What comes to mind when you think of prayer? For some, you might think of a religious building or structure. For others, you may think of money. There are many different ways prayer can be done. However, prayer isn’t something that should be taken lightly. Prayer is something of the utmost importance because it gives you hope to do the impossible and reminds you that there is someone out there who has your back. God hears your prayers and will answer them in time. So what does God say about prayer? Below are three ways that God answers prayers.
You may have heard people say “just pray about it” or “just have faith” when it comes to dealing with struggles. It’s very easy to say these phrases when someone else is struggling, but it’s not so easy for us to do when we are facing a challenge. Because of this, it can be difficult to understand why God doesn’t answer our prayers immediately or why He doesn’t answer them at all. But understanding God’s ways isn’t always easy – but regardless, He is faithful and will always be there in one way or another.
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3 Ways God Answers Prayers
If a person asks God for something and it is not in accordance with His will, then he will answer that prayer by giving him the strength to endure it.
Have you ever asked God for something and he said no? Maybe he didn’t say no but he never gave you the answer you were looking for? If a person asks God for something and it is not in accordance with His will, then He will answer that prayer by giving him the strength to endure it. This is great news! We can always trust in Him because we know that His plan is always better than ours.
Sometimes, God answers our prayers by saying “no” because he has something better in store for us.
Unfortunately, sometimes God answers our prayers by saying “no” because he has something better in store for us. This is the most difficult answer of all to understand, but if we trust that God knows what is best for us, then we can begin to see how this makes sense. He wants to give us the very best, and sometimes that means saying “no” when we think it should be “yes.” It can be frustrating at times not knowing why God says no when it seems like a good thing we are asking for, but if God says no then there must be a reason for it. Maybe another door will open unexpectedly. Maybe there is something better we need to wait for that would prevent us from living up to our full potential in the present time. There are many reasons why this may be the case—too many to name here! But trusting in God’s plan can help you find peace with receiving this answer instead of feeling rejected or upset by it.
In short, prayer is essential to any healthy relationship with God; he wants us to talk to him as much as possible! No matter what your prayer goal is—whether it’s a new job or healing someone who is sick—God will always answer your prayers and direct you toward life-giving decisions. Many times his answers will come through the people around you and your circumstances. When you pray, ask God where he needs you and how you can grow closer through prayerful conversation with him. In return, he will provide all that you need for a thriving future together!
Remember that Christ wants to hear your prayers, and He wants to answer them.
Remember that Christ wants to hear your prayers, and He wants to answer them. Some people think that praying is a waste of time, but in the Bible, we are told to seek after Him. The more we pray and seek God, the more He answers our prayers. God often answers our prayers in ways we could not have imagined for ourselves, so don’t be disheartened if you do not get exactly what you asked for. We can always trust that He will give us what is best for us in His time.
signs god is answering your prayers
Before we dive into the signs, please know that God can answer your prayers however He wants. He’s the God of the universe; He’s not limited in any way.
However, these are three common ways in which God may be talking to you. Plus one less common way, which we’ll leave for last.
- God Is Answering Your Prayers Through Scripture
God always speaks through His word.
For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Romans 15:4 (ESV)
Often when you’re praying about something specific, He’ll answer by repeatedly bringing similar scriptures to your attention.
For example, as I spiraled into feeling increasingly unworthy and unloved in my toxic relationship, I kept praying for my partner to love me. And God kept leading me to scriptures about true love.
He was showing me that I already had the love I was so desperately seeking from my partner—from God Himself. That I already had the love I needed in Him. But I read all of those scriptures He showed me and completely missed His answer.
So you see, God may answer your prayers through His word. But you need to stay sharp and pay attention if you’re going to hear Him.
- God Is Answering Your Prayers Through Your Desires
God may also answer your prayers by planting a desire in your heart. Or He may give you a vision or dream in answer to your request. Like He did for Cornelius, who was a God-fearing, praying man (Acts 10:1-2).
We don’t know what Cornelius prayed for specifically, but God certainly answered him.
About the ninth hour of the day he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God come in and say to him, “Cornelius.” And he stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” And he said to him, “Your prayers and your alms have ascended as a memorial before God. And now send men to Joppa and bring one Simon who is called Peter.
Acts 10:1-5 (ESV)
Not to bum you out, but God probably won’t answer your prayers with a dramatic angelic visitation the way He did for Cornelius. Of course, He can if He wants to. But the deep inner knowing He gives you through the power of His Holy Spirit—who indwells you as a born-again believer in Jesus Christ—is no less effective.
So, for example, as you pray for God to rid you of your job dissatisfaction, He may answer by planting a new desire in you. This desire may mean that praise, promotions, and money don’t motivate you anymore. That what matters to you now is helping to change people’s lives in ways you never thought of or wanted to before.
A new desire like this can be a sign of God answering your prayers. A word of warning, though: Don’t mistake your desire for God’s will. Test it against God’s word, and if they don’t line up, the desire is from you, not from God.
- God Is Answering Your Prayers Through Others
God may also answer your prayers through godly wisdom and counsel.
Take good counsel and accept correction—that’s the way to live wisely and well.
Proverbs 19:20 (MSG)
Spoiler alert: you can only get godly counsel if you seek it. Nothing’s wrong with trying to figure things out on your own sometimes. But God gave you a community of believers for a reason.
Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.
Galatians 6:2 (NLT)
Just as with your deep desires, check the counsel you receive against God’s word to make sure they line up. If they don’t and you find yourself wondering which way to go, just remember: God’s word always beats seemingly wise human counsel that goes against it.
- God May Answer Your Prayers Audibly
Less commonly, God can answer your prayers by speaking to you audibly. That’s what Jesus did with Saul on the Damascus road.
And falling to the ground, he heard a voice saying to him, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?” The men who were traveling with him stood speechless, hearing the voice but seeing no one.
Acts 9:4, 7 (ESV)
This encounter radically changed Saul’s life. After it was over he became Paul, the main bearer of the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
In my experience, any time God speaks to you audibly, you’re in for a pretty big pivot in your life, like Saul-Paul. And like me.
This was exactly how He answered me one night after five years of desperate, futile prayers for my unhealthy, unwanted relationship. After I’d ignored His warnings and answers for those five years.
He caught me off-guard by answering me audibly. On top of that, what He had to say also surprised me. But the moment I heard Him, the rightness of His answer settled into my heart. And peace washed over me like a comforting blanket.
In that split second after God answered me, I finally—thankfully—dared to listen to Him and I accepted His invitation to change my life forever. Which was exactly what He proceeded to do. And He’ll do the same for you.
reasons why god answers prayers
Be patient and faithful
Sometimes God doesn’t seem to answer prayers right away—or at all. Does that mean He doesn’t care or that He’s not listening? Not at all. Sometimes God waits to answer our prayers because He trusts us to make the right decision. Other times, God requires us to patiently wait for an answer so we can build our faith and trust in Him. And on some occasions, God gives us answers, but they may not be what we’d hoped for. Whatever the answer, take comfort in the fact that God always listens when you pray and He wants what is best for you. Your Heavenly Father will take care of you, and He will help you become the best version of yourself.