The Lord gives us both comforting and very sobering prayer promises. Have you been taught the whole counsel of God’s eternal promises concerning prayer?
Thus says the Lord: “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for me with all your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)
Jesus promised, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened unto you.” (Matthew 7:7)
Jesus promised, “Again I say to you, that if two of you will agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.” (Matthew 18:19)
Jesus promised, “Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.” (Mark 11:24)
Jesus warned, “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38)
Where’s the promise? That, while the flesh is weak – when we find it difficult to go deep into prayer when the world is calling to us with its demands and our own business — Jesus promises that the Spirit is truly ready and willing.
Romans 8:13 reminds us that IF we put to death (stop doing) the [sinful] deeds of the body, through the Spirit, we will live; but if we live after the [sinful] flesh, we shall die. The promise that you and I can be an overcomer through the Holy Spirit! Crucify the flesh and press into Lord in prayer… wrestle until you receive the blessing!
If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him! (Luke 11:13)
Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time is. It is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch! (Mark 13:33-37)
And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. (John 14:13-14)
If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. (John 15:7)
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. (John 15:16)
And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full. (John 16:23-24)
Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also sing with the understanding. (1 Corinthians 14:13-15)
For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving; for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer. (1 Timothy 4:4-5)
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; (James 1:5-7)
And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth produced its fruit. (James 5:15-18)
And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. (1 John 3:22)
Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. 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)
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. (Jude 1:20-21)
Why then, aren’t our prayers always answered? Why can it feel as though we are not in the presence of the Lord during our prayers?
Is the Lord’s hand unable to save? Is His ear heavy so as not to hear? But your sins stand between you and your God, and He turned His face from you because of your sins, so as not to have mercy. (Isaiah 59:1-2)
Wives, likewise, be submissive to your own husbands, that even if some do not obey the word, they, without a word, may be won by the conduct of their wives… For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands… Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered. (1 Peter 3:1, 5, 7)
But I want you to know that the head of every man [husband] is Christ, the head of woman [wife] is man [her husband], and the head of Christ is God. Every man praying or prophesying, having his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were shaved. (1 Corinthians 11:3-5)
Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation. (Matthew 23:14)
You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. (James 4:2-3)
Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil, and his lips from speaking deceit. Let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are open to their prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:8-12; Peter’s quoting Psalm 34:12-16 in verses 10-12)
We must tear down the idols in our heart; repent (forsake) any known, unconfessed, willful sin our life and put all of our trust in the Lord for Him to do the saving work. Surrender your will with all of your heart. Fix your eyes of Jesus!