomes a troublemaker, whether she wants to or not. When the woman has nothing to which to respond her sin nature gets out of control and she reacts. c. Personal love for people is not a problem solving device. Only knowledge of doctrine and resultant virtue can solve domestic problems. d. Failure in your marital life spills over into failure in your prayer life. Failure in your prayer life simply reflects failure in your spiritual life. e. Believers in marriage need to pray for each other. f. 1 Pet 4:7-8, "The end of all things [the Rapture] has drawn near; therefore, be of sound mind and exercise self-restraint for the purpose of prayer. Above all, keep on having ernest love for each other, because love covers a multitude of sins." The least you can do is have virtue love within your own family. 6. Of all the categories of sin and carnality which hinder effective prayer, arrogance is the number one cause of failure, not only in prayer, but in the spiritual life. It is the number one reason why people are not teachable, why people are not malleable, and why people do not profit from suffering. We produce our own arrogance without any help from anyone else, for we all have an old sin nature which daily knocks at the door and says, "How about a little arrogance?" Job 35:12-13, "They cry out, but He [God] does not answer because of the arrogance of evil persons. Surely God will not listen to a phony [empty] cry, nor will the Almighty regard it." 7. Prayer is not answered because of lust, criminality, jealousy, and false motivation, which neutralize prayer. Jam 4:2-3 is addressed to believers: "You lust and do not have [what you want], so you commit murder. Also, you are jealous and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask [in prayer] and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on pleasures." a. The point is that lust and murder, jealousy and fighting are the wrong way to get what you want. Ask! But then, if you ask from wrong motives, you won't get it either. b. Lust is a wrong motive for prayer. When you don't get what you want, you commit murder in frustration; the failure of your prayer life has resulted in criminality. c. Jealousy is a also a wrong motive for prayer. If you're jealous of your friend or loved one, your relationship will never work because you're constantly trying to bend them to your way. Since you can't obtain through jealousy, you fight and quarrel. Lust and jealousy as wrong motives both come from wanting things for your pleasure. d. The whole system of failure in prayer becomes failure in the protocol plan. 8. When the client nation is under the cycles of discipline, prayer for deliverance cannot be answered. This is because the justice of God is going to remove that nation. Lam 3:44, "You have covered yourself with a cloud [negative volition] so that no prayer can get through." 9. Malfunction of the faith-rest drill in prayer means the malfunction of effective prayer. a. Mk 11:24, "I say to you, all things for which you ask and pray, believe that you shall receive them, and you shall be given them." With the malfunction of faith-rest drill and prayer, your life eventually malfunctions. Prayer is an index to your spiritual life. Prayer is something that all believers are commanded to do. If you're not praying correctly or fail in prayer for any reason, that means there's some problem in your spiritual life; there's some kink, some syndrome, some arrogance, some problem. The problem will overflow to every aspect of your life. b. James 5:15, "The prayer offered in faith will deliver the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up." 10. Imprecatory prayers are legal and valid for other dispensations, but not for the Church Age believer. Therefore, imprecatory prayers are not answered by God. 11. One of the greatest problems related to prayer is concentration. All forms of worship are a concentration test. This test can be divided into three categories. a. Concentration on the teaching of doctrine. This reflects your values, your motivation, your spiritual condition, and your spiritual status quo. Bible doctrine should have number one priority. b. Concentration in the communion service. The communion service is a reflection of the person and work of Christ. c. Concentration in your personal and private prayers, during public prayers when others are praying, and in your petitions and intercessions. Prayer is a challenge to concentration. (1) The pattern of concentration in all forms of worship is established in the function of Operation Z--your perception, metabolization, and application of Bible doctrine. If you can concentrate on Bible doctrine in time of stress, adversity, or even in time of prosperity, then you can concentrate in prayer. (2) There is a direct relationship between concentration in Bible study under the ministry of the Holy Spirit and concentration in prayer under the ministry of the Holy Spirit. G. The Mechanics of Prayer. 1. Public prayer should be short and should avoid repetition. Mt 6:7, "And when you are praying [publicly], do not use meaningless repetition, as Gentiles do, for they assume that they will be heard for their many words." God is not impressed with verbiage. Remember, "God does not look on the outward appearance, but on the right lobe." You cannot impress people and God at the same time with your prayers. In public prayer, you always add the principles of impersonal love, flexibility and thoughtfulness of others. You must be thoughtful of others in prayer who are gathered with you. 2. Long prayers should be reserved for private intercession and petition. Mt 6:6, "But when you pray, go into your private room, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father, who sees in secret, will provide for you." 3. There is an agenda for your private prayer. a. Confession of sin (1 Jn 1:9), if necessary, to ensure the filling of the Spirit. Only prayer offered in the status quo of the filling of the Spirit will be heard. b. Thanksgiving expresses the concept of worship in private prayer. Eph 5:20, "Always giving thanks to God the Father for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Thes 5:18, "In everything give thanks, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus." Capacity for thanksgiving comes from your personal love for God and your impersonal love for others. Capacity for thanksgiving increases as you grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is hard to stay alert when you are in a routine situation, doing the same thing over and over again. Your thanksgiving to God is a part of your personal love for God. The more you love God and the more you appreciate Him, the greater your thanksgiving, and the greater your alertness in prayer. c. Intercession is praying for others, Eph 6:18; 1 Kg 18; James 5:16-18. This is a spiritual ministry. It requires that you have your own private prayer list. d. Petition is praying for your own needs and situations where you are confused and have not yet learned a problem solving device for that situation. Therefore, it is prayer offered on behalf of self, as per Heb 4:16. "Approach boldly the throne of grace, that we might obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." To approach boldly means you approach in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4. Part of the mechanics of prayer is concentration. Concentration is a function of the filling of the Spirit, positive volition, and motivation. H. There are special prayers. 1. The sanctification of food or saying "grace" before meals is a special prayer, 1 Tim 4:4-5. This is a mandate for all believers. "For everything created by God is good for food, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude. For it is sanctified by means of the Word of God and prayer." a. There may be ingredients in the food that are very harmful, but offering this special prayer will protect you. b. Grace before meals has a two-fold purpose. (1) The expression of gratitude to God for His logistical grace support, which includes food. (2) Sanctification of that food to eliminate any potential, harmful effects. 2. There is prayer for those in authority over us. As citizens of a client nation to God, this is a very important function for believers. 1 Tim 2:1-2, "First of all, therefore, I request [in the sense of a command] that petitions, prayers, intercessions, thanksgivings be made on behalf of all mankind; on behalf of kings [rulers] and all who are in authority, that we may lead an undisturbed and tranquil life in the entire spiritual life and integrity." a. "Petitions" can refer to urgent prayers for personal needs. Petition means earnest solicitations or entreaties. When "petition" is followed by the word "prayer," "prayer" refers to intercession. If you have the word "intercession," and you do not have the word "petition," then the word "prayer" refers to petitions. b. Verse one points out that there are certain people for whom we should express our thanksgiving to God in prayer. In addition, there is intercession on behalf of all mankind and petition for ourselves. Verse two gets specific--we are commanded to pray for governmental authority and all other authority. c. When you reach spiritual autonomy, this prayer really becomes effective. Having impersonal love gives you the ability to forget about the personality, the idiocy, the antagonism, and to actually pray for those people with whom you do not agree, who are leading our nation the wrong way, or who are damaging our client nation. Impersonal love gives you phenomenal power for such a prayer. The confidence to offer such a prayer comes from personal love for God. 3. There is prayer for the sick, Jas 5:15. 4. There is prayer for the unsaved, Rom 10:1. Paul prayed for the salvation of unbelieving Jews. Although you cannot pray that their volition will be coerced, you can pray that they will be exposed to the Gospel and have the opportunity to believe in Jesus Christ. 5. There is prayer for your enemies. Mt 5:44, "But I say to you, love your enemies [impersonal love], and pray for those who persecute you." This prayer reflects the phenomenal dynamics in spiritual autonomy from the confidence of spiritual self-esteem and the impersonal love of spiritual autonomy. 6. There is prayer for spiritual adulthood. a. Phil 1:9, "And this I pray, that your virtue-love may abound still more and more in metabolized doctrine and all discernment." (1) Paul is praying that virtue-love may abound still more. He is asking that the application will have a wider scope. The virtue-love is already there. He is not praying that someone reach spiritual adulthood. He is praying about someone who is already in spiritual adulthood. He is praying that their application of metabolized doctrine will have a wider scope, a more effective use of virtue-love. (2) Virtue-love is confidence from personal love for God and impersonal love toward man from spiritual autonomy. Virtue-love is not only a problem solving device used to pass momentum testing, but at the same time, it is maximum effectiveness in prayer. This is especially true for these categories of special prayers. b. Col 1:9, "For this reason, we also [Timothy, Titus, Luke, and Paul], from the day we heard [the Epaphras report--pastor at Colossae], we have not ceased to pray for you, and to ask that you might be filled with all metabolized doctrine of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding." Wisdom and spiritual understanding are characteristics of spiritual self-esteem and spiritual autonomy. 7. There is prayer for the communication and communicators of Bible doctrine; for pastor-teachers, missionaries, evangelists, 2 Thes 3:1; Heb 13:18. Col 4:2-3, "Devote yourselves to prayer; in it, keeping alert with an attitude of thanksgiving, praying at the same time for us [teachers of Bible doctrine] as well, that God may open up to us a door for the teaching of the Word [doctrine], so that we may communicate [teach] the mystery doctrine from Christ." 8. There is the prayer of widows, that is, ladies who become single either by the death, divorce, or abandonment of their husbands. 1 Tim 5:5, "Now she who is a widow and has been left alone, and has fixed her confidence on God [hope 2 and 3], she also continues in petitions and prayers [intercession] night and day." This special category of widows in spiritual adulthood can pray both night and day (more often than once a day) for themselves and for others. As a result of their very tranquil and uncomplicated life, they are able to be effective in continuous prayer on behalf of others. I. Prayer and the Protocol Principle of Precisely Correct Procedure. There is no place for sloppiness in prayer. Yet, that's exactly what we have today among believers--emotion, ignorance, stupidity, and sloppiness because we've ignored the Biblical principles that mandate precisely correct procedure. 1. All prayer is directed to God the Father. You never pray to God the Son or God the Holy Spirit, Mt 6:6,9; Eph 1:17, 3:14; 1 Pet 1:17. Furthermore, God the Son as our High Priest makes intercession for us at the right hand of the Father, Heb 7:25. God the Holy Spirit makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered, Rom 8:26-27. If God the Son and God the Holy Spirit offer prayer to God the Father, who are we to fail in this precisely correct procedure? 2. All prayer is offered through the channel of our great high priest, in the name of the Son, Jn 14:13-14. You can begin your prayer with the approach, "Heavenly Father, I'm coming in the name of the Son;" or you can conclude your prayer with "in Christ's name, Amen." Whichever, you must go through channels, for this is precisely correct procedure. There is no place for sloppiness in prayer. 3. All effective prayer is offered through the filling of the Spirit or the enabling power of the Spirit, Eph 6:18. Therefore, if your prayers are not offered inside the spiritual life, their trajectory or velocity falls short of heaven. 4. Protocol demands that the believer offer all prayers to God the Father in the name of the Son and in the power of the Spirit. 5. Prayer is a part of your portfolio of invisible assets. a. Under primary assets, prayer originates from the equal privilege of election. You are a royal priest; this gives you additional ability in prayer. There is nothing for which you cannot ask God on your own as a priest under the principles and restrictions noted, and in accordance with His will. b. Under secondary assets, effective prayer is a part of the production of the Christian life. c. Under your prom chip, all answered prayer is a part of your prom chip, programmed by the omniscience of God the Father in eternity past. 6. Accurate and effective prayer is one of the most powerful weapons in history. In prayer, the Christian takes the offensive against Satan in his world. 7. Prayer is not a system for controlling the lives of others. We cannot pray a prayer which violates the volition of someone else. The function of your royal priesthood is for the benefit of yourself and for the benefit of others, but it is not a system whereby you control others. 8. There is one non-protocol prayer which God hears--the function of rebound. God does not hear the prayers of the carnal Christian. Inasmuch as rebound is a recovery procedure from sin and reentry into the spiritual life, and since the mechanics of rebound demand naming our sins to God, it is obvious that acknowledging or naming our sins to God is the only prayer that God hears and answers when the believer is in a state of sin. a. There are three results of the rebound prayer: (1) Recovery of the filling of the Spirit. (2) Restoration to fellowship with God. (3) Resumption of your spiritual life. b. Rebound makes it possible to continue a life of prayer as part of your spiritual life. c. Prayer is an extension of the spiritual life. You are not spiritual because you pray; you pray because you are spiritual. Therefore, prayer is a result of the spiritual life; the spiritual life is not a result of prayer. J. The Dynamics of Intercessory Prayer. 1. The prayer of Elijah on Mount Carmel demonstrates the power of intercessory prayer for the nation, 1 Kg 18:42-46; Jas 5:16-18. 2. The power of prevailing prayer was exercised in the early church on behalf of Peter, who was in prison and about to be executed. Acts 12:5, "So Peter was being kept in prison, but fervent prayer was made for him to God by the church." The result of this prayer was Peter's dramatic deliverance. He was chained between two Roman soldiers. But with every Roman guard asleep, Peter simply walked out of the prison. All the Roman soldiers were executed for this; they were so evil that it was their time to die. 3. Prayer for unbelievers is legitimate and a part of your dynamics in intercessory prayer. Remember not to attempt to violate their volition by asking God to make them believe in Christ. Rom 10:1, "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them [Jews] is for their salvation." Do not let anyone tell you that you cannot pray for the unsaved. 4. Prayer for unknown believers, Col 1:3-12. This is a demonstration of the power of impersonal love in spiritual autonomy, because spiritual autonomy has the greatest motivation in praying for those who are enemies and for those who are unknown. This demonstrates the functional virtue of impersonal love, and therefore, the status of spiritual autonomy. 5. The true Lord's prayer is found in Jn 17, the most phenomenal prayer ever made. The disciples' prayer of Mt 6:9ff is a prayer only for Israel during Christ's incarnation. It asks for the institution of His millennial reign, and cannot be fulfilled until the Second Advent. Therefore, it doesn't apply in the Church Age. 6. The dynamics of Paul's intercessory prayers are seen in Eph 1:15-23 and 3:14-21. K. There are four categories of petition in prayer. When you offer a petition or prayer for yourself to God, there is the thing for which you ask, called the petition, and then behind that petition is your desire or motive for it. The four categories that follow show that God views both parts of your prayer as separate, and answers each part either positively or negatively. 1. Positive - Negative. Your petition is answered yes, but your desire behind it is answered no. For example, you pray to make a million dollars; yes, you'll make a million dollars, but no, you will not be happy. a. In 1 Sam 8:5-9 and 19-20, the Jews wanted to have a human king they could see (petition), so they could be like other nations (desire to be happy). God answered their petition yes, and permitted them to pick out their own king. They wanted someone who was taller, stronger and more handsome than the kings of the nations around them; by this criterion they picked Saul. Their desire to be happy with a human king was answered no; Saul turned out terrible and the Jews suffered miserably as a result. b. In Ps 106:13-15, the Jews were tired of the great divine provision of manna, the greatest health food ever. They longed for the Egyptian meat and food they used to eat. God answered their petition yes; He sent them quail. But the desire for satisfaction or "food happiness" was not answered; instead, they suffered terribly from it and thousands died. 2. Negative - Positive. The answer to the petition is no; the desire behind the petition is answered yes. Example: no, you will not make a million dollars, but yes, you will be happy. a. In Gen 17:18, Abraham prayed that Ishmael, the son of Hagar, might be his heir. God said no to Ishmael becoming his heir but yes to the desire behind it--to have an heir; for he eventually had Isaac. b. In Gen 18:23-33, Abraham prayed that God would spare Sodom. After bargaining with God, Abraham settled with asking God to spare Sodom if there were ten believers; he was sure there were at least ten believers in that large city of perhaps 200,000 people. He was wrong; there were only three believers. The petition to spare Sodom was answered no; the desire that Lot and his two daughters be preserved was answered yes. 3. Positive - Positive. Both the petition and desire are answered yes. a. In Judges 16:28, Samson was blinded and tied up in the temple of Dagon. "Then Samson called to the Lord and prayed saying, `O Lord Jehovah, please remember me and please strengthen me just one time, O God, that with one blow I may get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.'" Both his petition, to strike the Philistines, and his desire, revenge, were answered yes. Why? Not because God approves of revenge, but because of the degeneracy of the Philistines. Samson was the instrument that God used. He got his strength back, wrapped his arms around two pillars of the temple, and pulled the whole thing down on all of them. b. In 1 Kg 18, Elijah built an altar, dug a trench around it, and prepared a sacrifice for the Lord. Then he instructed that water be poured on the offering and on the wood three times. So much water was poured that it filled the trench. Elijah then prayed that God would light his offering on the altar with fire. God answered yes. 1 Kg 18:38, "Then the fire of God fell down and consumed the burnt offering, the wood, the stones, the dust, and also licked up the water in the trench." His desire was expressed in 1 Kg 18:36, "O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, today let it be known that You are the God of Israel and that I am your servant, and I have done all these things at Your Word." This was answered yes. c. In Lk 23:42-43 is the petition of the dying thief. "Then he kept saying, `Jesus, remember me when You come into your kingdom.'" This petition was answered yes. His desire was for salvation, and Jesus answered this affirmatively in verse 43: "Jesus replied to him, `I tell you the truth, today you will be with Me in paradise.'" d. In Jn 11:41-45, the petition was for the resuscitation of Lazarus, the desire was that the bystanders who witnessed this might be saved. Both petition and desire were answered yes. Verse 45, "Therefore, many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary saw what He had done, and they believed in Him." 4. Negative - Negative. The answer is no to both the petition and the desire; in other words, God doesn't answer either. a. Mt 26:36-46 is the illustration of why believer's prayers are not answered. When Jesus went to Gethsemane the night before His death to pray, the answer to His prayer in eternity past by God the Father was "No." (1) The three disciples who went with the Lord were to keep praying for our Lord as He prayed to the Father in a state of tremendous grief, verse 38. These disciples failed in their intercessory prayers for our Lord. (2) Our Lord asked that the suffering of bearing our sins on the Cross not happen, if it was possible. The protosis of this first class condition assumes that it is true that it is possible to remove the task of bearing our sins from our Lord, but the possibly does not imply the reality of the situation. "Nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will" indicates this is a first class condition of assumption. Our Lord prayed for one hour and we only have a one phrase summary of that hour. (3) In verse 42 our Lord faced the reality of bearing our sins on the Cross, "let Your will come to pass." (4) The petition, "Let this cup pass from Me" could not be answered by God the Father. Jesus Christ had to go to the Cross. This prayer was a negative-negative. There was a desire behind the petition which could not be fulfilled. The two negatives add up to a positive--our Lord went to the Cross as a substitute for us. (5) The answer to this prayer was not in deliverance of our Lord from the Cross, but in delivering Him on the Cross by His use of the doctrine in His soul as explained in Heb 12:2. When our Lord prayed in Gethsemane, "Your will be done", He understood that His deliverance would come from the doctrine in His soul while bearing our sins and that He would not be delivered from bearing our sins. b. In 2 Cor 12:7-10 Paul prayed three times that God would remove his thorn in the flesh. This was a prayer that could not be answered. The motivation was wrong and the prayer was wrong. "And for this reason, that I should not begin to become arrogant because of the extraordinary quality of revelations, I was given a thorn in the flesh, an angel from Satan that he might torment me, that I should not begin to become arrogant. Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. Then He assured me for my benefit, `My grace has been and still is sufficient for you. For My power is made operational in a state of weakness [human incapability to solve the problem; helplessness].' Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ [the operational spiritual life] may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ's sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong." (1) There is a reason for everything that happens to the believer. Paul was not out of fellowship. The prayer was not answered to teach Paul the importance of handling suffering for blessing with the problem solving devices. It is not wrong to pray for people that are sick and it is not wrong for people who are sick to pray for help, but remember that prayer is not a problem solving device. (2) Four of the thorns are mentioned in verse 10, slandering (people testing), pressure (thought testing), persecutions (system testing or injustice), troubles (terrible anguish). Whatever the function of the thorn demon, it brought Paul to a state of preventative suffering. Being in fellowship, Paul offered a prayer that could not and was not answered. Prayer was the wrong solution, therefore, it was not answered. (3) Offering this prayer three times was an abuse of prayer by Paul. Paul prayed intensely and urgently for this thorn to be removed. Paul applied the wrong solution to the problem. Paul was wrong to use prayer because this called for the use of the problem solving devices. If God had answered Paul's prayer, Paul would have missed out on one of the greatest blessings of life--Jeshurun status. The Lord did not even answer Paul until after he had prayed the wrong prayer three times. (a) The pain was so intense that Paul skipped his spiritual life and went to prayer. He put prayer before the spiritual life, instead of the spiritual life before prayer. Growth is in the spiritual life, not in prayer. (b) People often want you to pray for them when they are hurting, and it may be God's means of promoting them. (4) What the Lord does not remove He intends for us to resolve in some other way within the framework of our spiritual life through the function of the ten problem solving devices. (a) Prayer is a vehicle for the use of certain problem solving devices (e.g., rebound, grace orientation). "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me," relates the problem solving device of rebound to prayer. Prayer is a vehicle whereby grace orientation makes application to our experience. "Coming boldly to the throne of grace" means that it is the problem solving device that makes prayer effective, not prayer solving a problem. The solution comes through grace orientation, not through prayer. The faith-rest drill uses prayer, Matt 21:22, "Everything you ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." (b) We live in an age of the greatest power that has ever been given to the ordinary believer. The power at your disposal is phenomenal, but you will never touch it without straightening out your values and functioning on a consistent basis with the spiritual skills. You do not need a miracle from God; you have far superior power to miracles. God does not need to perform miracles, when He has given us assets that were pioneered and tested by Christ in the dispensation of the hypostatic union. You have more power available to you than all of the Old Testament miracles put together. Paul was asking the Lord to remove the basis for his final promotion to Jeshurun status, and God's answer was "No, No, No." (c) You do not pray about adversity, you use your problem solving devices. (5) Paul's thorn in the flesh suffering is the divine initiative of grace, designed for the function of grace orientation to pass the final test of Paul's spiritual maturity. Paul's suffering was designed to be part of the principle of Rom 8:28, "For we know that to those who love God, He causes all things to work together for good, even to those who are called on the basis of a predetermined plan." Paul's suffering was designed to have grace orientation and personal love for God the Father deployed and functioning on the FLOT line of his soul. If God answers Paul's prayer and takes away the thorn in the flesh and removes the suffering, it would destroy the only offensive action left to Paul to reach the highest stage of the spiritual life. (6) The function of the problem solving devices on the FLOT line of the soul take precedence over removal of the suffering and adversity involved. Suffering is your friend, not your enemy. Use your problem solving devices. Certain categories of suffering for blessing are absolutely necessary for spiritual momentum for the execution of the protocol plan of God for glorifying God. When you pass this kind of a test, the elect angels are standing and cheering you. (a) There is far greater power in the problem solving devices deployed on the FLOT line of the soul against suffering, than the power of suffering to destroy the spiritual skills with the arrogance skills. Paul is in danger of destroying his spiritual skills by entering into the arrogance skills. (b) What God does not remove, He intends for us to endure. Not through the function of prayer, but through the problem solving devices. (c) The problem solving devices are designed to deal with every category of suffering, converting it into momentum and blessing. (d) Remove the suffering and you remove the blessing. (e) Take the suffering out of your life and you destroy the spiritual momentum of your life. (f) Suffering is often designed by God as a field training exercise, preparing you for every crisis in your life. (g) The removal of suffering is not a solution. The solution is in using the problem solving devices. God intends for us to go through suffering with flying colors. (h) Believers who pray for miracles never understand the power and grace of God. (7) Effective prayer is the result of spiritual growth, but never the means of spiritual growth. Paul's greater effectiveness in prayer from Paul's understanding and using the problem solving devices. (a) The effectiveness of prayer demands the function of the spiritual life. Prayer is the extension of the spiritual life; it is not the means of executing the spiritual life. (b) You are not spiritual because you prayer; you pray because you are spiritual. Prayer is not the spiritual life. (8) Suffering is not your enemy (except when you are under divine discipline). Suffering is your friend, when it is designed by God for your blessing. (9) Verse 9 gives us Paul's elative conclusion. The elative conclusion combines a superlative [HEDISTA] and a comparative [MALLON] to denote superiority. The superlative denotes inclusion in God's plan that the divine solution (My grace is sufficient) is the only solution. The comparative denotes exclusion that the human solution (take it away) is no solution. L. The extension of the prayer that could not be answered in the garden of Gethsemane was our Lord's prayer on the Cross. 1. Ps 22:1 indicates that the time of this prophecy is the cross. "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Far from deliverance are the words of my screaming." Our Lord said this as He was bearing our sins. 2. Ps 22:2 states the unanswered prayer. "O my God, I cry out by day [first three hours, 9 a.m.-12 noon] and by night there is no silence for Me [the continued prayer of our Lord during the darkness that surrounded the cross from 12 noon-3 p.m. when He was being judged for our sins, Mt 25:46]." 3. Ps 22:3 tells the reason why that prayer could not be answered in one phrase, "You are Holy." God the Father was imputing our sins to Christ and judging them from His Holiness. Therefore, God the Father couldn't answer the prayer for deliverance on the cross. Our Lord knew that there could be no answer to this prayer because of the perfect righteousness and justice of God. 4. In Ps 22:4-5, Jesus even pointed out to the Father that He had previously delivered Israel under stringent conditions. "Our fathers trusted in You [faith-rest]; they trusted, and You delivered them [You answered their prayers]. They cried out to You in prayer and were delivered; they trusted You and were not disappointed." 5. So why couldn't our Lord's prayer be answered? The reason is given in Ps 22:6, "But I am a worm." The Hebrew word for worm, TOLA, is not the word for an ordinary worm. This worm was used for red dye in the ancient world. It was crushed in a vat; the blood extracted was used to produce the crimson dye used for the robes of kings and aristocrats. The answer, "I am a worm," illustrates why His prayer could not be answered. He was being crushed for our sins, so that you and I, as royal family of God, could wear the crimson robe of the royal family forever. "And I am not a man" means "I am no longer human." As a Hebrew idiom, this phrase portrays the substitutionary saving work of Christ on the cross. "Scorned by men and despised by people." Christ was being judged for our sins, 1 Pet 2:24. Therefore, prayer at that time from the humanity of Christ could not be answered because He was made sin for us. 6. Ps 22:7 says He was being ridiculed by gesture. "All who see Me mock Me; they gesture insults; they keep wagging their heads." This was fulfilled in Mt 27:39-40. 7. Ps 22:8 gives some of the verbal sarcastic abuse of the crowd, fulfilled in Mt 27:39-44. "They kept shouting, `He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue Him. Let Him deliver Him since He delights in Him.'" 8. Our Lord's prayer was heard by all who were there, and they saw that it could not be answered! But they didn't understand the reason-- because He was bearing their sins and our sins in His own body on the cross. "He who knew no sin was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him." 9. The only prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ that could not be answered could not be answered because it was the way of our so-great salvation. He was being judged for our sins; He was our substitute; He was taking our place. During His time on the cross, He could only be judged; and during His judgment His prayer could not be answered. 10. So instead of using prayer as a problem solving device on the Cross, our Lord used perfect happiness as His problem solving device, Heb 12:2, "Be concentrating on Jesus, the leader-hero and pattern for bringing to completion our doctrine, who because of His exhibited happiness He endured the Cross, disregarding the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." M. The Principle of Grace in Prayer. 1. In his prayer approach, the believer must be compatible with the name where prayer is received, the throne of grace. 2. Grace is the policy of the integrity of God in the imputation of blessing from the justice of God to the indwelling righteousness of God. 3. Prayer is a privilege, the function of the royal priesthood. Therefore, it is a powerful weapon in the hands of the believer. 4. Since grace is the principle of prayer, no believer can petition for himself or make intercession on the basis of human merit, ability, morality, production, service or spiritual gift. 5. Every believer approaches the throne of grace on the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ who is our great High Priest. 6. While the Father is propitiated with the work of Christ on the Cross, He is no respecter of persons. Therefore we must approach the Father from our position of fellowship. 7. Our Lord, during the First Advent, had maximum effectiveness in His prayer life. 8. The believer out of fellowship is not only weak but has no effectiveness in his prayer modus operandi. 9. God does not answer prayer because the believer is "good," moral, sincere, benevolent, religious, concerned, altruistic, talented or possesses a pleasing personality. 10. Answer to prayer is a Divine decision. Therefore the believer's popularity with others is never a factor in answered prayer. 11. Prayer is a weapon. You must understand how it functions, just as you should understand how any weapon functions before you use it. Prayer must be used as a weapon. Most people blaspheme when they pray because of arrogance while praying and ignorance of how to pray. 12. One prayer can change the course of history, e.g., some of Christ's prayers, and Paul's prayer in Ephesians. N. Prayer And Problem Solving. 1. In 2 Cor 12:9, our Lord tells Paul why prayer is not the solution to the problem in context (the thorn in the flesh). "Then He assured me for my benefit, `My grace has been and still is sufficient for you; for My power is put into effect [made operational, accomplished, carried out, fulfilled] in the status of weakness [grace orientation]. Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.'" The thorn suffering is causing all things to work together for good. Paul's recognition of human helplessness to solve the problem opens the door for the divine initiative of grace, for the problem solving devices to do the job. 2. The most important thing in your spiritual life is to have ten problem solving devices deployed on the FLOT line of your soul; for there are no solutions to the problems of life apart from these problem solving devices. The problem solving devices are the system of application of doctrine to experience. Prayer is not one of the problem solving devices. 3. Paul prayed three times to God the Father that He make this thorn in the flesh suffering go away. He was praying that his spiritual life be ruined, because the thorn in the flesh was suffering for blessing to accelerate his advance to maturity. Instead of using his problem solving devices, Paul retreated in his spiritual life and tried to use prayer as leverage against God to get God to do Paul's will. Paul was using prayer in blasphemy. 4. Prayer is not a solution to problems. a. Prayer is not a problem solving device. Prayer is only effective in your life, when the problem solving devices are on the FLOT line of your soul. Prayer is only effective with the problem solving devices. Prayer is not answered because there are no problem solving devices on the FLOT (forward line of troops) of your soul. When you have the problem solving devices, you have the solution to everything. And when you have the solution to every problem in life, you stop emphasizing the suffering and you rejoice in the solution ("I will rather boast about my weaknesses.") b. Prayer is not the spiritual life, but the result of the spiritual life. You are not spiritual because you pray; you pray because you are spiritual. c. Prayer is an extension of the spiritual life; the spiritual life is not an extension of prayer. d. Effective prayer is the result of the execution of the spiritual life. 5. The problem solving devices must function for prayer to be effective. a. The filling of the Spirit, Ps 66:18, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear." Jude 20, "Pray at all times in the Spirit." Eph 6:18a, "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit." Jn 15:7, "If you abide in Me and My words abide in you, ask what you will and I will give it to you." b. The faith-rest drill, Mt 21:22, "All things whatsoever you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive." Mk 11:24, "Therefore, I say to you, all things for which you ask and pray, believe that you will receive them and they will be given to you." 1 Jn 5:14, "And this is the confidence which we have face-to-face with Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the request which we ask from Him." 6. When prayer is ineffective, prayer becomes a system of manipulation, a system of distortion, a system of arrogance, an instrument of legalism instead of an instrument of power and service to the Lord. N. Several of Paul's prayers are models of how fantastic and powerful prayer can be. 1. Eph 3:14-21. a. Verse 14, "For this reason I kneel before the Father," (1) All prayer is directed toward God the Father, Mt 6:6, Eph 1:17; 1 Pet 1:17. (2) No one is ever heard in prayer by praying to Jesus Christ or to the Holy Spirit. We are never told in Scripture to pray to the Son or the Holy Spirit. b. Verse 15, "from whom the entire family in heaven and on earth derives its title," Our title is royal family of God, the royal priesthood, the holy priesthood. c. Verse 16, "that He may give to you on the basis of the riches of His glory, to become strong with power through His Spirit in your inner being," (1) The riches of God's glory refer to the assets He has provided for us and are beyond description, Eph 1:18; Phil 4:19; Col 1:27. (2) The greatest power in human history has been given to us. There is no tyranny in the power of God the Holy Spirit though there is tyranny in Christian activism. d. Verse 17, "that Christ may be at home in your hearts [stream of consciousness] through doctrine, when you have been firmly rooted and established in virtue-love," e. Verse 18, "that you may utilize this divine power to grasp the idea with all the saints what is the width and length and height and depth," (1) Width is the four spiritual mechanics: (a) The function of the two power options. (b) The modus operandi of the three spiritual skills. (c) The deployment of the ten problem solving devices on the FLOT line of the soul. (d) And the execution of the advance stages of the spiritual life. (2) Length is the four spiritual objectives (two tactical objectives and two strategic objectives). (a) Tactical--A personal sense of destiny. (b) Tactical--Spiritual maturity. (c) Strategic--Occupation with Christ. (d) Strategic--Maximum glorification of God or Jeshurun status. (3) Height refers to Jesus Christ in resurrection body, seated at the right hand of God as our High Priest. He is the anchor inside the veil, Heb 6:19-20. This also refers to Eph 1:19-20. The power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is now available to us. (4) Depth refers to our escrow blessings. Rom 11:33-36. f. Verse 19, "and to come to know the love for Christ which goes beyond gnosis, that you may be filled, resulting in all the fullness from God." All the fulness from God is Jeshurun promotion. Paul is praying that they attain Jeshurun status. If God does not promote you, you are not promoted. g. Verse 20, "Now to Him [F] who is able to do infinitely more than all that we ask or think on the basis of the power that keeps working in us," h. Verse 21, "to Him [F] the glory by agency of the church and by agency of Christ Jesus with reference to all generations of the unique age of the ages [the Church Age]. Amen." Spiritual maturity plus cognitive invincibility plus occupation with Christ deployed as a problem solving device on the FLOT line of the soul plus evidence testing equals Jeshurun maximum glorification of God. This is the glory for which Paul prays. 2. Eph 1:15-23, the prayer which Paul never finished. This prayer was answered after Paul's death, when Ephesus became the pivot of the Roman Empire. a. Eph 1:15, "For this reason, I Paul also, when I heard about your own personal faith in the Lord Jesus and your virtue love toward all the saints," (1) The personal faith in the Lord Jesus here is a reference to salvation by personal faith in Christ and the function of the faith-rest drill as a function of the spiritual life. The faith mentioned here goes beyond personal faith in Christ because of the next phrase about virtue love toward all the saints. These believers have already believed in Christ, so that this faith is a reference to the faith-rest drill. (2) Your impersonal love toward others is important because it is a reflection of the love of God in divine integrity. Divine integrity is made up of three divine attributes of God: the righteousness, justice, and love of God. Grace is not an attribute of God, but a reflection of the entire integrity of God. Grace works with love as love works with the holiness of God. Out of divine integrity comes our very own portfolio of invisible assets with our very own spiritual life. Impersonal love gives you compatibility with the integrity of God. b. Eph 1:16, "I do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers," (1) You are not spiritual because you pray; you pray because you are spiritual. (2) Thanksgiving is always a part of prayer. Paul recognized the strategic importance of Ephesus as the holy city of the Roman Empire. Paul's prayer recognizes both the pivot and the Jeshurun of the Church Age. c. Eph 1:17, "in order that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a lifestyle of wisdom and revelation about Him through metabolized doctrine." The lifestyle of wisdom is the spiritual life of learning, metabolizing, and applying Bible doctrine. (1) The lifestyle of wisdom is unusual knowledge about God that anticipates the utilization of portfolio of invisible assets in the fulfillment of the plan of God for your life. Wisdom is a characteristic of Jeshurun believers. (2) "Revelation about Him" is God emphasis over people emphasis--your harmonious rapport with God, which is your true spiritual life. d. Eph 1:18, "(I also pray that) the eyes of your right lobe may be enlightened [perception and metabolization of Bible doctrine], so that you may know what is the confidence of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance for the saints," (1) The confidence of God's salvation is that God has made your faith in Christ efficacious for the salvation of your soul. (2) The riches of the glory of His inheritance are the portfolio of your invisible assets for the execution of the spiritual life. They are also described in Col 1:25-27, "of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God, given to me for your benefit to fulfill the word of God, that is, the mystery which has been hidden from the past dispensations and generations, but has now been revealed to His saints, to whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the confidence of glory." (3) Paul prays that we might have Bible doctrine circulating in our stream of consciousness that we may reach spiritual maturity and then Jeshurun status. e. Eph 1:19, "and what is the surpassing greatness of His power [omnipotence] to us who have believed, for the working of His superior power," (1) There are three categories of the superior power of God: (a) The power of God the Father and God the Holy Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is now available to every Church Age believer. (b) The power of the filling of the Holy Spirit by which Jesus Christ in His human nature in hypostatic union executed the prototype spiritual life is now available to the believer. (c) The power of metabolized doctrine circulating in the stream of consciousness which is the means of executing the spiritual life. 1 Cor 2:16, "...but we have the thinking of Christ." (2) Never before in human history has God delegated or made available so much divine power as He has delegated or made available to every Church believer. More divine power is delegated to the ordinary believer than ever before or will be in the future in three categories: the power of God the Father which restored the human spirit of Jesus Christ to His body in the grave, the power of God the Holy Spirit which restored the human soul of our Lord to His body in the grave, the power of the infallible word of God. (3) Ignorance of pertinent doctrine is failure to utilize this divine power to fulfill God's will, plan, and purpose for your life. (4) There is no substitute for the utilization of divine power in the execution of the unique spiritual life of the Church Age. (5) Fulfillment of the divine plan demands the use of divine power for its execution. God cannot accept human power for the fulfillment of His plan or the function of the spiritual life. Failure to use divine power means accepting a cheap substitute in the function of human viewpoint self-improvement. Only the function of the two power options of the spiritual life can fulfill the protocol principle of God's plan for the Church Age. (6) All effective prayer recognizes and utilizes the power of God. All effective prayer results from the power of the spiritual life. Prayer which is dependent upon the power of man is rejected by God. f. Eph 1:20, "which [power] He put into operation by means of Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His own right hand in the heavenlies," (1) With the gift of divine power in the spiritual life goes responsibility in prayer, Eph 6:18-19, "By every prayer and supplication always pray on every occasion by means of the Spirit, and because of this, be on the alert with all persistance and humble entreaty for all the saints. Also pray for me when I open that pertinent doctrine may be given to me to communicate with confidence the mystery of the gospel, on behalf of which gospel I am an ambassador in chains, in order that reference to it I may speak fearlessly as I ought to speak." (2) The effective prayer is the result of divine power, the filling of the Spirit, in the spiritual life. Emotion will not bring any prayer answers from heaven. Because every believer is a priest and an ambassador for Christ, prayer is a part of your full time Christian service. g. Eph 1:21, "superior to every authority, both human power and authority as well as angelic power and authority, and superior to every title that can be named, not only in this age [Church Age] but also in the one destined to come [Millennium]." h. Eph 1:22, "And He [F] has subordinated all things under His [Christ's] feet [Operation Footstool]; furthermore, He [F] has appointed Him ruler over all things to the church," (1) Paul does not finish this prayer but cuts the prayer off because the body of Christ is not completed until the exit-resurrection of the Church. (2) This prayer is cut off because the Rapture has not taken place and he is saying in effect that everyone in the Church Age will have equal privilege and equal opportunity to attain Jeshurun status during the Church Age. (3) During the Church Age there is individual completion of the spiritual life by reaching Jeshurun status but there is no corporate completion of the Church until the Rapture of the Church. i. Eph 1:23, "which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all [Jeshurun believers] with all things." (1) Eph 3:19, "filled with all the fullness from God." (2) Heb 10:14, "He has brought to completion for all time those who are being sanctified." (3) Until the Rapture of the Church, there will be Jeshurun believers in every generation who will understand this prayer and fulfill it. Every time a Church Age believer reaches Jeshurun status he has fulfilled the individual completion of this prayer. Corporate completion of this prayer is the Rapture of the Church. (a) Individual completion of this prayer is promotion to Jeshurun status. (b) Corporate completion is the Rapture of the Church. (c) The issue during the Church Age is individual completion of this prayer by spiritual advance to Jeshurun status, but not corporate completion of the prayer. (d) The Eph 3:14-21 prayer of Paul is a completed prayer because it deals with the individual completion of believers attaining Jeshurun status by execution of the spiritual life. When anyone attains Jeshurun status, that prayer is completed. (e) Eph 1:15-23 is the unfinished prayer of Paul because the Church is not completed as the body of Christ to accompany our Lord's third royal title as the "King of kings, Lord of lords, the Bright Morning Star." When His royal family is completed, then there will be a resurrection of His royal family only prior to the Tribulation and Millennium. The only completion during the Church Age is individual completion by execution of the spiritual life of the Church Age, attainment of Jeshurun status. O. Prayer Related to the Sin Terminating with Death, 1 Jn 5:13-17. 1. 1 Jn 5:13, "I have written to you who believe in the person of the Son of God these things, in order that you may know that you have eternal life." a. No one is going to execute the spiritual life of the Church Age unless he first understands eternal security and is familiar with the thirty-nine, irrevocable absolutes we receive at salvation. b. You have eternal life whether you know it or not the moment you believe in Jesus Christ. God the Holy Spirit creates a human spirit and God the Father imputes eternal life to that human spirit. This is regeneration or being born again. c. The virtue of confidence toward God is a part of the principle of harmonious rapport with God. Harmonious rapport with God includes the virtue of confidence toward God. Confidence toward God begins with understanding the doctrine eternal security. d. Confidence is always related to security, not to freedom. God has provided for us perfect security at the moment of salvation. It is the quintessence of human arrogance to think that you can somehow lose your salvation. There is no sin or evil you can commit to lose your salvation. Failure to believe in eternal security is blasphemy. (1) People will do everything in the world to gain security, including compromise of their freedom, their honor, and their integrity. No one ever attains human security by compromise of their honor and integrity. (2) Ignorance of the doctrine of eternal security means insecurity. Cognizance means security and confidence in God. e. It is one thing to believe in Christ, it is quite another thing to realize that as a believer there is nothing we can do to lose our salvation. We did nothing to gain eternal life; we can do nothing to lose our eternal life. f. Realization of the possession of eternal security through faith alone in Christ alone is the beginning of that virtue of confidence toward God, which is a part of harmonious rapport toward God, which is the spiritual life of the believer. 2. 1 Jn 5:14, "In fact, this is the confidence which we have face-to- face with Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us." a. Confidence directed toward God produces courage directed toward man. Misdirected virtue destroys virtue, e.g., when believers produce human good to improve Satan's world. b. Courage directed toward God is presumptuous and blasphemous. Confidence toward man is naive and idiotic. Morality toward God is legalism, while worshipping man is arrogance and stupidity. These are the distortions which come when we fail to understand that no matter how hard Satan tries to produce good, his good is absolute evil. Impersonal love toward God is arrogance, while personal love toward man is weakness and distraction. Personal love toward man is not virtue itself, but virtue dependent, that is, it depends on virtue for happiness, stability, blessing, and perpetuation. Personal love as a virtue is directed toward God and becomes synonymous with worship and harmonious rapport toward God. c. Prayer is used here as an illustration. John did this as well in 1 Jn 3:21-22, "Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we keep on having confidence before God; furthermore, whatever we have asked we receive from Him, because we continue to execute His mandates and keep on doing what is pleasing in His sight before Him." (1) Prayer minus virtue is robbed of its power. (2) Prayer is dependent upon virtue (harmonious rapport with God in the spiritual life) and the power of the filling of the Holy Spirit. d. The will of God is not obscure, except to those believers who live and function outside of the spiritual life in perpetual carnality. The will of God is the execution of the spiritual life of the Church Age. e. God heard our prayers in eternity past and answers our prayers in time. 3. 1 Jn 5:15, "And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desire from Him." 4. 1 Jn 5:16, "If anyone sees his brother sinning a sin not face-to- face with death, he shall ask and He [God the Father] will give life to him who does not sin face-to-face with death. There is a sin face-to-face with death; I do not say that he should ask concerning this category." a. You are not to pray for believers who dying the sin terminating in death. You can pray for others as long as they have not committed the sin terminating in death. The sin terminating in death is the sin of not executing the spiritual life of the Church Age. You do not pray against the will of God, for God to stop divine discipline against those believers who refuse to live the spiritual life. b. To see a believer commit a sin face-to-face with death requires mature application of prayer plus intimate contact with the subject. This is not a matter of speculation; for this verse implies that you understand the difference between sin and the sin face-to-face with death. This also implies no gossip, no maligning, no judging, no spreading of false information about a sinning believer. You have to be a witness to the sin or sins of another believer and use the option of intercessory prayer, and petition God that someone else will recognize their own sin and rebound from their own volition. In the sin face-to-face with death, the decision of the sovereignty of God is of maximum importance; therefore, avoid praying against the will of God or tampering with the will of God. c. The sin face-to-face with death can be a sin which is repeated many times and there is no rebound. God has never made a judgment of anyone that excludes the love of God. Therefore, God's judgment of this person is always fair. d. The sin terminating in death is defined as maximum divine discipline from the justice of God, resulting in painful and sometimes instant physical death. It is the highest form of disgrace that can occur. (1) Divine discipline results from the believer using his own volition to create his own failures in life after salvation. (2) The sin face-to-face with death is described in Ps 7:14- 16, "Behold, he shall have labor pains of vanity [warning discipline] because he has become pregnant with frustration. Therefore, he has given birth to a life of deceit [intensive discipline]. He dug a grave [the sin face-to-face with death]. He explored it [the experience of warning and intensive discipline]. Therefore, he has fallen into the ditch which he himself has constructed. His frustration will return on his own head." The sin face-to-face with death does not come all at once, but in segments. (3) The believer under the sentence of death can rebound and live. No other believer, apart from the condemned person, can make that decision to rebound. 
  • Hi Jodie 44! I hope that soon the "Rebellious God Hating Female Gaggle" here soon gets past the Accusations and the Besmirching of my Integrity as it draws from serious time here helping other Real People who Really want the Help!!! My name is John Kramer, I'm 57, Disabled & live in Vail, AZ. with my Wife Tam (46). I Studied under Lt. Col. R.B. Thieme at Dallas Theological Seminary & the "Doctrines I will "Post" here are from My Personal Files!!! So Please be so kind as to Disseminate this Information to Ur "JUDGMENTAL FRIENDS" as a "Professional Courtesy"??? U do know what that means don't U??? I'm sorry to have to use this Venue to "Reply" but I saw No e-mail address for U! John

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