Have you ever said God didn’t answer your prayers when you didn’t receive what you asked for?
It’s possible God didn’t hear you.
“If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear.” (Psalms 66:18, NKJV)
Unconfessed sins that we refuse to turn away from block our channel of communication with God.
But it’s possible God’s answer was just, “No.”
There is a wrong way to pray, and the Bible says it results in our requests being unfulfilled.
“You want something you don't have, and you will do anything to get it. You will even kill! But you still cannot get what you want, and you won't get it by fighting and arguing. You should pray for it. Yet even when you do pray, your prayers are not answered, because you pray just for selfish reasons.” (James 4:2-3, CEV)
We may not feel passionate enough to kill for what we want, but even prayers for healing, for reconciliation of broken relationships, or solutions to financial problems can be motivated by selfish desires.
Without the influence of the Holy Spirit, it’s our nature to be selfish, even when we pray.
For this reason, Jesus emphasized the importance of praying for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
“"So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 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 11:9-13, NKJV)
We may rely on prayer as a tool for getting what we want. But if our wants aren’t aligned with God’s desires we’re just asking for disappointment.
God wants the desires of your heart to be synchronized with the desires of His heart. This is the work of the Holy Spirit. We need to ask for and receive the power of the Holy Spirit every day.
God’s purpose for prayer is for us to receive what God wants. God wants to bless us with His Spirit. It’s His Spirit that provides the peace and power for the abundant life promised by Jesus.
The Bible warns of personal trials and troubled times ahead. These times may arrive sooner than we think. For you, they may already be here. Without the Holy Spirit in you, what chance do you have of receiving what we’ll need most—the righteousness of Jesus?
If haven’t welcomed the Holy Spirit to live in you, today’s the best day to do it.
“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.” (John 6:63, NKJV)
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