Effective Prayer, Or Not?: Reflecting On Why You Haven’t Received What You’ve Asked For–Part II

Last week I shared personal reflections and revelations, along with supporting scripture concerning prayer and receiving what we ask God for.  God revealed, by way of the Holy Spirit, that our prayers must meet two conditions in order to be heard and granted:

  1. They must be in line with the perfect will of God.
  2. Our mind, heart (will & emotions), and Spirit must be on one accord and ready to receive what we’re asking for.

Last week we focused on the first condition, being mindful that what we are praying for is according to the perfect will of God for our lives.  We must continuously pray and ask God for wisdom to help us know what His will is, so that our prayers are effective.

Let’s now turn our attention to the second condition, beginning with the mind.

Our mind gives us the ability to reason–it is our intellect, awareness, consciousness.  When we pray and make requests to God, the requests themselves come about due to our awareness of what’s going on in our lives, or the lives of others; And we have reasons (that seem logical to us) as to why we’re making those requests. In order to reason and pray according to the will and Spirit of God, we must first have the mind of Christ, so that our thoughts can be guided by His thoughts and purposes for or lives (1 Corinthians 2:16 AMP). 

How do you attain the mind of Christ?  We are encouraged to do so by not conforming to the “superficial values and customs” of this world, but instead to “be transformed and progressively changed by the renewing of [our] mind, focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes.”  The bible says that by doing so, we will then know and prove what God’s perfect will and purpose is for us. (Romans 12:2 AMP)

One method by which I do this is limiting what I allow in my spirit (what I listen to, what I watch, what I do in my leisure time, who I spend my time with etc.)  After limiting, and eventually eliminating all those things that oppose the will of God by tainting your Spirit, you begin to more effectively discern the things of God versus those things that do not serve God’s purpose and will for your life.

Nevertheless, I’m sure you’ve had an experience where you’ve said, “My mind is telling me one thing, but my heart says another…” Well, your heart must be in the right place in order for God to hear your prayers (Psalm 66:18).

Our heart, which consists of:

  1. our will (that drives our daily decisions) and
  2. our emotions,

doesn’t always agree with what we know (in our minds) to be right, or needed, or true.  We know from experience that emotions are always changing, and therefore are an unstable gauge to use in decision-making.  Once we have learned what the will of God is, then our hearts should always be guided by our will (if it’s on one accord with the will of God), and not by our emotions.

We are told in James 4:3 that we don’t receive what we ask for because we ask with the wrong motives and desires.  The Amplified bible states it in this way, “You ask [God for something] and do not receive it because you ask with wrong motives [out of selfishness or with an unrighteous agenda], so that [when you get what you want] you may spend it on your [hedonistic] desires.”

This leads me to question myself and you–What are you willing (in your heart) to do with what you’re asking God for?  Better yet, why are you asking God for what you’re asking Him for?  What is your motive?  Is your heart in the right place? If it is, refer back to condition one.  Are you fully confident and have received confirmation that what you’re praying for is in the perfect will of God?

Ask God to circumcise your heart to love Him with all of your heart and soul (mind, will, emotions) so that you may have life (Deuteronomy 30:6) and desire only the things that bring true life in Him.

I absolutely love how it is read in the Amplified Bible as Moses was addressing the people of Israel, “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the hearts of your descendants [that is, He will remove the desire to sin from your heart], so that you will love the Lord your God will all your heart and all your soul, so that you may live [as a recipient of His blessing].” 

I’m sure that, like me, you desire to truly live as a recipient of God’s blessings, and not just simply exist.  Ultimately, all of my prayers and requests made to God are to achieve this–LIFE and FREEDOM.  Through Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit who gives life has set us free (Romans 8:2 NIV). But in order to operate in this life and freedom, we have to intentionally choose them by choosing to operate according to the Spirit who is from God instead of the spirit of the world (1 Corinthians 2:12). 

When our mind is on one accord with the Spirit of God, there is life and peace (Romans 8:6). The word of God says that Since we live by the spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit (Galatians 5:25). In other words, since we are given life through the Spirit, let us be on one accord with It.

By operating in this way, we are made heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:14-17), who so lovingly tells us that anything we ask for in His name will be given to us so that God will be glorified in His Son (John 14:13-14).  We are called children of God (Romans 8:16) and because of that, our lives are also meant to glorify God. Our health, prosperity, success, and victories glorify Him.

If our hearts and minds are pure, and we are operating according to the Spirit of God, then our prayers will be heard and granted by God. The only thing left after this is to believe (Matthew 21:22).

If the first two conditions have been met, then the Holy Spirit reveals this as an often talked about and taught, but much less often applied, condition number three.  Believe. Have Faith.

Though we know that faith and belief are required to attain the things of God, do we truly demonstrate this faith and belief in our minds and hearts?  Is your worldly intellect and logic interfering with your faith? Are the emotions you’re experiencing a result of what you believe?  Are the actions that you’re intentionally taking (according to will) demonstrating your faith and belief?

Hmmm. I guess we’ll meet again in part three!

God bless you!

 

 

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