“Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.”
Everybody needs to get their prayers answered. One of the most troubling, yet most encouraging phrases in the verse above is, “…yet ye have not, because…” This phrase reveals that someone has asked. In the book of James, God shows five different types of ways that we should pray. He first shows that you should pray for wisdom in James 1:5. He then shows that you should pray for your personal needs in James 4:3. He continues to show that you should have a prayer of faith in James 5:15. God also shows that you should pray for healing in James 5:14. He finally shows that you should pray for others in James 5:16. Every believer’s prayer life should consist of these five types of prayers. The question must then be asked, what will get these prayers answered? God shows five actions that will get your prayers answered.
First, you must ask. God says in the verse above, “…ye have not, because ye ask not.” God has an answer to your need, but He can’t answer that need if you don’t ask. God chooses to answer our needs through prayer. The only thing that is keeping your needs from being met is your lack of asking God. God has the answer for the prayer that is not prayed, so you must ask God in prayer to get that answer.
Second, you must ask in faith. James 1:6 says, “But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.” Praying in doubt is only lip service to tell God that you have it handled when you really don’t have the answer. My friend, why would you pray if you doubt that God can answer? When you stop praying in doubt and start praying in faith is when you will see God give the answer that you need.
Third, you must ask for the right reason. James 4:3 shows that many don’t get their prayers answered because they “ask amiss” to fill their own selfish needs. When you stop praying to fill your coffers with worldly possessions and start praying in the will of God is when your prayer life will become effective. It is inappropriate to pray only for the purpose of filling your lust. Always remember that the purpose of prayer is to fill a need, and not to add to your personal luxury. Needs are created by serving God by faith. You will find yourself asking God for the right reason when you start serving God by faith.
Fourth, ask earnestly and fervently. Always remember that James 5:16 says that the “effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” You will find it easy to pray earnestly when what you ask is a need of faith created by an act of faith. Your lack of earnestness in your prayer life is a lack of a need. Peter learned to pray earnestly when he found himself sinking in the stormy waters. Elijah found it easy to pray earnestly when he asked God to stop the rain for three years to get the attention of a wicked king. When what you need is a life or death answer, or a make or break situation, is when your prayer life will become earnest. The earnest and fervent pray is prayed when you realize that you need God to do something or you will die.
Fifth, when your prayer is not answered, ask again. One of the greatest secrets to answered prayers is that those who saw their prayers answered didn’t stop praying until God answered. The greatest advice I can give about getting prayers answered is to pray again.