No Unanswered Prayers
All prayers answered! Is such a thing possible? Does such a statement fit the scriptures? Does our Heavenly Father actually desire to answer every prayer we pray? The answer to these questions is a very definite "YES." But let it be said from the beginning that this is a message to the Bride of Christ, and not to the Church Natural who has one foot in the world and is desirious of things of the world, that" they may consume them upon their lusts."(James 4:3)x
Our Lord Jesus Christ is our EXAMPLE, as He lived and ministered by the power of the same Holy Ghost that we have. In praying to the Father, He said, "Father, I thank Thee that Thou hast HEARD ME. And I know that Thou HEAREST ME ALWAYS." (John 11:41-42) Does it stretch our faith too far to believe that we are to grow in our prayer life until we have the same testimony and can say, "Father, I know that Thou hearest me always?"
We are not teaching that the Lord will fulfill all our self- willed, fleshly desires. No! Not even for His Bride. He loves her too dearly to ruin her in such a way. We are teaching that our Father is MORE THAN ANXIOUS to teach us to pray in a way that will allow Him to ANSWER EVERY PRAYER. When His disciples asked Him to teach them to pray, He answered, "When ye pray, say, our Father which art in Heaven, hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come THY WILL BE DONE, as in Heaven, so in earth." When we read Rom. 8:6 and believe it, then we understand why we have need to be taught to pray. "For we know not what to pray for as we ought."
The Lord said we are to pray for GOD'S WILL TO BE DONE ON EARTH. Not knowing how to pray as we ought, we try to dictate to the Fountain of all wisdom and knowledge and tell Him HOW, WHEN and WHERE to handle the problems that concern us. We somehow seem to think that God needs our instructions. What is needed is the revelation that God's purpose for each of us was formed in His mind before He created, and that He is controlling all circumstances, making them conform to His Purpose. Not understanding this, we form purposes of our own and try to pray them into being. The merciful result is UNANSWERED PRAYER.
"Ye ask and receive not because ye ask amiss." (James 4:3) We were taught that God has left a portion of His work on earth until these last hours. Work that is to be completed by His Bride. In order to do so, the Bride must learn how to pray and believe that every prayer is answered. The Bible sets forth a formula that actually GUARANTEES this. It is found in the following, powerful scripture. "And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to HIS WILL, He heareth us. And if we know that He heareth us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." (I John 5:14-15)
Let us pause and examine the Holy Ghost wisdom set forth in the above verses. John starts by telling us EXACTLY how to know that our prayer has been heard. He clearly states that it is heard when we pray ACCORDING TO HIS WILL! At times God will reveal His will about certain things to His praying people. It comes through visions, dreams, or by direct revelation to our spirit. At these times we can pray in a definite and specific way and see definite and specific answers. When the Prophet saw a vision, he knew how to pray. But, it has been the experience of this writer that the times we DON'T KNOW exactly how to pray far out number the times we do.
Even so, we are not left without an open door into Perfect Faith in our Perfect God. When God does not choose to reveal BEFOREHAND His will, He advises us to pray that HIS WILL be carried out just the same in spite of our not knowing the outcome. This, perhaps, requires more faith than when we know the outcome. In these cases we watch to see what our Lord will do, believing all the while that everything that happens after our prayer is His answer, or at least a part of the answer as we watch the answer unfold, usually over a period of time.
And so in some cases, we know BEFOREHAND what our Lord will do and in others we don't know until AFTER-WARDS. But as far as our faith is concerned, it is not to make any difference at all. In both instances we know that His Will shall be done and this is the foundation of our promise. We know He has heard us BECAUSE we are not asking for our will and plan, but for His.
Then John goes on to say,
"And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him." How often do well-meaning people misinterpret the words, "Whatsoever you ask," and say we can have it, whatever it is, if we can believe for it. This misses the whole revelation of what the scripture is saying. It is not at all saying we can have what WE want, but just the opposite. God will only give the answer that will further His own perfect plan. He is constantly watching over His Own Word (will) to perform it. (Jerm. 1:12) How else could the plan that was made before the foundation of the world be brought to fruition? It is true that the Lord will give us "The Desires of our Heart," but only after our desires are conforming to His will and plan.
And so, John said we know He heard us because we are not trying to change His mind about anything (The Prophet said His mind does not need changing.), but we are praying and loosing our faith so that He may further HIS plan. Holding to this fact, that we are forever submitting to His will, we then KNOW that we have the petitions that we ask of Him. We know He will look at the overall situation we have prayed to Him about and cause it to conform to his will. Nothing could ever improve on His will. The Bride knows this and rejoices to see it done on earth.
QUOTE: CHURCH AGE BOOK, PAGE 369, "The will of God will be done regardless, Amen! I hope you see this......it will especially help in this last age, when the whole period is so against the Word." (End quote)
We pray TO, and believe IN the one who sits on His throne as "The Governor of the Nations." (Ps. 22:8) "Working all things after the Counsel of His Own Will." (Eph. 1:11) How backwards the Word of God can become in the hands of unregenerate men, who say that God signs a blank check and gives it to us to fill in what we want. The truth is God asks us to sign a blank check and trust him to fill in all the details. Our wills must be submitted to His and not His to ours.
The Bride, having had a revelation of the Perfect Character of their Bridegroom, and knowing He cannot make a mistake or do them a wrong, does not fear to commit all answers to prayer into His hands. How could we possibly desire a greater blessing than this: that every prayer be weighed in the scales of His perfection. After having been so enlightened, we will never again try to pit our IMPERFECT knowledge against His PERFECT knowing.
Rather than trying to pray and tell Him how to accomplish certain things, we leave all the details up to Him. Not only that, but our thoughts about what would be good or bad are turned over to Him. Often it is His way to bring good out of a seeming bad, and many times a situation must worsen before good can be brought out of it. Where we would stop all suffering of one we pray for, the Lord may see that more is needed. We cannot read the heart and He is constantly looking into it.
We might pray for the financial needs of one to be met, but the Lord may see that their habit of being a spend-thrift must be broken through suffering more want. Often we pray for one to be healed from an affliction, when they have not yet learned the lesson that God has set out to teach them. In many different instances it is possible for us to pray wrong and then not recognize God's answers when He sends them. It is far safer to present the problem or the need, and let the Master answer the prayer in His own way and time.
QUOTE: CHRIST REVEALED IN HIS OWN WORD, PAGE 9, (In the following statement Brother Branham speaks to a man having a problem with unanswered prayer.) "He said.........what do you pray to? I asked for so and so, and certain things and I didn't get it. I said, 'You pray wrong.' We should never pray to change God's mind, we should pray to change our mind. God's mind don't need any changing....it's right. I said, 'Not what YOU pray for......you take the wrong attitude. You're trying to tell God what to do.' Prayer should be, 'Lord, change me to fit your Word. Not let me change your MIND, You change my mind. You change my mind to YOUR WILL...... and Lord, don't let me go until you've got my mind set just like your Mind. And then when my mind is set like your Mind, then I'll believe every word you wrote.' (And there will be no more unanswered prayer.) And you said in there you'd make everything work together for good to them that loves you, and I love you, Lord. It's all working together for good." (End quote)
In the preceding statement, the Prophet sets forth the principle we read in I John 5:14:15. "If we ask anything ACCORDING TO HIS WILL he heareth us and if we know He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know we have the petitions we desired of Him." Are we hurling our own petitions at God's throne and dictating to Him what we wish to see done? If so, it is quite possible that we are in a dispute with Him, and His wisdom will win out over our multitude of instructions.
To be so trusting of our Father that we are not concerned when He does not show us His will, is to be nearing the final stage of growth toward "No Unanswered Prayer." We place the circumstances in His hands and move on to find more situations that need His attention. He cannot be overloaded or pressed down with the burdens, as we can. We stay free from the load of burdens by passing them to Him with the simple prayer "Father, Thy will be done." We know He heard us and the work is instantly started.
Brother Branham taught that the secret to having all prayers answered is in committing our will completely to God concerning al the circumstances of the case.
QUOTE: CHRIST REVEALED IN HIS OWN WORD, PAGE 10, "Here's the way to test it (To see if you are willing for God's will to be done). Say you have been dreaming you were married. You really wasn't but you dreamed you were. And you woke up and you went and talked it over with your girlfriend, and said, 'You know, I dreamed we were married and we had children, and we were living happy and waiting for the coming of the Lord.....' And then this girl would say to you, 'You know, I love another man better than I love you. I could be happier with the other man.' Could your from your heart love her well enough to say, 'God's blessings rest upon you my dear, go with this other man.' Now check that each of you men, or you women. Well, if your love is correct you'd do that, for you are interested in her welfare. You know you could have her...... she will marry you, but she won't be happy. And then if you love her you want her to be happy. THEREFORE, WHATEVER THE WILL OF GOD IS, LET GOD'S WILL BE DONE, WHETHER I'M HAPPY WITH IT OR NOT.........Therefore, check your objective and your motive by that (Or check by this to see if you are willing to lay down your will and pray, 'Lord, Thy will be done.')" (End quote)
Can we see what the Prophet is trying to show us in this parable? He is giving us the formula for "No Unanswered Prayer." He is saying that when we love the Lord enough and trust Him enough to desire His will above all other things, and will believe that no matter how circumstances look He is working all things together for good, we will have no more unanswered prayer. We will bring all problems before Him and leave the details of their outworking to Him alone. We will receive everything that happens from the moment we pray onward as being a part of His answer. That amounts to no unanswered prayer!
When Christians testify that their prayers are not being answered, and we speak about dedicated, committed Christians, it is usually because they have tried to insert their will into God's program. Quite often such ones will end up saying they have no faith supposing that their plan was a good one and that it's failure was due to their lack of Faith. No doubt their prayer was very reasonable to their common sense, but lacking all the facts surrounding the case including what things the future holds, we are not capable of judging the need.
God can be trusted, while our natural reasoning cannot. God is perfect in all respects. We are imperfect in our sense knowledge. The more uncertain we become about ourselves, the more certain we will become of God. We may be uncertain about what He will do next, but we are certain of He, Himself, and that He does all things well. We should never testify that we "Have no Faith." If we are tempted to say such, then we should finish the sentence in this manner, "I have no faith IN GOD." Repeat that a few times out loud and we believe the very sound of such terrible words will convict our hearts.
All born-again people do have faith in God. A Prophet said you cannot have the Holy Ghost and not have faith. It is true that until we are taught by the Spirit, we have faith in ourselves confused with faith in God. When the Lord begins to blast our self confidence, we are at first in a deep pit. This is because we have not learned to separate confidence in self from confidence in God. It is the destruction of self-confidence that drives us to confidence in God.
A matured Christian is one who trust the wits of God and not his own. He trusts in the righteousness of God and not his own. He has learned that God has a purpose and a plan, and that all of life's circumstances are controlled by God, and being managed so as to conform us to His plan for us. By abandoning our own purposes, we will be carried day by day into the very purpose of God for our individual lives. He will take us into the very center of His plan for us and see it is carried out.
There will be times when our whole life will appear to be a failure. But what seems to be failure from man's standpoint will turn out to be a tremendous victory through the Purpose of God. When the disciples and other followers of Jesus looked at His life as it had been on earth, it was a failure from everyone's viewpoint but the Father's. God's call and purpose can be baffling to us today. The test of our faith is to believe He knows what He will do with us, and that the things that happen are not by chance but are each one entirely in line with His purpose.
Ps 37:5, "Commit thy way unto the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass." Yes, the Lord will bring it to pass every time, but perhaps not in the way we expected. When prayer seems to be unanswered, just wait further on the Lord. Never accuse the Lord of not hearing and answering, and never give the devil credit for being able to stop God. As we wait, we will find there was a reason for the delay, or the Lord rearranging our expected answer. As he reveals His reasons, it will be a deep teaching for us.
God answers sincere prayer in the best possible way, not sometimes, but always. The Lord Jesus did not dwell on unanswered prayer. He had the certain knowledge that believing prayer is always answered. "Everyone that asketh receiveth." (Matt. 7:8) "Whatsoever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do." (John 14:13) Prayer is a powerful privilege, an unstoppable force, as it unleashes the full power of God in a world that has become Satan's Eden. Once the Bride discovers that she "Knows not how to pray as she ought" and cries out to God, "Lord, teach us to pray," then she has made true progress toward "No Unanswered Prayer." It is her cries of "Lord Come Quickly" that will bring the Rapture, and she is even now sounding forth that cry.
In times past some of us have been much condemned by the teaching that we do not pray as we should. The religious world has not understood what true prayer is. It is confused with a position of the body, or a certain place, or a certain time. But finally, when much progress has been made in knowing the Lord, we learn that the kind of praying God has called us to is more an attitude of the heart than any of the above things. It is really a way of life that we enter into, wherein we are never out of contact with the Father. It is an awareness of His presence no matter what our location or bodily position.
To kneel and pray is a good thing. To enter into our prayer closet is a good thing. To pray in church is also good, but to suppose that praying is confined to these places and times is a bad thing. True prayer can be engaged in "ALWAYS" and continued in "WITHOUT CEASING." It is communing with our Lord every waking hour. When we have learned to pray God's way, it is as natural as breathing. We are about our business of praying without any conscious effort on our part. We are constantly speaking to our Father and hearing His answers in our Spirit.
The Bride needs to recognize prayer for what it really is so that she will not be condemned by the religious ones who make a show of spending much time on their knees. This kind of praying can be just a fleshly program. Prayer that pleases God is an attitude of the heart, and a state of mind that always takes into consideration His Presence, listening for His voice to lead and give advice and to convict of wrong words and wrong actions. It is a fellowship that never ceases. It is two in a ship sailing across life's ocean breasting each wave together. Words spoken aloud are only a very small part of what real prayer is.
Please note we have not taken into our discussion that kind of prayer where the burdened one groans in intercession. We have only spoken of general prayer that is the privilege and responsibility of every Christian. As the night draws near when no man can work, may the DAY STAR rise in our hearts and lead us to the place of "No Unanswered Prayer." Amen!