Have you ever asked the LORD for something and received nothing?   Did you just think what you asked for “was not the LORD’S will”, and that’s why you didn’t get what you asked for? What does the Bible say about asking and receiving?  Today we will explore how to get prayers answered.  God DOES want to answer your prayers, but you knew that, right?

As with everything in the Bible, God gives us very specific instructions pertaining to every situation we face in life.  Of course, unless we KNOW those instructions and act accordingly, we are pretty much left on our own. All my life I’ve been a curious person, and love to learn new things. As a child I loved to take things apart and put them back together.  My Dad could fix most anything, and sometimes he worked on clocks and watches for people.  Well, one day he took his pocket watch apart and fixed it and put it back together and left it sitting there on the table with the tools, and left for work. I was eight years old at the time and if it was there, it was fair game for me to take it apart and examine to see what made it tick, so to speak, and I took it all apart.

I pretty much had it all back together when he got home, but there was one gear I just couldn’t seem to get back in place.  Dad said to me, Son, you’re not going to bed until my watch runs again, and I’d been messing with it most of the day already.  But instead of getting mad, he watched me trying to reassemble it.  Now, I was trying to reassemble it in the exact reverse order of how I took it apart, but like I said, I just couldn’t get one gear back in place, so he told me what I was doing wrong.

Now, even though I was only eight years old, I knew how I took it apart, so it seemed to me that he was wrong, and I didn’t want to listen to HIS WAY.  I wanted to do it MY way, yet MY way was getting me absolutely nowhere.  So late that evening finally I did it in the order he said, and lo and behold, it slipped right back together and in five minutes I had it running again.  I learned something that day: my Dad knew more than I did.  Imagine that.

I said all that to say this:  our heavenly Father knows more than we do.  Yeah, I know, that may be hard for some people to receive, but it’s true.  But the LORD will let us continue to do things our way, though we fail time after time, until we reach the point where we are ready to receive instruction.  Some of you need some instruction right now, and if you’re ready to listen, the LORD is ready to help you solve your problems.  IF YOU’RE READY TO LISTEN…..

Often we pray about this or that, and when nothing happens, we get this attitude toward God.  Sometimes it’s doubt that He even heard our prayer, or feelings of guilt or unworthiness bothering us.  Sometimes we get upset we didn’t get our way, and we feel sorry for ourselves or angry.  But most of the time when we don’t get our prayers answered it’s simply because we failed to heed His instructions.  Let me offer some suggestions from the Word of God:

Joh 16:12 I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
Joh 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.
Joh 16:14 He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Joh 16:15  All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.
Joh 16:16 A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.
Joh 16:17  Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father?
Joh 16:18  They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith.
Joh 16:19  Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye enquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
Joh 16:20  Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.
Joh 16:21  A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.
Joh 16:22 And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
Joh 16:23 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
Joh 16:24  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
Joh 16:25  These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
Joh 16:26  At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
Joh 16:27  For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

You can plainly see there in verses 23 and 24 the LORD not only wants you to receive what you ask of Him, but also that your joy may be full.  That may come as a shock to some of you who have been spending your prayer time in “beggar mode”.  Would you go as a beggar to your earthly father when you are in need, when he loves you so?  Well, for one thing, some of you may have earthly fathers that never have cared a hoot for you, so maybe you think, WHY WOULD MY HEAVENLY FATHER WANT TO DO ANYTHING FOR ME EITHER?  Well, it comes back to who your heavenly Father is: He is good and His mercy endures forever. Yet, even because He loves you, there are still instructions to follow.

Luk 11:5  And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves;
Luk 11:6 For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?
Luk 11:7  And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.
Luk 11:8 I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.
Luk 11:9  And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
Luk 11:10  For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Luk 11:11 If a son shall ask bread of any of you that is a father, will he give him a stone? or if he ask a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent?
Luk 11:12  Or if he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?
Luk 11:13 If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?

1Jn 5:13  These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
1Jn 5:14  And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:
1Jn 5:15  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Do YOU have that confidence in Him?  If not, then WHY NOT?  If you have received Christ Jesus of Nazareth as your LORD and Savior, then you are a child of God, and not a beggar.  The LORD has made everything He has created available to you, and it is not the LORD’S will that you lack any good thing.  Notice I said, any GOOD thing.  He does, however, desire you lack every BAD thing, for He has not created you for wrath or evil, but YOU are the apple of God’s eye and He loves you.

So, getting to the part “ if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:”  how do we know if what we ask is according to His will?  Read your Bible, find out what God loves and what God hates.  If He loves it, then He wants you to have it.  If it’s an abomination to God, then He doesn’t want you to have anything to do with it, so pray accordingly. Do you need healing for your body? Rejoice and praise God, for the Lord Jesus healed ALL who came to Him and believed:  ALL, EVERY ONE OF THEM!  If you have any question about that, go read Mark chapter five, both about Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood, who was sick for twelve years.  One asked Jesus to come with him, the other went to Jesus, and they BOTH got what they wanted.  And YOU can have what you’re asking God for if God already said YES about it.

Someone asked, “Does that mean I can have a new Ferrari?” Yes, if God will get glory from it.  But most likely, only YOU will get glory from it, so if God will get no glory, then don’t even ask for it.  Instead, ask for that for which you need to serve God, to best give Him glory.  You may not even know what that is, but the LORD does, and if you ask for that which will glorify Him, the answer is always YES.  By the way, healing glorifies God, so go ahead and ask, and believe you receive.  Notice I said, BELIEVE.  That’s important, for you can’t have anything from God if you won’t first believe you receive it.  The Lord Jesus gave specific instructions about that in Mark 11:22-25.  Follow those instructions, and your prayers will ALWAYS be answered.  Oh, one last thing:  before you ask, thank God and worship Him.  Why?  Because the instructions say so.

Psa 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Why?  Because the LORD loves you and He wants you to be blessed!  Ask and receive!