Transforming Prayers

“You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.”

— James 4:3

Unanswered prayers are a stumbling block. Often when people pray but don’t hear answers from God, they believe that God doesn’t listen, that He doesn’t care, or even that He doesn’t exist. But God is most definitely there, and He wants to answer our prayers. However, we often get in His way. God doesn’t answer some of our prayers because we ask “amiss,” as James puts it. In other words, there’s something wrong with the sender (us), not the hearer (God), of the prayers.

If you’ve persistently asked God to answer a prayer, yet you haven’t heard an answer from Him, you might have “static on the line,” an obstruction in communication with your heavenly Father. I’d like to share with you five prayers that can put you back on course to an effective prayer life:

  1. “O God, slay me.” As new creatures in Christ we constantly wrestle with our old wretched selves. As long as the old nature prevails, God will not answer our prayers. Thus, we should ask God to slay our old nature.
  2. “O God, cleanse me by Thy blood.” If we expect God to answer our prayers, we should not come into His presence stained in sin. Instead we must confess and turn away from our sins.
  3. “Fill me with the Holy Spirit.” We need to pray that the Spirit will fill us and empower us to live for God daily and to overcome temptation.
  4. “God, lead me this day.” God has a perfect plan, a far better plan for our lives than we can create. We must allow Him to lead us in His will daily.
  5. “Dear Lord, use me this day for your glory.” We must make ourselves available to God as His bond servants, willing to do whatever He asks of us.

I encourage you to sincerely pray these prayers, meditate upon them, and use them to present yourself to God as a clean and willing servant. As you pray this way, Christ will surprise you with joy as He makes Himself known more fully in your daily walk. You’ll no doubt find that as you pray according to His will, you’ll experience some incredible answers beyond your wildest dreams.

“Heaven is never deaf but when man’s heart is dumb.”
Francis Quarles