FAKES can go through the motions of "praying." Only genuine followers of Jesus can have a "spirit of prayer." That makes all the difference.
A Spirit of Prayer
By "right spirit," we are not referring to the Holy Spirit (who is actively involved in our praying), but to our own heart attitude. When a person prays with this spirit, he is humble (aware that he is not worthy to approach God), trusting (aware that, through Jesus, he can approach God), and submissive (willing to accept God's will, whatever it may be).
There is a major contrast between saved people and fakes. Both can have the "external" manifestations of prayer; only God's people will the right "internal" attitude.
Here we are focusing on prayer requests. (There are many other aspects to prayer.) Some requests have a guaranteed "YES" or "NO" answer, because Scripture specifically tells us the type we will receive. Other requests do not have a specific guaranteed answer, and perhaps we could describe them as "MAYBE." This article concludes with a warning to not stubbornly demand that God answer your prayer the way you want.
This normally refers to prayers that are not answered the way we want them answered. When this happens, it may be because of us ... or because of God. These two reasons require different responses from us.
Unexpected Answers to Prayer (Examples)
This example involved a woman who prayed for healing from an illness... and received a "NO" answer from God. Once she accepted God's answer, God was able to use her to accomplish many good things, and to be a great blessing to many people. I met this woman a few months before she died. (This is a summary of a talk. No actual presentation was given.)
This anonymous poem was written by someone who apparently "got nothing that he asked for... but everything that he hoped for." The author may have been a Civil War soldier (United States, 1861-1865) who died during one of the battles.
Many Muslims who have become disillusioned with their way of life have called out to God, and - in answer to their prayers - have received dreams or visions, in which they were told to turn to Jesus and the Bible. These people eventually learn the Good News about Jesus and become his followers. (This is a common occurrance throughout the Muslim world.)
Learning about Prayer - Varous Issues Related to Praying
Prayer is not attmepting to manipulate or control God; nor is it trying to attain feelings, experiences, or reputation for self. (Examples of each are given.)
In this present age (between Jesus' ascension to heaven and his return to earth), prayer has a unique role that it did not have before that time... nor will have in eternity. Take advantage of your "unique" situation ... and pray!
Jesus taught his disciples to pray in a manner that was different from anything they had ever heard before. This difference can be summarized by the phrase, "Our Father," and what it signifies.
God's glory is the #1 focus of this prayer, and is emphasized in the first three requests. This is the foundation on which all prayer should be based.
The emphasis of this section (the second half of the prayer) is on our needs (as a group), not my needs or wants (as an individual). But even when we focus on these issues, our prayer "foundation" is still the honor and glory of God.
In prayer, God interacts with us as sovereign Creater; but he also interacts with us on our level. Both of these have practical value in prayer. Both of these (together) are the reason we can trust him, and can know that, in all things, he will work for the good of those who love him (as in Romans 8:28)!
God makes communication possible between us and him. This article examines the ways that this communication occurs (prayer being one of them).
[These presentations are based on: An In-Depth Study on the Topic of Prayer.]