How to Get More Prayers Answered

How to Get More Prayers Answered

How to Get More Prayers Answered

 

Let’s be honest. You’d pray more if you felt like more of your prayers were answered. Why aren’t your prayers being answered?

This post isn’t going to delve into all the many reasons your prayer may not be answered in the way you hoped. Instead, I want to share a very practical reason you and I aren’t checking off as many answered prayers as we could be. The simple steps necessary to address this problem can have a huge payoff:

  • Your faith will grow as you see that God really is hearing you.
  • You’ll pray more as you come to believe that a prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
  • You’ll encourage others to pray because of your own experience.

A Lesson from Productivity

I have so much I want to do that I’ve long been fascinated with finding ways to motivate myself and to make the best use of my time. That’s why I’ve been doing a whole series on Fridays called A Year of Living Productively. I’ve also been blessed to have a number of visitors to those posts who wouldn’t ordinarily visit a Christian blog like mine.

One of the basic teachings of productivity is that you have to make your tasks actionable. In other words, I don’t put ‘be happy,’ ‘be strong spiritually,’ or ‘be healthy’ on my to-do list. I would have no idea if I’d finished those tasks.

The problem is we regularly put those kinds of things on God’s to-do list! We pray that we and others would be happy, strong, and healthy. Those are wonderful prayers and we don’t have to stop praying them, but if we want to see answered prayers, we need to make some changes.

Start recording your prayer requests. If you have no record of what you’ve done during a given month, you’re going to be dumbfounded if I ask you what you’ve accomplished in the past 30 days. In the same way, God is very busy acting on your behalf, but you have to write down how to remember. Begin keeping a prayer journal or use an app to track your requests. Here is a free prayer journal printable with plenty of room to record the results. I love Pocket Prayer Pro for the iPhone because I can schedule requests.

Phrase your prayer requests in actionable terms. Instead of praying for happiness, pray that you or a loved one would rate your joy as 7 or higher for the day. Instead of praying for your child or grandchild to be strong spiritually, pray that they would show interest when you talk with them about God. Instead of praying for health, pray for a specific indicator of health, such as a medical test result. Exactly how you phrase your request doesn’t matter as long as you will be able to clearly determine that your prayer has been answered. Be sure to include short- and long-term requests, just as we include these kinds of tasks on our own lists. You can absolutely keep praying general prayers, too. Fortunately, God doesn’t give us prayer request limits. Isn’t He incredible?

Follow-up. When we work on our own task lists, we want to know the results. We find out if our boss is happy with the report, if the small repair we did worked, or if we are actually losing weight by eating right and exercising. Experiencing more answered prayer is no different. We shouldn’t just pray for our loved one to have peace during a medical procedure; we should ask them if they did! Then let them know you were praying for them. If you pray in the morning, look over your prayer list that evening and see what God got done.

Recording the answers to prayer this way can uplift your faith, your family, and your church. When you or someone you love is discouraged, you can show them the record of answered prayer in your life.

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer. Psalm 17:6

 


What Joy Is Mine
 

 

Do you have an actionable prayer request that I can pray for you? Please contact me if you have a private request.

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Permission to Pray Little Prayers

Permission to Pray Little Prayers

Permission to Pray Little Prayers

I often feel guilty praying little prayers. I have friends right now who need great big prayers. They’re in pain. They’re in mourning. They need a job in the worst way. Do I have any business praying for the rain to stop so my hair doesn’t get wet?

Praying for Dresses and Parking Spaces

Graduate school had been a harrowing time for me. In So You’re Not Wonder Woman, I share some of the many challenges I faced: impending failure, unbearable living conditions (that I’d created), credit card debt, overeating, unhealthy relationships, and depression. I was so thankful to have emerged from that time with a Ph.D. that I wanted a special dress to celebrate. I wasn’t willing to spend a lot on it and it had to be just right. But my shopping had been to no avail. I had to have a dress before the stores closed that night or I would have to wear something I’d worn many times before. I prayed that if the Lord wanted me to have a new dress for graduation, that I would find it at this last store at the right price. I walked into the store and saw it immediately. As I reached to take it off the rack, a sales clerk stopped me and said, “Wait! We’re marking that down.” I not only got the perfect dress inexpensively, I got the idea that it was okay to pray little prayers.

I’ve written before about God answering prayers for parking spaces and beautiful weather for weddings because God is a Gentleman. But I keep forgetting that fact and feel like I’m being a spoiled brat whining at God’s feet when I pray little prayers. This weekend I remembered why you and I have permission to pray them.

The Rain that Wasn’t a Pain

Saturday morning I was getting ready for the annual Women’s Day of Renewal where I would speak on “Secrets of the Spirit Lifters.” I had my hair sufficiently poofed up, but it would be no match for the rain that was coming down. I asked my husband if we had any umbrellas I could take with me. He thought maybe there was one in the garage. Nope! I was pretty sure they were all in our family van which I was not taking to the retreat and which would require me to take on a lot of rain to get to. I decided to jump in the other vehicle and take my chances not having an umbrella.

On the way to the retreat, I realized I didn’t even have a jacket to cover my head. I was NOT thinking about encouraging the women; I was thinking about keeping my hair dry! I decided to pray.

Lord, if you would stop the rain long enough for me to get into the church, I would be so appreciative! Please bless this retreat and make it the best one yet.

I’m going to be completely honest and admit that I didn’t expect Him to hold off the rain–especially as I turned up my wiper speed as high as it would go on the drive there. But I did relax knowing that God would help me, one way or another. I sang along to the praise music on my radio until my exit was in sight. The rain suddenly stopped. The little drops stopped landing on my windshield and threatened to slide down my cheeks.

I was able to get into the church with my materials dry and my hair held high. But nothing could have been higher than my spirits. God cares about dresses and parking spaces and dry hair because He cares about me and you. He seems even bigger when He answers our little prayers.

As I left the retreat I asked one of the organizers how it had gone and she answered, “It was our best one yet.”

And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Matthew 10:30

Has God answered your little prayers and renewed your faith?

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