Question: I’ve been told that prayer is a sure thing—that when I pray, God will answer. Why then do some of my prayers seem to go unanswered?
Answer: Each of us has experienced disappointment when things didn’t work out the way we wanted them to, and if we had prayed for that outcome that didn’t happen, we were doubly disappointed—first because we didn’t get what we wanted, and second because it seemed God had failed us.
How much does a prayer weigh? The only man I ever knew who tried to weigh one still does not know.
Once he thought he did. That was when he owned a little grocery store on New York’s West Side. It was the week before Christmas of 1918 when a tired-looking woman came into the store and asked him for enough food to make a Christmas dinner for her children. He asked her how much she could afford to spend.
Prayer is simply communicating with Jesus, just like you would talk to a good friend. You don’t have to follow any routine for Him to hear you. To be effective, prayer doesn’t depend on the position of your body, but the position of your heart.
Just tell Jesus what’s on your mind. He loves to listen to you. He’ll either solve the problems that you face, or give you the strength to make it through them.
Lots can be said about prayer, but here are a few tips that help get results:
The story is told of a certain minister who was disturbed to see a shabbily-dressed old man go into his church at noon every day and come out again after a few minutes. What could he be doing? He informed the caretaker and asked him to question the old man. After all, the place contained valuable furnishings.
“I go to pray,” the old man said in reply to the caretaker’s questioning.
“Come, come now,” said the other, “you are never long enough in the church to pray.”
I can never forget the day when it dawned upon my consciousness as a reality, a fact, that the promises of the Bible were practical, that they could actually be applied to my everyday needs. It was a revelation to me that God meant exactly what He said in the numerous promises given in His Word, and that He would fulfill them to the very letter if I, in faith, would reach out and claim them in a definite manner.
God’s idea of prayer is not a ritual, but loving and lively communication between the best of friends.
But sad to say, many people think they can’t talk to God like that. Some think they’re not religious enough, not righteous enough, or not spiritual enough. Some think He’s too big—too far above them. Some think He’s too busy to be concerned about them and their problems, which to Him must seem awfully petty. Some feel unworthy, not good enough. Some feel guilty or ashamed about things they’ve done. Some are even afraid of Him. If only they understood how differently God sees it!
When you stop to think about it, our modern means of communication would probably be totally incomprehensible to someone living only a few generations ago. Yet without a second thought we pick up the telephone and talk with someone thousands of miles away, or send a letter via e-mail to someone on the other side of the world, which we’re confident they’ll receive in a matter of minutes.
When you work with Me as your partner on the job, you’re working with the most multitalented, multitasking partner in the universe. I truly can do anything and everything!
Look at Me not only as a spiritual guide and counselor, but as someone who can actually get in there‚ roll up His sleeves, and help you do the work. I can save you hours and hours of work time by taking care of the behind-the-scenes side of things. I will even take care of situations before you have to get involved.