God does not answer every prayer, in fact, He ignores a lot of what we call “prayers”. One day His disciples came to Him and asked Him to teach them how to pray. I believe Jesus was impressed by their request because prayer is a matter of life and death for a believer.
Luke 11:2 And Jesus said, when you pray say, Our Father which art in heaven, Holy is Your Name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done as in heaven so in earth.
In order to pray effectively we need to know the Father’s will for us in the earth. How do we find out what His will is? His word is His will. As a young Catholic boy I would pray all the prayers listed in my catechism. I would say the rosary, the Our Father, the hail Mary, novenas and acts of contrition. Then whatever happened good or bad I laid it all on God. Needless to say, I had a very negative view of the Lord, it was impossible for me to please Him. God can only deal with prayers that are His will, He is not responsible for words prayed amiss!
Ephesians 6:17-18 And take the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God: praying …
Now remember what he taught the disciples, thy will be done in the earth. If it’s not His will He can do nothing but stand aside, His Word is His will. How can a Christian have an effective prayer life if they don’t know God’s will? Sometimes I will hear a person pray this: Dear Lord Jesus be with me today. This isn’t a prayer, it’s a request that is embalmed with doubt and unbelief! Jesus said that we must direct our prayers to the Father, not Him. Before He was taken up the last thing He said was this: I am with you always even unto the end of the world. No believer has any business asking Jesus to be with them unless they don’t believe Him!
Jeremiah 1:12 KJV Then the Lord said to me, I will hasten My Word to perform it.
Jeremiah 1:12 MSG I’m sticking with you, I’ll make every Word I give come true.
I don’t want to complicate this, God spoke it, had it recorded, we read it, we believe it, we confess it and He brings it to pass. One day Kenneth Copeland asked the Lord several times, what He did with all the doubt and unbelief His people were praying in. Finally, the Lord responded, He said what doubt and unbelief? He doesn’t hear it, He doesn’t hear anything. I like to cook and bake things using new recipes and sometimes it will call for one of my favorite ingredients so I will add more than what it calls for. I always end up ruining the finished product because I didn’t follow the instructions.
God’s Word is a recipe for salvation, peace and prosperity, we just need to follow the instructions. If we add something it doesn’t call for or omit something it does call for, we end up with an Ishmael. I wasted a lot of food and time because I didn’t follow the directions. Our prayers are a matter of life and death, we can’t afford to waste our supplies that were given to us to succeed.