Answered prayer, through prayer

He built an altar to the Lord there and offered burnt offerings and fellowship offerings. He prayed, and the Lord answered him by sending fire from heaven to burn the sacrifices on the altar.

The Lord told the angel to put his sword away, and the angel obeyed. – 1 Chronicles 21:26-27 GNT

What an answer to prayer. Even with all David’s defects, deep in his heart was an inextinguishable love for God. My difficulties are not in prayers being answered, they most likely have to do with the nature of my prayer itself. What kind of prayer am I offering? Maybe mine is a cry of cowardice or timidity. I believe the reality of my prayer is proven when I publicly confess my sin. When my prayer reaches the point of agony, then I can be in a position to say whether God hears my prayer. Before I can comment on prayer, I must be praying myself. To pray is not a form of words, but a pouring out of my heart.

Look at Jonah’s prayer.

So he prayed, “Lord, didn’t I say before I left home that this is just what you would do? That’s why I did my best to run away to Spain! I knew that you are a loving and merciful God, always patient, always kind, and always ready to change your mind and not punish. Now then, Lord, let me die. I am better off dead than alive.” – Jonah 4:2-3 GNT

This is an honest prayer. It may be coming from a disturbed mind, but even then, the honesty of it and the desire to pray calls on God not to reject it completely. A hypocritical prayer would have rejected God, it would show signs of bitterness, there would be complaining and it would have elements of extremes.

The reason for constant, persistent, sleepless, overcoming prayer is that prayer is the means that Christ has appointed whereby our hearts shall not become overcharged with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life, and so the day of Christ’s return come upon us suddenly as a snare. – R.A. Torrey