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How To Receive Answers To Prayer?

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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We have restored on the WLC website, in the Scriptures quoted the Names of the Father and Son, as they were originally written by the inspired authors of the Bible.  Click here to download the Restored Names Version (RNV) of Scripture.  The RNV is a non-WLC resource.  -WLC Team

“If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. Now mine eyes shall be open, and mine ears attent unto the prayer that is made in this place.” 2 Chronicles 7:14, 15.

One of the most astounding facts of the spiritual life is that Yahuwah hears and answers prayer. The Bible abounds with the testimony of those whose prayers have been signally answered, and every sincere child of Yahuwah can add his own personal experiences in which Yahuwah has opened the windows of heaven and granted his petitions.

Prayer puts man in touch with Yahuwah. It forms the connecting link between human weakness and Yahuwah’s omnipotence. Out of weakness men are made strong. See Hebrews 11:34.

The Privilege of Prayer

1. What is prayer?

He said unto them. When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven. Luke 11:2. For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need, Hebrews 4:15-16. And since Yahushua is the friend of sinners, He invites the most sinful to come to Yahuwah through Him.

Answer:

A. The cry of a soul in need.

Prayer is the cry of a soul in need, but it is much more than that. Have mercy upon me, 0 Yahuwah, for I am in trouble: mine eye is consumed with grief, yea, my soul and my belly. Psalm 31:9. Elohim is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Psalm 46:1.

B. The opening of the heart to Yahuwah.

Real prayer is the opening of the heart to Yahuwah as to a friend. It is not just asking for things. It isn't all talking on man's part or on Yahuwah's part. It is some of each, and more. It may be communion in utter silence at times-just a sacred sense of His holy, presence. Be still, and know that I am Elohim (Psalm 46:10). Yahuwah asks us to call Him Father; therefore we may freely come to Him with our problems and our joys.

“Prayer is the key in the hand of faith to unlock heaven's storehouse, where are treasured the boundless resources of Omnipotence” Steps to Christ, page 94.

2. What prayer is not?

Answer: Prayer is not an act of merit that earns Yahuwah's favor. Yahushua said: He. . sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.“ Matthew 5:45.

If prayer would get us anything we wanted, we probably would pray not so much for holiness as for temporal benefits which would not be used to our good or Yahuwah's glory. Many are already like the little boy who failed to say grace at the table one morning. His father asked why. The answer came, We don't need to pray for bread today. I looked in the bread box and there is enough for three days.

Prayer is not ostentation and show (Matthew 6:1-8). It is not a set form of words for a set occasion recited to the accompaniment of spinning prayer wheels or moving beads, though many who pray thus are sincere and true. Prayer is communion with Yahuwah, and may take place whenever and wherever the soul of man reaches out sincerely for his Creator.

3. Why do we pray?

Four questions will help to find the answer:

A. Is it to give Yahuwah information?

0 Yahuwah. Thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising. Thou understandest my thought afar off. Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, 0 Yahuwah, thou knowest it altogether. Psalm 139:1-4.

Does Yahuwah need information? No! Your Father knowest what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him (Matthew 6:8). Still He never wearies of our coming to Him in sincere prayer. Unburden your heart. Take all the time you need. Don't rush. Think when you pray. If you were talking to the president of your country, you would be alert, wouldn't you? Be alert and reverent when you talk to Yahuwah, and your prayers will be heard in heaven.

B. Is it to make Yahuwah willing?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? Luke 11:13.

Prayer is not overcoming Yahuwah's reluctance; it is taking hold of Yahuwah's willingness: Prayer does not make Him willing, for He is always willing to help us.

C. Is it to change Yahuwah?

I am Yahuwah, I change not. Malachi 3:6.

Do we pray to change Yahuwah? No! With Him is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James 1:17). Yahuwah's promises are conditional; therefore answers vary. But Yahuwah never changes. Yahushua, the Anointed, is the same yesterday, and today, and for ever (Hebrews 13:8). His invitation is, Come now, and let us reason together (Isaiah 1:18).

D. Is it to change us?

Prayer is the greatest unused force in the universe to change what most needs to be changed- men. We pray in order to enable us to receive Him. Prayer does not bring Yahuwah down to us, but brings us up to Him. Read Paul's experience in Acts 9: 10-18.

Yahuwah’s Willingness to Answer

4. How did Yahushua illustrate the willingness of our Heavenly Father to give us what we need when we ask?

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him? Luke 11:13.

Answer: Yahushua looked upon those who were assembled to hear His words, and earnestly desired that the great multitude might appreciate the mercy and loving-kindness of Yahuwah. As an illustration of their need, and of Yahuwah’s willingness to give, He presents before them a hungry child asking his earthly parent for bread.…No man with a father’s heart would turn from his son who is hungry and is asking for bread. Would they think him capable of trifling with his child, of tantalizing him by raising his expectations only to disappoint him? Would he promise to give him good and nourishing food, and then give him a stone? And should anyone dishonor Yahuwah by imagining that He would not respond to the appeals of His children?

Power of Prayer

5. How did Yahushua illustrate the limitless power that every believing disciple can receive in answer to prayer?

“Yahushua answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this which is done to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done. And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.” Matthew 21:21, 22.

NOTE: From the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Great Reformation. The Great Controversy, Page 210.

Nothing is more needed in our work than the practical results of communion with [Yahuwah]. We should show by our daily lives that we have peace and rest in the Saviour. His peace in the heart will shine forth in the countenance. It will give to the voice a persuasive power. Communion with [Yahuwah] will ennoble the character and the life. Men will take knowledge of us, as of the first disciples, that we have been with [Yahushua]. This will impart to the worker a power that nothing else can give. Of this power he must not allow himself to be deprived. The Ministry of Healing, Page 512.

6. What is our part in getting our prayers answered?

Answer: Before you go one step further, read the story of the Pharisee and the publican in the Temple (Luke 18:10-14). This will help you to see that sincerity of purpose means much with Yahuwah. Now go and note carefully these eight points:

A. Recognize your need of Yahuwah.

I will pour water upon him that is thirsty. Isaiah 44:3.

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled. Matthew 5:6.

We must recognize our need. That's what the publican did and what the Pharisee did not do. A French nobleman said, Yahuwah would think twice before damning a person of my quality. Such conceit short-circuits prayer.

B. Recognize Yahuwah as your indispensable helper.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in Me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without Me ye can do nothing. John 15:5.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights. James 1:17.

As a man sentenced to death by the highest court looks to the governor as his only hope, so should we in all things look to Yahuwah. It is only at the altar of Yahuwah that we can kindle our tapers with divine fire (Isaiah 50: 10-11).

C. Pray in faith.

lf any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Yahuwah, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering James 1:5-6. See (verses 7-8).

To pray without faith is like plugging up a water pipe and then opening up the faucet. Nothing happens. Prayer without faith is like a key with no hand to turn it in the lock. Ask in faith (Hebrews 11:6).

D. Confess and forsake all your sins.

He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy. Proverbs 28:13.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, Yahuwah will not hear me Psalm 66:18. See (Proverbs 28:9).

Confess and forsake. We must not wait for feeling. We must act. Be specific with Yahuwah. Israel found peace only when they said, We have added unto all our sins this evil. to ask us a king (1 Samuel 12: 19).

Sin is the transgression of the law (1 John 3:4). We must forsake sin, ( which is lawlessness. Obedience must be the rule of our lives. It is the fruit of true faith. Faith without works is dead (James 2:20).

E. Pray according to Yahuwah's will.

He went a little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, 0 my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt Matthew 26:39. See (verse 42).

We know not what we should pray for as we ought (Romans 8:26).

If it was fitting for Yahushua to pray, Thy will be done, how much more appropriate for us. No wise parent will give a child everything he asks for. The answer sometimes is No; sometimes it is a substitute, as a rubber ball instead of scissors. And sometimes the answer may be, Not now; this is a postponement. Thus we must trust Yahuwah.

F. Persevere with Yahuwah.

Read Luke 18:1-8 -the story of the importunate widow.

So many times we rush through the circle of prayer and scarcely remember what we prayed for. Perseverance in prayer is not so much urging our wills upon Yahuwah as it is being instant in prayer- keeping an attitude of prayer. Yet it does mean earnestness, as in the case of Elijah's praying for rain and sending his servant seven times to the hilltop to look for signs of rain.

G. Pray in Yahushua's name.

Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. John 14: 13.

To pray in the name of Yahushua is to pray in the mind and spirit of Yahushua while we believe His promises, rely upon His grace, and work His works.

H. Listen as well as talk.

I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what He will say unto me, and what I shall answer when I am reproved. Habakkuk 2:1.

Some preacher has said, The prayer room is not so much the oratory room as the observatory room. Waiting for Yahuwah to speak in prayer sometimes provides the only answer we need to our petitions.

Conditions for Answers

7. Why are some prayers not answered?

Answer: In order to have our prayers answered, we should remove all the obstacles that block the prayer channel. Think of these four things:

A. We must forgive others.

If ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses Matthew 6:14-15 See (Matthew 18:21-35).

B. We must pray for others.

Yahuwah turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends Job 42:10. (See Matthew 5:44.)

A man whose prayer is always, 0 Lord bless me, can never become like Yahuwah in character. We must have not only the inward look, but the outlook. John Knox prayed, [Yahuwah], give me Scotland or I die. He prayed for his enemies.

If we do not pray for those who despitefully use us, we shall surely despise them. Sincere prayer for them is essential for our own sakes.

C. We must confess our faults one to another.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray for one another, that ye may be healed James 5:16. See (Matthew 5:23-24).

We must confess faults to others we have injured. This is simple decency. If you break a man's leg, do your best to fix it. If you break his heart, you are the only human being who can help patch it up. Do this now with kindness and words of sincerity.

D. We must restore anything taken by fraud or robbery.

If the wicked restore the pledge, give again that he had robbed, walk in the statutes of life, without committing iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die Ezekiel 33:15. See (the example of Zacchaeus, in Luke 19:1-9).

8. In what manner does James say Yahuwah will answer the prayer of faith?

“If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of Yahuwah, 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.” James 1:5, 6.

NOTE: “The [Creator] whom we serve is no respecter of persons. He who gave to Solomon the spirit of wise discernment is willing to impart the same blessing to His children today. If any of you lack wisdom, His word declares, let him ask of [Yahuwah], that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. James 1:5. When a burden bearer desires wisdom more than he desires wealth, power, or fame, he will not be disappointed. Such a one will learn from the Great Teacher not only what to do, but how to do it in a way that will meet with the divine approval.” Prophets and Kings page 31.

9. With what power did Jacob prevail at the Brook Jabbok?

“And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. And when he saw that he prevailed not against him, he touched the hollow of his thigh; and the hollow of Jacob's thigh was out of joint, as he wrestled with him. And he said, Let me go, for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with Elohim and with men, and hast prevailed.” Genesis 32:24–28.

Answer: With power of faith. Importunate prayer.

NOTE: Jacob prevailed because he was persevering and determined. His victory is an evidence of the power of importunate prayer. All who will lay hold of [Yahuwah's] promises, as he did, and be as earnest and persevering as he was, will succeed as he succeeded. The Great Controversy, Page 621.

It was through faith and prayer that Jacob, from being a man of feebleness and sin, became a prince with [Yahuwah]. It is thus that you may become men and women of high and holy purpose, of noble life, men and women who will not for any consideration be swayed from truth, right, and justice. The Ministry of Healing, Page 511.

10. What does John say is necessary if we are going to experience the power of prevailing prayer?

“And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight.” “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.” 1 John 3:22; 5:14, 15.

NOTE: Those who decide to do nothing in any line that will displease [Yahuwah], will know, after presenting their case before Him, just what course to pursue. And they will receive not only wisdom, but strength. Power for obedience, for service, will be imparted to them, as [Yahushua] has promised. Whatever was given to [Yahushua]—the ‘all things’ to supply the need of fallen men—was given to Him as the head and representative of humanity. And ‘whatsoever we ask, we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.’ 1 John 3:22. The Desire of Ages, Page 668.

Praise in Prayer

11. What does Paul say will always be connected with true prayer?

“Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto Yahuwah.” Philippians 4:6.

NOTE: Our devotional exercises should not consist wholly in asking and receiving. Let us not be always thinking of our wants and never of the benefits we receive. We do not pray any too much, but we are too sparing of giving thanks. We are the constant recipients of [Yahuwah's] mercies, and yet how little gratitude we express, how little we praise Him for what He has done for us. Steps to Christ, page 102, 103.

The soul may ascend nearer heaven on the wings of praise. [Yahuwah] is worshiped with song and music in the courts above, and as we express our gratitude we are approximating to the worship of the heavenly hosts. Ibid., Page 104.

12. When Paul and Silas mingled praise with their prayers, what happened?

“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto Yahuwah: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one's bands were loosed.” Acts 16:25, 26.

Answer: In the prison at Philippi, while suffering from the cruel stripes they had received, their feet fast in the stocks, Paul and Silas prayed and sang praise to Yahuwah; and angels were sent from heaven to deliver them. The earth shook under the tread of these heavenly messengers, and the prison doors flew open, setting the prisoners free.

Private and Public

13. What counsel has Yahushua given to His disciples in regard to their personal prayer life?

“But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.” Matthew 6:6.

NOTE: Have a place for secret prayer. Yahushua had select places for communion with Yahuwah, and so should we. We need often to retire to some spot, however humble, where we can be alone with Yahuwah.…In the secret place of prayer, where no eye but Yahuwah’s can see, no ear but His can hear, we may pour out our most hidden desires and longings to the Father of infinite pity, and in the hush and silence of the soul that voice which never fails to answer the cry of human need will speak to our hearts.

14. What other kind of prayer does Yahushua endorse with the promise of His presence?

“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.” Matthew 18:19, 20.

NOTE: We should not come together to remain silent; those only are remembered of Yahuwah who assemble to speak of His honor and glory and tell of His power; upon such the blessing of Yahuwah will rest, and they will be refreshed. If all moved as they should, no precious time would run to waste, and no reproofs would be needed for long prayers and exhortations; all the time would be occupied by short, pointed testimonies and prayers. Ask, believe, and receive. There is too much mocking Yahuwah, too much praying that is no praying and that wearies angels and displeases Yahuwah, too many vain, unmeaning petitions.

Posture in Prayer

15. What example has Daniel and Paul left us in regard to the physical attitude of prayer?

“Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his Eloah, as he did aforetime.” “And when he had thus spoken, he kneeled down, and prayed with them all.” Daniel 6:10; Acts 20:36.

Please take time to read [Luke 22:41; Acts 9:40; 7:59, 60; 21:5; Ezra 9:5, 6; 2 Chronicles. 6:1-13; Ephesians 3:14.]

NOTE: Both in public and private worship it is our duty to bow down upon our knees before Yahuwah when we offer our petitions to Him. This act shows our dependence upon Yahuwah. . . Is it possible that with all the light that Yahuwah has given to His people on the subject of reverence, that ministers, principals, and teachers in our schools, by precept and example teach young men to stand erect in devotion as did the Pharisees? Shall we look upon this as significant of their self-sufficiency and self-importance? Are these traits to become conspicuous?

Cultivate the habit of talking with the Saviour when you are alone, when you are walking, and when you are busy with your daily labor. Let the heart be continually uplifted in silent petition for help, for light, for strength, for knowledge. The Ministry of Healing, Page 510, 511.

16. In what manner has Yahuwah declared He would have us approach Him in prayer during public worship?

“O come, let us worship and bow down: let us kneel before Yahuwah our maker.” Psalm 95:6.

NOTE: We hope that our brethren will not manifest less reverence and awe as they approach the only true and living Eloah than the heathen manifest for their idol deities, or these people will be our judges in the day of final decision.…Men and women, do not dishonor Yahuwah by your irreverence and pomposity. Do not stand up in your Phariseeism and offer your prayers to Yahuwah.…And when you assemble to worship Yahuwah, be sure and bow your knees before Him. Let this act testify that the whole soul, body, and spirit are in subjection to the Spirit of truth.

And when you assemble to worship Yahuwah, be sure and bow your knees before Him. Let this act testify that the whole soul, body, and spirit are in subjection to the Spirit of truth. Who have searched the Word closely for examples and direction in this respect? . . .

Man must come on bended knee, as a subject of grace, a suppliant at the footstool of mercy. And as he receives daily mercies at the hand of Yahuwah, he is ever to cherish gratitude in his heart, and give expression to it in the words of thanksgiving and praise for these unmerited favors.

The prayer offered by Solomon during the dedication of the temple, was not made while he stood upon his feet. The king knelt in the humble position of a petitioner.

Herein is a lesson for Yahuwah's people today. Our spiritual strength and our influence are not increased by conformity to a worldly attitude during prayer. . . . Let man come on bended knee, as a subject of grace, a suppliant at the footstool of mercy. Thus he is to testify that the whole soul, body, and spirit are in subjection to his Creator.”

17. Why are we especially admonished to pray now?

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.” Romans 13:11, 12.

Answer: We are in the last days, dear friend, and Yahushua is coming soon. Said Peter: The end of all things is at hand; be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer. 1 Peter 4:7.

If we are to stand in the time of trouble that is just ahead, we must get the daily prayer habit, and pray always. Morning, noon, and night we should lift our souls to Yahuwah. Yahushua said: Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares . . Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye, may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Luke 21:34, 36.

“Our heavenly Father waits to bestow upon us the fullness of His blessing. It is our privilege to drink largely at the fountain of boundless love. What a wonder it is that we pray so little! [Yahuwah] is ready and willing to hear the sincere prayer of the humblest of His children, and yet there is much manifest reluctance on our part to make known our wants to [Yahuwah]. What can the angels of heaven think of poor helpless human beings, who are subject to temptation, when [Yahuwah's] heart of infinite love yearns toward them, ready to give them more than they can ask or think, and yet they pray so little and have so little faith? The angels love to bow before [Yahuwah]; they love to be near Him. They regard communion with [Yahuwah] as their highest joy; and yet the children of earth, who need so much the help that [Yahuwah] only can give, seem satisfied to walk without the light of His Spirit, the companionship of His presence.” Steps to Christ, page 94.

Will you commit yourself to become better acquainted with Yahushua by setting apart some time every morning to talk with Him in personal, private prayer?