How to See God Answer Prayers

Paul tells us to “Pray without ceasing.” 1 Thess. 5:17 (NIV). This is a tough command. But one way we can do that within our congregations, or among our fellow Christian bloggers, is to be praying for each other.

Often we think that we shouldn’t bother God, or our fellow Christians, with the small needs in our lives. But God wants us to bring all things to Him in prayer. We are sometime anxious about little things, and those are the very things we need to put in God’s hands.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV).

Here Paul tells us to pray for everything, not just the big things. We shouldn’t wait until a loved one has cancer or we’ve been out of a job for 6 months before we go to God in prayer, or ask others to pray for us. Jesus taught us to pray “give us this day our daily bread.” That seems like a fairly small need in the scope of things we pray for, but God wants to answer our basic prayers.

One of the greatest benefits of daily prayer and bringing the small things to God is that it gives us practice in the art of prayer and in the art of recognizing the answers to prayer. One of the greatest benefits of asking others to pray for us is that they get to see the answers, too, and we grow closer to our fellow Christians.

Do you have a need that God can help with? Do you have a Christian support system to ask others to pray for you? What about your local church, does it provide you with a prayer support system? If not, what can you do to help create a prayer support structure?

In my church, there are three prayer opportunities within our congregation:

  1. Congregants can ask that the Board of Elders take their need to the Lord in prayer;
  2. Congregants can ask that one or both of our intercessory prayer teams keep them in their prayers; or
  3. Congregants can have their needs lifted up before the whole congregation as part of the Prayers of the People on Sunday morning.

But these aren’t the only possibilities. Some churches have dedicated prayer rooms. I’ve also been in a church where prayer warriors were available in the back of the church during the corporate prayer time for one-on-one prayer. An email prayer tree is another great option. Even just finding one other person to ask for prayer is better sometimes than keeping your concern to yourself.

God does answer prayers. I’ve seen it happen many times. The answer isn’t always what we think it should be, but He is quite good at making His hand in our lives known, especially within a congregation or other Christian fellowship group that prays together and for each other.

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13 Comments

Filed under Faith, Jesus, Life, postaday2011

13 responses to “How to See God Answer Prayers

  1. Amen Linda! We have not because we ask not.
    By the way, I went back and left you a comment on your post about the dream of forgiveness. Wow! What a clear sign from God! Why can’t all dreams be this obvious?

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  2. Sometimes those thrown together posts are the best! 🙂 With your heart toward Him and your writing ability, all your posts are good and needed.
    Thank you for reminding us about praying for all things, the small and the big. It’s often the way He answers about those small things that impacts me so much . . .that He cares and is listening, loves us that much.
    God bless you, Linda, as you help us to keep praying!

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    • Deb, You are such a wonderful encouragement to me! I do know that I have no writing ability that wasn’t given to me by God, and am so blessed to be able to use it to His Glory and for the benefit of His people. I agree that it is the answers to small things that impact me the most, too. To think that the little details we care about, He cares about too, just amazes me. Peace, Linda

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  3. How many times have you heard someone say, “God helps those who help themselves”… as though they’re quoting something profound from the Bible?

    Bringing the small things before God is essential, I agree. How can we as Christians have a truly intimate relationship with Him when we call our girlfriends before we call on Him?

    I really like this post because it spells out specific instructions and examples for praying and hearing God’s voice in return. Great topic!

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    • Linda, I have heard that quote, and I believe it was actually Benjamin Franklin who said it. It really isn’t Biblical at all. God helps those who are humble and seek His help, those who are willing to admit they can’t help themselves. Peace, Linda

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  4. Prayer is an art and so is stopping to hear the answer
    I have been reading books on praise and prayer –
    So beautiful to know our God wants to hear the “little stuff” from us
    Prayers for your day

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    • Thank you for sharing yet another way we can “pray without ceasing,” by leaving little “Prayers for your day” in blog comments! 🙂 Now let me stop to listen for the answer. Peace, Linda

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  5. Linda
    Very good post. With the kind of summer our family has had, prayer is what has gotten us through. Our church has a prayer chapel that is opened daily for people to use. Yesterday, I shared with a friend who had just lost her husband that I don’t know what people do without God in their lives and prayer. She agreed.
    Blessings to you this week!

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    • April, I agree. I remember how it was when I tried to weather the storms without God and prayer. I was lost and miserable. So glad you are weathering the challenges of the summer with Him! Peace, Linda

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  6. Ann

    Thank you, Linda

    You have no idea….

    God bless you,
    ann

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  7. Well written words of wisdom.

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