Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-15 (NKJV)

You’ve prayed about your job, family, decisions, your health, and your purpose in life, but nothing seems to be happening—at least not fast enough and not exactly the way you envisioned the outcome. Does this mean that God is unfair, uncaring, and likes to see us suffer?

The scripture above is a bold statement to make, but since God inspired John to write it there must be something God wants us to know about prayer. The first thing to remember is that prayer is conditional upon our relationship to God. Isaiah 59:1-2 says, Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.”

God’s desire is to answer prayers. He is willing and able to hear your prayers, and His desire is to answer your requests.  However; if you have not confessed your sins (the Bible defines sin as God sees it ), and purposely turned away from your sins (or are steadfast in your heart to do so),  your prayers will be hindered.  Why should God answer your prayers if you are not one of His children (born again believer), or if you ignore Him and “do your own thing?”  God’s answer to your prayer may be to leave you alone and let you try to work things out for yourself.  Sometimes a Christian does need to “hit bottom” in the part of life that is causing pain and inconvenience before you can see what God is doing to shape you into someone who is stronger and wiser.

The best advice I have receive in my life is when I have talked with someone who has been through a troubling time similar to what I was experiencing at the time, and to see how they came out on the other side of the challenge a stronger, more mature Christian.  God has used His silence, my friends, my wife, and my observations of other as they journey through life to help me see the wisdom of what He is doing for me…not to me.

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” I John 1:9.

To be continued….