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As we read what the Bible teaches us about prayer, we find that some passages tell us that God hears and answers the prayers of his people. However, others warn us that there are times when God does not answer our prayers, because we have asked with the wrong motives - James 4:3. (Technically, he answers them, but his answer is "no.") This leaves us with the following simple "solution" for getting more of our prayers answered in the way we desire:
Being a disciple of Jesus (which is the same as being a genuine Christian) involves, by its very nature, a willingness to learn from Jesus' example. Because of this, we will endeavor to make our values match-up with God's values. The desires of our heart will begin to change; they will begin to match the desires of God's heart.
When this happens, the nature of our prayer requests will change. They will align themselves up with the will of God. And so, we will discover that our requests are increasingly answered the way we ask them. After all, our requests, when asked this way, will be an expression of what God already wants to do! And we will begin to understand what it is like to pray expectantly, not just wishing, but knowing that God will hear and answer what we have asked.
Dennis Hinks © 1999, 2001
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