Tag: Pray

How to Seek God’s Will (Part 1)

Do you sometimes get confused about your life? Do you have problems on what decisions to make in your life? Are there people around you who are giving you advice but you just don’t know whose advice to follow? Indeed in such situations, life can be confusing.

It’s very important before making any major decisions in your life or regarding a particular situation that you learn to seek God’s will or plan first. Living a lifestyle of consulting the Lord’s will in any area of our lives is very important. From today, if you desire to live a life without confusion where you seek the Lord’s plans, why don’t you try the following Biblical methods:

(1) READ, STUDY & MEDIATE GOD’S WORD – (Psalm 1:1-3 – Blessed is the man, Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful; But his delight is in the law of the Lord, And in His law he meditates day and night. He shall be like a tree, Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not wither; And whatever he does shall prosper.)

(2) SPEND TIME WITH GOD – (James 4:8 – Draw near to God and He will draw near to you…)

(3) ASK GOD FOR WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING IN YOUR LIFE – (Proverbs 24:3-4 – Through wisdom a house is built, And by understanding it is established; By knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.)

(4) DON’T LEAN ON YOUR OWN UNDERSTANDING – (Proverbs 3:5-7 – 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. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the Lord and depart from evil.)

(5) TRUST GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART & HAVE FAITH IN HIM – (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)

(6) COMMIT ALL YOUR PLANS TO HIM FIRST AND SEEK HIS GUIDANCE THROUGH HIS WORD AND BY HIS SPIRIT. (Proverbs 16:3 – Commit your works to the Lord, And your thoughts will be established.)

(7) LEARN TO LISTEN, RECOGNISE AND OBEY HIS VOICE – (John 10:27-28 – My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.)

In my future articles, I will endeavor to expand more on the above 7 methods to help us understand why these areas are important if we are to know, understand and apply God’s will and plan in our life.

Jeremiah 29:11-14
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.

One of the main privileges of being a child of God is that you can come to the Lord with every and any issue that you have on your mind. You can ask Him any question that you like. You can seek Him and come to Him in prayer anytime of the day. There is nothing that God cannot help you with.
Therefore if you are confused about your life, or about a decision that you want to make, it is very important that you INVOLVE God in EVERY AREA and ASPECT of your life.
In order to know the will of the Lord for your life or for a particular challenge that you may encounter, you have to know the will of God by reading, studying and trusting His word. It is through God’s word and by spending time with Him that you learn His nature and He will give you WISDOM, KNOWLEDGE and UNDERSTANDING to know His will for every situation in your life.

Ephesians 5:17 NKJV
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Without trust or faith in God, you cannot be led by God. Without involving God in every area of your life, you make it difficult for yourself to be led by God.
Always remember that God has more knowledge and experience than you do – so trust Him. Always remember that God is your Creator – so He knows and understands you more than you know or understand yourself – so trust Him. Don’t lean on your own limited and flawed knowledge.

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.

Pray, Believe, Receive

Do you feel like your prayers are not being answered? Do you feel like God just doesn’t seem interested in your problems? Have you been doubting God? Do you feel like God is just taking too long to reply? Have you lost all hope in what you have been praying for?

Mark 11:24 NKJV
Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

According to Mark 11:24, Jesus says that there are 3 things that you need to do if you want God to answer your prayers.
1. You need to PRAY to God concerning your prayer request.
2. You need to BELIEVE that God will answer you
3. You need to RECEIVE God’s answer or your prayer request even before you have seen it.

Believing is a choice. Just like doubt & fear is a choice.
So you can either CHOOSE to BELIEVE or you can choose to doubt.

The world says “I’ll believe it when I see it”, but the Christian says “For we walk by faith, not by sight (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV)”
Are you living by faith like a BELIEVER or are you living by sight like a non-believer?

Faith does NOT require that you see first before you can believe; Faith requires that you believe FIRST before you can see it. “For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7 NKJV)

Mark 11:23 NKJV
For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

So what are the mountains in your life? Is it unemployment? Is it finance? Is it a relationship?
Jesus says SPEAK to your mountain, remove it by speaking and DO NOT DOUBT in your heart that the mountain will be removed. Believe that what you have said will happen and you will RECEIVE what you say.

Whenever you pray to God, remember that He does not behave like a magician or genie from a bottle. God is not like that. God can choose to respond instantaneously or He can take His time to respond. And in the process of responding, God will bring glory to Himself and help you to learn a lesson in the process so that you grow and continue to mature in Christ.
So FAITH requires that you have patience but STILL BELIEVE.
Faith requires that you speak to your mountain and NOT DOUBT.

Matthew 13:58 NKJV
Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

Where there is unbelief and doubt, you do not give God room to work or answer you. God wants you to trust in Him. Because if you doubt Him, it means that you believe that God cannot help you.
Like I said earlier: Belief is a choice and Doubt is a choice too.So make the right choice.

Luke 17:6 NKJV
So the Lord said, “If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

How big or how small should your faith be? Jesus said that all you need is faith that is like a mustard seed. Now if you know what a mustard seed looks like, you will discover that a mustard seed is one of the SMALLEST seeds.
Don’t worry too much about how “big” your faith should be or how “small” you think it is. Just ensure that you have faith in God and do not allow doubt to dictate your actions.

Mark 11:22 NKJV
So Jesus answered and said to them, “HAVE FAITH IN GOD…”

Hebrews 11:1 NKJV
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen

TODAY. God only requires that you BELIEVE and not doubt Him and then God will answer. Pray, Believe & Receive.

 

 

Give God The Priority

We live in a busy world. A lot of things in life compete for our time and attention. However we need to give God the Priority. We can become so busy with such issues as our jobs, our family responsibilities, meeting deadlines, and all sorts of activities that we at times forget to do the most important activity of any day – which is to spend some quality time with God.

Luke 10:38-42
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”
And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Like Martha, the daily issues of life can distract us from spending quality time with God. The reason is that sometimes we do not have the correct priorities in our lives.
It was such a great privilege for Martha to have the Lord Jesus inside her home, but somehow Martha failed to realize the importance of being in the presence of the Son of God. She took God’s presence for granted. Having been in the presence of God, Martha should have dropped all her serving chores and given priority to focusing all her attention on learning and listening to Jesus.
Martha’s sister Mary had the right attitude. Upon seeing that Jesus had visited, she sat at Jesus’ feet and focused on hearing God’s word.

In life we should not take God’s presence for granted. We should learn to prioritize God and His presence over everything else. The issues that God teaches are everlasting and life changing in comparison to some of the activities that we prioritize in life.
For example. In our world today, sometimes the television can take priority over spending time in God’s presence. We tell ourselves and give excuses that we don’t have time to read the Bible and pray because we are too busy.
Even though Martha was busy, she did not realize that at that particular time, what she was doing was not important. It was more important for her to be learning from Jesus because God was in her house. Jesus had to tell Martha: “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But ONE THING IS NEEDED, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”
Therefore you might be busy and a lot of issues in your life may require your attention – however only ONE THING IS NEEDED – spend some quality time with God – and he may even take care of your issues.

Sometimes we need to be like Mary, and drop everything for a while so that we may devote our time and attention to be in God’s presence and listen and learn from God. When you put God first, God will take care of the rest.

TODAY. One thing is needed. Spend time with God.

Our Father … Yours Is The Kingdom


Matthew 6:9-13 NKJV

In this manner, therefore, pray: … For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

Whenever we pray, Jesus taught us to remember that God is the King and therefore as the King, God has a kingdom. We must always be conscious even as we pray, that God is the King of kings and the Lord of lords. That means that there is no other kingdom that is stronger or better than the Kingdom of God.
God is almighty and all the power, the glory and the honour belongs to God only and to nobody else.

1 Peter 2:11 NLT
Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.

When you become a born again Christian, you become a citizen of the Kingdom of God. Therefore, even though you are still on earth, and have a country’s citizenship, the scripture reminds us that we are “temporary residents and foreigners”. The earth is not our permanent dwelling. The kingdom of God is where we shall permanently dwell. Also as citizens of the kingdom of God, we do not ultimately submit to any other king or kingdom except to God our King and His Kingdom. Romans 12:2 says that should not be conformed to this world. Why? Because we are citizens of the Kingdom of God. We are not citizens of this world. We submit ultimately to God and to the principles and standards of God’s kingdom.

Isaiah 42:8 NKJV
I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images.

Therefore our prayers must consist of us giving all praise and glory to God. Nothing good in our life, happens without God. Every good and perfect gift comes from God (James 1:17) and therefore we need to give God His rightful honour and place in our lives.
There are many worldly “kings” and many types of “kingdoms” that will fight for your attention and for your worship. However worldly kingdoms are temporary and they focus on the temporary issues.
God’s kingdom is eternal; it is forever. God’s power is eternal. All the other kingdoms will fall, but God’s kingdom will remain.

TODAY. As you pray, remember that you are praying to God, the almighty King of kings whose Kingdom, power and glory is eternal.