Tag: Faith

Why Doesn’t God Answer My Prayers

Do you feel as if God is not answering your prayers? Should God say “YES; OK” to our every prayer request or petition? Does God answer all prayers? Or does He choose to ignore some of them?

Jeremiah 33:2-3 NKJV
“Thus says the Lord who made it, the Lord who formed it to establish it (the Lord is His name): ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

God has promised to answer us if we call Him. However the fact is, many people (myself included) pray for God to do specific things in our life, and at times it feels like either God is taking too long to answer, or it appears as if God may never answer some of our prayers.

Therefore, when we pray to God and talk to Him concerning the many diverse issues of our lives, why does it seem as if He is so silent or so slow to respond to our prayers?

REASONS WHY IT MAY SEEM AS IF GOD IS NOT ANSWERING …

(1) You Need To Be Patient – God will answer you in His own time. God does not always respond instantly to our prayers. He does not answer us according to our own timetable. Therefore whenever we pray to God, He will at times expect us to exercise patience and He will want us to wait patiently for His response.
Romans 8:25 ESV – But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.
Psalms 37:7 NKJV – Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

(2) Learn to Listen & Discern – It’s important for us to listen just as much as we speak. Perhaps you are not listening. God might be speaking to you but perhaps you cannot hear Him because you do not recognize His voice. It might be that the answer you want or expect is not the answer that God is giving you. Sometimes we want God to answer the way we want Him to – but God does not always answer the way we expect. Sometimes when you have prayed for something specific, you might expect God to answer you with a specific outcome that you would have pre-determined on your own – but sometimes, God’s plans are not our plans – and God’s thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8 NKJV). Therefore how you expect God to answer you can hinder your ability to listen or discern God’s voice if God is preparing to answer or speak to you with a different outcome than the one you are expecting.
In the Bible in 1 Samuel 3:1-10 NKJV, God called Samuel’s name 3 times and 3 times, Samuel mistook God’s voice for Eli’s voice. He thought that it was Eli who was calling him when it was in fact the LORD who was calling his name. Samuel failed to distinguish between the voice of God and the voice of a man.
Therefore when you have prayed, it is important to be able to listen and to distinguish between the many voices that may speak to you so that you are sure to hear God and obey Him. There are many voices that will vie for your attention: the voice of man; the voice of the world; the voice of emotion; the voice of natural intellect and even from the voice of the devil – but it is important to discern and to know God’s voice.
John 10:27 NKJV – My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

(3) Have A Relationship with God – If your best friend, your spouse or even your child were to call you on your cellphone, would you be able to recognize his/her voice via the cellphone? When you have a strong and close relationship with God, you may not be able to see Him, but it is possible to recognize His voice. It is however pertinent that our relationship with God is strong and sound. Unless you have a genuine, one-on-one relationship with God it can be sometimes difficult to hear God’s answers to your prayers. Therefore, the more you know God, the more you will recognize Him. It is important to note that in 1 Samuel 3:7, when Samuel could not recognize God’s voice the scriptures say “(Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.)”
Therefore if you do not know the Lord or have a relationship with God, it can be very difficult to hear God’s answers pertaining to various issues in your life and pertaining to your prayers.
Revelation 3:20 NKJV – Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come into him and dine with him, and he with Me.

(4) You Are Praying Amiss – Whenever you seek God’s help, do you pray with the right motives? For example, as you pray are you seeking vengeance and damnation on other people, when in fact God wants you to pray for their salvation? Or are you praying for God to give you material things only when in fact God would wish that you would focus more on praying for the gifts and fruits of the Holy Spirit in your life?
In 2 Chronicles 1:7-11 Solomon became King and God asked Solomon what he wanted. Solomon then asked for wisdom & knowledge. God ended up giving Solomon MORE than what he asked because Solomon had asked God with a pure heart and with the right motive. This is what God said to him after Solomon asked for wisdom and knowledge: 2 Chronicles 1:11-12Then God said to Solomon: “Because this was in your heart, and you have not asked riches or wealth or honor or the life of your enemies, nor have you asked long life — but have asked wisdom and knowledge for yourself, that you may judge My people over whom I have made you king — wisdom and knowledge are granted to you; and I will give you riches and wealth and honor, such as none of the kings have had who were before you, nor shall any after you have the like.”
Therefore if we are to hear God’s answers to our prayers then we must pray according to His will and His purpose. We must pray God’s will to be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.
James 4:3 NKJV – You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

(5) You Are Not Adding Faith and Works to Your Prayers – God is not a magician or a wizard. Neither is He is genie. You can therefore not simply wish things into existence. Whatever God does, He does to glorify Himself. If we expect God to answer our prayers, then we must have faith in Him. And our faith must be accompanied by action. For example, perhaps you are looking for a job with good remuneration. It is good to pray for a job, but you must also spend time sending your applications and CV to respective companies. You cannot just pray for a job but not make the effort to practically search for the job you want through the newspaper, employment agencies, internet sites etc.
Or perhaps you want to give up an addiction such as smoking. When you have prayed for God to help you to overcome the addiction and temptation of smoking, you must then accompany that prayer with action and effort by avoiding to smoking cigarettes.
When you put faith and works together, you will then experience the God’s practical answers to your prayers in your life.
James 2:17-19 NKJV – Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. But someone will say, “You have faith, and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

(6) Spend More Time Reading His Word – God’s word, the Bible has many answers to many issues and questions that we may have in our life. God is able to answer your prayers through His word. However you cannot receive or understand His answers unless you spend time reading His word. Many times God has answered specific issues in my own life simply by using His word.
In 1 Samuel 3:7 the scriptures say (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord, nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.)
Therefore part of the reason why Samuel did not recognize the Lord or His voice was because the word of God was not yet inside him. It is therefore important for us to study and meditate God’s word if we are to hear and understand God when He responds to our prayers.
Hebrews 4:12-13 NKJVFor the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

CONCLUSION

Jeremiah 29:11-14 NKJV
For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

God loves us and He will not ignore us if we come to Him with the right heart. God is more interested in the condition of our heart and if we come to Him, He will listen to us.
You don’t have to be perfect for God to listen to you. In fact, God will listen to you more so when you are flawed and broken.
Psalms 34:18 NKJV – The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, And saves such as have a contrite spirit.
Psalms 51:17 NKJV – The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart — These, O God, You will not despise.

In conclusion: Does God answer prayers? Yes He does.

Overcome Analysis Paralysis

Have you ever had an exciting idea? Perhaps you had an exciting vision to start a business; or you would like to do something charitable. However somewhere between the conception of your idea and its implementation, you begin to doubt whether your vision will work at all. Suddenly you begin to think of all the pros and cons; Suddenly you begin to focus more on the fear of failing to accomplish your vision; You over-think the negatives of your vision so much that you do not end up implementing your idea. You also become discouraged by the economic and the political climate. Therefore, what once started as an exciting vision full of potential and promise, eventually becomes a dead one.
I read somewhere that major corporations like Microsoft, FedEX, General Electric, Revlon, Burger King and HP were started in the middle of a recession. And we would all agree that these successful corporations have a plentiful – and profitable – harvest over many years. Therefore your external environment is never an excuse for one to become paralysed when it comes to positive decision making.

Why then, for some of us, do we allow our visions to die? Could it be a lack of faith due to Analysis Paralysis?

Hebrews 11:1 ESV.
Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.

Paralysis of analysis or analysis paralysis is defined as the state of over-analyzing (or over-thinking) a situation, or citing sources, so that a decision or action is never taken, in effect paralyzing the outcome. A decision can be treated as over-complicated, with too many detailed options, so that a choice is never made, rather than try something and change if a major problem arises. A person might be seeking the optimal or “perfect” solution upfront, and fear making any decision which could lead to erroneous results, when on the way to a better solution.

Romans 1:17 NKJV
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

God wants His children to live by faith. Often the enemy of faith is fear. Sometimes a person can be afraid to act in faith because he/she has been overcome by fear of failure. When a person is governed by fear instead of faith, such a person will not make a decision unless the outcome is 100% foreseen and 100% guaranteed.
However, in life, not everything is 100% guaranteed. Only God fully knows the outcome of all things because only God is all-knowing. Which is why our faith should NOT be in ourselves or in our money or in other people, but our faith should be in God alone because only God knows all things and only God can foresee all things before they happen.

Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.

If you are to overcome the problem of analysis paralysis in your life, then it is important to trust and have faith in God. It is also imperative to talk to God about your vision, your ideas and your challenges. You will find that as you entrust the Lord with your ideas and concerns, then God will direct you.

Analysis paralysis may often happen in your life when you rely on your own wisdom and on your own understanding. Rather than overthinking your situation, rely on God to direct your path and to open the right doors and opportunities in your life.

TODAY. Have faith in God.

Do False Prophets Perform Signs & Wonders?

Matthew 24:24 NKJV
For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.

Do false prophets perform signs & wonders? Is it easy for them to deceive people?
The devil is able to perform physical and spiritual signs and wonders? The devil wants to be like God, and therefore he will try to imitate God. The devil desires to be worshipped and so he will create signs and wonders in order to deceive people into worshipping him and his acts.
It’s important to know that the devil is the father of lies and that he is able to counterfeit the signs and works of God so that he may deceive people and lead them astray.
For example, where God is able to give people the gift of prophecy by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:4-11), the devil has created a counterfeit ability by enabling people to foretell the future through divination, astrology and fortune telling and witchcraft (Leviticus 19:26)

God says in the scriptures, the following regarding false prophets who prophesy using divination, which the LORD expressly forbids – Jeremiah 14:14-15 “And the Lord said to me,” The prophets prophesy lies in My name. I have not sent them, commanded them, nor spoken to them; they prophesy to you a false vision, divination, a worthless thing, and the deceit of their heart.”

Therefore Jesus warned that we should not be surprised nor deceived whenever we see false prophets prophesying falsely in the name of God (Matthew 24:24). They are wolves in sheep’s clothing whose agenda is to deceive and lead people away from God.

Exodus 7:8-12 NKJV
Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, “When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, ‘Show a miracle for yourselves,’ then you shall say to Aaron, ‘Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent.’
So Moses and Aaron went in to Pharaoh, and they did so, just as the Lord commanded. And Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh and before his servants, and it became a serpent.
But Pharaoh also called the wise men and the sorcerers; so the magicians of Egypt, they also did in like manner with their enchantments. For every man threw down his rod, and they became serpents. But Aaron’s rod swallowed up their rods.

As you can see from the Exodus 7:8-12, when Moses and Aaron visited Pharaoh, you will notice that Pharaoh’s sorcerers were present to represent Pharaoh. Sorcerers rely on power from false gods and from the devil himself in order to perform signs and wonders. Therefore when Aaron under the instruction of GOD cast his rod before Pharaoh, Aaron’s rod became a snake. However, Pharaoh’s sorcerers under the power of the devil were also able to copy and imitate God’s sign by turning their own rods into serpents as well.
It’s therefore important to realize that the enemy can also perform signs and wonders and he can perform these wonders through false prophets. Our God is great and mighty however, and the devil can never defeat God. You will also notice in Exodus 7 that God’s rod swallowed up ALL the rods that belonged to Pharaoh’s sorcerers. This was God’s demonstration to Pharaoh, the sorcerers and the false gods that they represented that God is the only true, almighty and all powerful God and that He is above every false god.

False prophets will perform false prophesies and wonders that will dazzle you, and they will even appear true – but the SOURCE of those prophesies and wonders will NOT be from God but they will be from the devil.

Acts 16:16-19 NKJV
Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

Again you will notice that this girl had a spirit of divination which gave her the ability to foretell or predict people’s future. Under this spirit of divination she was able to have hidden knowledge of people’s specific current circumstances and also she was getting profit for her masters by fortune telling. This spirit of divination – a demonic spirit that possessed this girl even spoke what was true about Paul being a servant of God, but yet what annoyed Paul was the fact that this evil spirit was NOT of God and neither did it represent the kingdom of God.
God does not want us to gain or receive any secret or hidden knowledge from demonic spirits (Deuteronomy 18:10-12) – but rather God wants us to receive our knowledge from Him through His Holy Spirit who will lead us into all truth (John 16:13-15).

Therefore truth is NOT found by consulting demonic spirits and the false prophets, but real TRUTH is found by knowing God’s word and through the Holy Spirit. Only the truth from God will set us free from the deception of false prophets and teachers.

So do false prophets perform signs & wonders? Yes they do.

TODAY. Pray for the gift of discernment from the Holy Spirit.

FAITHFULNESS – Fruit of the Spirit

Galatians 5:22 NKJV
But the fruit of the Spirit is … faithfulness

How committed are you to what you believe in? Are you steadfast and firm in the word of God?
Are you committed your relationships?

Faithfulness requires that we be committed. It is part of God’s quality and character and the Lord desires that His children be committed and faithful to Him and to His word.

2 Timothy 2:13 NKJV
If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

Even when we don’t have faith in God or in His word, God will always remain faithful to His teachings and to His principles. Whatever God promises do to – He WILL do it. God does not change. His word does not return to Him void.
However, being faithful and committed is not always easy. Nevertheless God desires that we be faithful.

Therefore what are some of the attributes of one who walks in faithfulness to the things of God?

  1. Recognize that it’s not all about you. Realize that you serve a higher purpose and a higher Being than just yourself. Therefore when you make a decision to follow God, be committed to God. (Matthew 16:24-25 : Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me”)
  2. God must be the author of your life and of your faith. You must also fix your eyes on the Lord (Hebrews 12:2 : Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.)
  3. We must know who our rewarder is. When we keep the faith or remain faithful, God is the one who rewards us ultimately. Not man. (Hebrews 11:6 : But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him).
  4. You must always realize that God is faithful to keep His promises. (Hebrews 11:11-12 : By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.)
  5. Be faithful even in the LITTLE things. (Matthew 25:21 : His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord”)
  6. Be faithful with other people’s property. (Luke 16:10-12 : He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much. Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? And if you have not been faithful in what is another man’s, who will give you what is your own?) 
  7. Be led by the Holy Spirit, because faithfulness is a fruit of the Spirit.

TODAY. Allow the Holy Spirit to help you to continually be faithful.

 

Trust God to Supply


Exodus 16:4 NKJV

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.

Do you trust God to provide your needs? Do you doubt that God will do for you what He has promised in His word? Do you wonder why it is that you just don’t seem to have an abundance of possessions?

We live in economic uncertainty. Unemployment is high, salaries are low, you can’t even save some money, it’s difficult to budget and you can’t purchase what you want, whenever you want it.
In Exodus 16, we learn that the Israelites became hungry in the wilderness and they began to complain to Moses for food. God decided to meet their need for food in the wilderness. However God decided to test their obedience to His word. God wanted to see if the children of Israel would trust Him enough to obey His instructions and God did so by instructing the Israelites to gather a quota of the food He would provide daily. They were not to gather more than they needed for the day nor to keep some for the following morning or else the food would become bad and inedible.
However some of the Israelites did not trust God’s word that He will supply them daily with bread from Heaven and so they would try to gather more than what they needed.
Exodus 16:19-20 – And Moses said to them, “Let no one leave any of it over till the morning.” But they did not listen to Moses. Some left part of it till the morning, and it bred worms and stank. And Moses was angry with them.

Some of the Israelites did not trust that God would provide as He had promised. They felt that God might come short on His promise and therefore they felt that they had to disobey Him and take matters into their own hands. The problem with taking matters into your own hands is that things can go horribly bad and fail.
God wants you to trust Him and to trust Him that He will provide for your needs.

If you find yourself living from paycheck to paycheck and being unable to have an abundance of money and possessions, my advice is – don’t worry – keep on trusting God – the Lord might be testing you just like He tested the children of Israel in Exodus 16:4.
God could have supplied the Israelites with a whole years’ supply of food in a single moment. But God preferred to supply them with food on a daily basis.
With God, it’s more about testing and developing your character. God wanted the Israelites to know Him and know that God is their Provider. God wanted the Israelites to learn to love and trust Him for all their needs rather than complaining and relying on their own strength and understanding. God wanted them to learn to obey Him.

God will supply your need. Just trust, obey and learn from Him.

TODAY. Believe He will supply.