Isaiah 11:2-6 (GW) The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him— the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of advice and power, the Spirit of knowledge and fear of the LORD.
3 He will gladly bear the fear of the LORD. He will not judge by what his eyes see or decide by what his ears hear. He will judge the poor justly. He will make fair decisions for the humble people on earth. He will strike the earth with a rod from his mouth. He will kill the wicked with the breath from his lips. Justice will be the belt around his waist. Faithfulness will be the belt around his hips.
In light of recent events nationally and on a personal level, I would like to take this opportunity to share what the Lord spoke to me concerning prayer. I read countless emails, Facebook posts, and articles, each on the same topic, why didn’t God answer our prayers? We prayed collectively, we fasted, and sought the face of God, but we did not receive the outcome we expected. Many are disappointed, angry, and really not sure how to proceed. What do you do when you pray and God does not respond the way you think He should?
The Lord dealt with my heart a few months back, after a night of tossing, turning and pounding heaven for answers involving a matter I had been praying about recently. Early that morning I obeyed the promptings of the Holy Spirit to enter into fellowship. As I read the word and listened to the heart of God, He began to show me the keys to moving His heart in prayer.
Prayer is a two way communication between us and our Heavenly Father. It is a great privilege for us to commune with the Father concerning what is on our hearts and listen as He speaks to us. His voice maybe heard through His Word. It is very important for us to go into prayer with an open heart. This is a grave issue. Many of us go into prayer with our own agendas, commanding the Lord to obey His Word. God is not a genie in a bottle that we rub and wait for our wishes to be granted. When we enter into prayer it should be an intimate encounter with us and our heavenly Father. It should be a time where we go in as the Lord taught, with praise and adoration. It should be a time where we go in to find out what His will is and begin to agree with Him concerning His desires. In prayer, we have been called to become partners with God (co-laborers) to bring His will to pass in the land and our own personal lives.
In order to get to a place where we are even heard from the Father, we must first come with a pure heart. Psalm 66:18 (AMP) says “If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me.” The Lord is concerned about our heart attitudes. We may not be committing what we believe to be great sins such as fornication, adultery, homosexuality, murders, etc. but our prideful hearts are just as sinful as these actions. It’s sad that the church only focuses on certain sins, but overlooks the dangers of unforgiveness, malice, hatred, and bitterness. These are all issues that tear at the heart of a loving Father. We should begin to ask as David did in Psalm 139:23-24 (AMP): “ Search me [thoroughly], O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 24 And see if there is any wicked or hurtful way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
Prayers that move heaven are inspired by what is on God’s heart. You cannot know the heart of God apart from His Word. The more time you spend in the Word and in His presence you become intimate with Him. (John 15:1-7) As intimacy builds you begin to understand His ways much like Moses did in Psalm 103:7. Once you come to know the heart of the Father, His word, ask the Lord what His will is for the situation you are dealing with. It is possible to also recognize His will according to His word. As you pray the word of God, expect answers. He is bound by His Word. (Isaiah 55:11) This does not mean that we can boss God around with our prayers. When you truly have the heart of God concerning His plans, He will assure that His Word comes to pass. It will not always happen in the time or the way you desire it to, but it will come to pass.
When it comes to dealing with people that have chosen against the will of the Father, the Lord will not go against their free will. He is indeed a gentleman. He gives us a choice according to Deuteronomy 30:19. We have no jurisdiction when it comes to someone else’s will. However, we can pray for God to work in them, giving them the desire and the power to do what pleases him. (Philippians 2:13)
Prayers that move heaven are persistent and full of faith. Matthew 7:7 (NLT) states “Keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.” In prayer we get the opportunity to partner with God to make the impossible possible. God honors the fervent and passionate prayers of His people. Passionate and persistent prayers avail much. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working] according to James 5:16. Take note of the word continued. We should not begin a prayer assignment and stop when we believe it is done. It has been my experience that the Holy Spirit will give you peace when the prayer assignment is resolved. We must stay on assignment. (Habakkuk 2:1-3)
When you acknowledge that your prayers are in line with the will of the Father, ask in Faith according to Mark 11:22-23 (NLT) 22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. 23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. Why take the time to pray for something that you do not believe will come to pass. It is a waste of God’s time and yours. Trust that the Lord hears your prayers and that He will indeed answer you. (Isaiah 65:24, John 15:7, John 16:24)
Our key scripture text found in Isaiah 11:2-6 further communicates the heart of our Father. When we enter into prayer, this should be our position: Father, help me not to judge by what I see with my natural eyes or what I hear with my natural ears. My desire is to hear the heart of the Father. Grant me your ears to hear what it is you are saying at this time. As, the Lord dealt with me concerning this passage, I found that it takes an unselfish heart to pray in this manner. We can take our lesson from Jesus in the garden. As He prayed, He asked God to take away the bitter cup, which represented the crucifixion He would have to endure. He ultimately relinquished His will to the Father. Again, we should not be in prayer just to get our requests answered, but we should be in prayer to find out the will of our heavenly Father.
Many of us are praying for our will to be done, not the will of the Father, which adds to our frustration. Please understand we have been birthed into a greater plan, a grand stage. The Lord already has on His heart what the outcome will be. Why not go to Him to find out what that plan is and come into agreement with Him. I believe 1 John 5:14-15 (GW) sums it up best, “ We are confident that God listens to us if we ask for anything that has his approval. 15 We know that he listens to our requests. So we know that we already have what we ask him for.”