There are certain requirements we must fulfill in order to know God will listen to our prayers.
We must belong to God.
“There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.” 1 Timothy 2:5. Because Jesus is the mediator between us and God, we must give Him our total allegiance.
Before I yielded the control of my life to Jesus Christ, I would pray, but was never sure if God was listening or would answer. After I asked Him to be the Lord of my life, I had confidence that God was hearing and answering my prayers.
We must pray to God the Father in the name of His Son Jesus Christ. Only the name of Jesus Christ gives us credibility with the Father. Not our education, our wealth or poverty, our church, our background or position, our good works. . . only Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it.” John 14:14
Sometimes, I use my husband’s name, or my church, or my work to gain credibility with people. But only Jesus’ name gives us credibility with the Father.
We must have a clean heart.
Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had known of any sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened to me.”
It is very important to keep a clean heart before God. Someone said, “I ‘fess them as I does them, I don’t bunch them.” Don’t wait until you go to church, or a crisis arises in your life to confess your sins to God. As soon as you become aware of an attitude or action that is displeasing to God, admit that it is wrong and thank God for His forgiveness. For additional reading on this subject, go to: "Spiritual Oxygen"
1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We must have a forgiving spirit.
In Mark 11:25, Jesus says, “Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven my forgive your transgressions.”
This verse, Jesus makes it very clear that we can’t carry anger, hatred or bitterness in our hearts toward anyone if we expect God to forgive us and/or hear our prayers.
We must pray in faith
Jesus said in Matthew 21:22, “And everything you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”
The very fact that you are asking God for your needs, demonstrates your faith.
There are many times when God has answered my prayer as soon as I prayed. Other times I have had to wait for them to be answered. Some of the requests have been on my prayer list for years and I am still waiting. But I know that God will answer.
Thought question. Do you belong to God? Have you given Him your total allegiance? If you are not sure, you can make sure right now by praying, in faith, this prayer:
Dear Lord, I need You. I realize that I have sinned against You by directing my own life. I thank you that you have forgiven my sins through Christ's death on the cross for me. I now invite Christ to take His place on the throne of my life. As as expression of my faith I thank you for directing my life from now on.
Note: Some of the content is taken from “How to Pray.” article written by the late Dr. Bill Bright.