Friday, February 29, 2008




“The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call

on him in truth.” Psalm 145:18 (NIV).


Seeing God answer prayer can be very encouraging

and exciting. However, the key to getting our prayers

answered is knowing how to pray the right prayers?

The following steps will help:


First, pray responsibly. God won’t do for us what we can

and need to do for ourselves. Many a time, for example,

when I was a student, I’d pray furiously for God’s help at

examination time -- especially when I wasn’t adequately

prepared. I managed to pass my exams, but not because

of any pray-instead-of-study prayers.


Pray for truth. When we have a problem, a bad habit, a

conflict, or some sicknesses, we tend to focus our prayers

on the symptoms rather than on the cause/s. And as

counselor Dr. Cecil Osborne used to say, when we hide

a deeper sin or fault, we often confess a lesser one all the

more vigorously [or somebody else’s]. This is because

we don’t see or are afraid to face the often deeper cause

or causes of our problems.


So whenever I have a problem, I acknowledge the

problem but also ask God to show me the root cause

of it, as so many of our problems are the fruit of

a deeper root -- the presenting problem being the

symptom of a deeper problem.


This is why I ask God to face me with the truth of what

I am or might be contributing to what I am praying about,

and to give me the courage to see the real problem, and

lead me to the help I need to resolve it.


Praying for the truth is one of the most effective prayers

I know. However, sometimes I fear facing the truth so I

tell God that I am willing to be made willing to see it --

whatever it might be.


Whenever I have prayed this way, I have always had

my prayer answered. Sometimes the answer comes

quickly, other times slowly. It usually depends on

when I am ready, willing and able to receive it. Facing

one’s truth can be quite a challenge -- but very freeing

and healing!


Pray honestly. If I pray that God will bless my neighbor,

but in my heart I hate that neighbor, which prayer will

God hear? Obviously, what my heart is saying. The only

way God will bless my neighbor in answer to my prayer

is if I admit that I hate him and ask God to help me love



Meaningless repetition doesn’t mean a thing to God

(Matthew 6:7). The prayer he hears and answers is

the one that is honest and comes from the heart. As

the today’s Scripture says, “The Lord is near to all

who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.”


Pray believing. Faith, too, is essential for effective prayer.

As Jesus said, “All things, whatever you ask in prayer,

believing, you will receive” ( Matthew 21:22, NIV), and

“according to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew

9:29, NIV).


To be continued ...


Suggested prayer, “Dear God, thank you that you answer

genuine prayer. Please help me always to pray the right

prayer so I will always get the right answer. Gratefully in

Jesus’ name. Amen.”

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