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Why Should We Pray? Does God Answer Our Prayers?

Hello brothers and sisters of Grow in Christ,

Good day! Not long ago my elder sister preached the gospel of the Lord Jesus to me. After joining the church, I was told by my elder sister that every day we need to pray to the Lord. At that time I was confused: Why do we need to pray in belief in the Lord? Does God listen to my prayer? Could you please fellowship those questions with me?

Sincerely yours,

Lin Li

June 10, 2018

Why Should We Pray? Does God Answer Our Prayers?

Sister Lin Li:

Hello! Thanks for the Lord’s grace and mercy, so that we can be chosen from the world to return to His house. It is normal that as new believers in the Lord, we don’t understand why we need to pray and whether God will listen to our prayers. At first I had the same confusion as you do. Later through the communication and help from brothers and sisters, I understood the significance of prayer, and knew how to pray to be fit for God’s intentions. After that, my perplexities were dispelled. Here I will talk a little bit about my own understanding. I hope it can bring you some help.

First, let’s talk about why believers in God need to pray. I read such a passage of words on the internet: “After God created mankind and gave them spirits, He enjoined them that if they didn’t call out to God, then they would not be able to connect with His Spirit and thus the ‘satellite television’ from heaven would not be received on earth. When God is no longer in people’s spirits there is an empty seat left open for other things, and that’s how Satan seizes the opportunity to get in. When people contact God with their hearts, Satan immediately goes into a panic and rushes to escape. Through mankind’s cries God gives them what they need, but He does not ‘reside’ within them at first. He just constantly gives them aid because of their cries and people gain hardiness from that internal strength so that Satan dare not come here to ‘play’ at its will. This way, if people constantly connect with God’s Spirit, Satan dare not come to disrupt. Without Satan’s disruption, all of people’s lives are normal and God has the opportunity to work within them without any obstructions. This way, what God wants to do can be achieved through humans” (“Interpretation of the Seventeenth Utterance” in The Word Appears in the Flesh).

From this passage of words, it can be seen that the reason why believers in God need to pray is because prayer is one of the ways for us to cry out to God and establish a normal relationship with God. When we pray to God with our heart, and open our heart to tell Him about our difficulties and perplexities, God will enlighten and lead us out of the trouble according to our inadequacies and needs when He sees our true heart. Ordinarily in order to destroy the relationship between God and us, Satan will make use of different surroundings and people to disturb our heart, making us fall into a bad state and feel weak in spirit. At that time, as long as we pray and cry out to God with a true heart, God will lead us to see through Satan’s tricks and understand His intentions. In this way, Satan will have no opportunity to work on us. Then we will return to a normal state, gain the work of the Holy Spirit and enjoy God’s presence. Additionally, prayers can increase our faith. Especially when trials and tribulations come upon us, through prayer, we can have full of faith in God and feel the dearness and loveliness of Him and thus produce a heart of loving and satisfying God. For instance, in the face of the arrest and torture of the atheistic CCP, many brothers and sisters who truly believe in the Lord once felt quite weak, but through praying to God for faith and strength, they finally overcame the torments of CCP and stood witness for God. So it is very important for each of us Christians to learn to pray. If we don’t pray for a period of time, we will have no place for God in our heart, which means we have lost communication with God and severed our relationship with God. As a result, we will lose the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit and return to the domain of Satan and fall into darkness. So God allowing us to pray to Him is just to enable us to live under His care and protection at every moment. This is God’s love for us.

Then, does God really listen to our prayer? This depends on whether we worship God with our heart and honesty. The Lord Jesus once said: “But the hour comes, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeks such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth” (John 4:23-24). From these words we can see that the Lord has the substance of faithfulness and that God likes an honest man. Therefore, we should say the words in our hearts while praying, telling our true thoughts and difficulties to God to seek His intentions and enlightenment. Only in this way will God listen to our prayers. By contrast, if we only say some nice words to deceive God, or repeat the platitudes in every prayer just like reciting a prayer, then God won’t accept our prayers, much less will He answer them. Because we didn’t pray to God honestly with a reverent heart. Take the prayers of the earliest Pharisees for example. They prayed to God that they would serve God loyally and bring the Jewish people before God, but actually they conducted their own management, bringing the Jewish people before them to worship them. From this, we can see that they are totally hypocritical. Therefore, we must pray to God with an honest heart, and say the words of our true hearts to God. Only in this way will God listen to our prayers.

On the other hand, if the content of our prayers is fit for God’s intentions, God will answer our prayers. Take, for example, the story of King Solomon recorded in the Bible. The reason why he could become the wisest king throughout the ages is due to the blessing of God. As a king of a nation, Solomon did not ask for grace and blessing for his own flesh or make a deal with God when praying to God. Yet he prayed to God for helping him govern the people of God. Solomon’s prayers were made out of his consideration for God and were made in order to satisfy God. Such prayers were accepted and approved by God. Finally, God bestowed sufficient wisdom upon Solomon and made him become the wealthiest and wisest king.

Today our prayers should be made in the same way. If our prayers are fit for God’s will and His requirement, then God will listen. The Lord Jesus said: “But seek you first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matthew 6:33). God listens to the prayers which are after His heart, and the prayers of those sensible people who truly obey Him. So, what kind of prayers are after God’s heart and what are not? Here I simply list several examples: When we don’t understand God’s words in reading, we should pray to seek the enlightenment and guidance of the Holy Spirit, and seek to understand the truth in God’s words. Such prayers which are made to know God’s will and God’s requirements are after God’s heart. When brothers and sisters who truly believe in God in the church become passive or weak, we pray that they could understand God’s will and come out of the passive states. Such prayers are also after God’s heart. When some brothers and sisters are undergoing persecution and tribulation or disaster and refinement, we pray to God to lead them to stand witness for Him so that He can gain glory from them. Also such prayers are approved by God. Besides, we should pray with true hearts in various trials and refinements, asking God to lead us and keep us from complaining so that we can stand witness for Him. We should pray for fulfilling our duties of created beings and for the spreading of God’s gospel work. All these prayers that are made for knowing God’s will, for practicing the truth to satisfy God, and for carrying out God’s will can be approved and answered by God.

Then, what kind of prayers cannot gain God’s answer? For example, some people pray for getting much money; some ask God for finding a good job; some pray to God to arrange a suitable partner of marriage and so on. All these prayers are not after God’s heart because they are made for men’s own profits or for the satisfaction of their own flesh. As the work God is doing is the work of saving man, if what we pray is contradictory with and not helpful to our salvation, such prayers won’t be approved by God. For instance, in order to make more money in the world we pray to God to bless us. In this situation, if God listens to our prayer and allows us to become millionaires, then our hearts would be occupied by money. At that time, would we still have the heart to believe in God? Finally we would betray God because of money. Therefore, God will not listen to such prayers.

Sister Lin Li, our God is faithful. As long as what we pray is accepted by God, God will give us the answer. For God has told us earlier: “For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Matthew 7:8). From this passage of God’s words, we can see God’s faithfulness and loveliness. God hopes that every one of us will be able to gain the promise and blessings of Him.

If you have any other questions or confusion, welcome to write to communicate with us at any time. Let’s seek God together, and believe that all of our problems will be easily solved with the guidance of God’s words.

Sincerely yours,

Grow in Christ,

June 17, 2018

How to Pray to GodWhy Should We PrayGod Answers PrayersSpiritual Q&A

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