A couple of weeks ago one of the women in our church lost her sight in one eye so her doctor sent her to the Bristol Eye Hospital. She was told that it was a cataract and she would not get her sight back in that eye until they gave her an operation, which could not be done yet because of the waiting list. After we were told whilst we were talking on Face Book we prayed and the next day her sight returned praise God!

Answered prayer is a great motivator; every time a prayer is answered it gives us greater incentive to pray again. The more we see our prayers answered the greater our enthusiasm to pray. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says “pray without ceasing “and verse 18 follows up with “in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you:

I remember when I first became born again, I was amazed how the lord answered so many prayers, and this caused me to never lose the enthusiasm to pray on and that’s still with me today.

But what of those seemingly unanswered prayers you may ask this can cause some to lose faith the well known American Pastor Bill Hybells writes “After a service someone often comes up to me feeling frustrated because of some unanswered prayer and some are people who are not short on faith’ James in his letter gives us some reasons why sometimes prayers are not answered James 4:3 “ when you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures” In other words being selfish, it’s a bit like the pastor who prays for a very large church with thousands of people, nothing wrong with that we might say, but God looks at the motive, Is it to glorify God and make disciples, or to glorify himself by boasting?

King David made this mistake on one occasion when despite advice from his commander-in-chief Joab to the contrary, David went ahead and gave orders for a census of all the fighting men available to him as king but look where this act came from 1 Chronicles 21:1 “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel” this was an act full of pride wrong motives, David wrote maybe later? “Search me, O God and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” Psalm 139: 23-24.

So we can learn from scripture to check our motives, our reason for a particular prayer request. If it’s wrong God will say no.

Then there’s Gods timing, again a psalm of David says “my times are in your hands, deliver me from my enemies and from those who pursue me” Psalm 31:15. In Jesus’ parable of the prodigal son, the younger son was dissatisfied he wanted his part in the inheritance today; he didn’t want to wait, so his father gave in; let him have it, what happened? He squandered the lot, this was a clear picture of not being ready to behave responsibly, he just wasn’t ready.

In the book of Jeremiah 8:7 it says “even the stork in the sky knows her appointed seasons, and the dove, the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration.” So if the timing is wrong God says slow.

Then there’s unconfessed sin Proverbs 28:13 “he who conceals his sin does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy” when we read of Cain in Genesis we can see his prayer requests wouldn’t have been answered because he was full of jealousy and malice. It is good at the end of the day to ask the Lord to forgive us if we have sinned intentionally or unintentionally so our conscience is clear as we make our requests to him.

In Luke chapter 11 when Jesus is requested by his disciples that he teach them how to pray, after teaching them the Lords Prayer, Jesus continues with an imaginary story to illustrate that God is a friend to his people and he wants us to come to him with boldness and confidence (faith) not giving in because there seems to be a delay in God answering. In Luke 11:9-10 Jesus goes on to declare “so I say to you: ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you, for everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks the door will be opened” the Bible commentator Mathew Henry writes concerning this “so we must not only ask, but we must seek, must second our prayers with our endeavours; and in asking and seeking, we must continue pressing, still knocking at the same door , and we shall at length prevail”

In my own experience I have found that as with an earthly friend the more we know them the more we know their likes and dislikes and the better the relationship. With our Lord the closer the relationship through Bible reading and prayer, the more our prayer requests will be in tune with God. In fact so will our thinking be, and we won’t make the sort of mistake the disciples made in the early days, calling down fire on the Samaritan village that did not welcome Jesus for which those disciples received a rebuke from our Lord Luke 9: 51-56

So to sum up in a simple way


  1. If the request is wrong, God says no
  2. If the timing is wrong God says slow
  3. If your wrong God says grow


But if the request is right, the timing is right, and you are right, God says go;

To finish Colossians 3:17

“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it in the name of the Lord Jesus giving thanks to God the Father through him”


Stay Safe

Pastor Terry


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