Keys to Answered Prayer

1 Chronicles 5:20 They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him.

We know we’ve “prayed through” our prayers when they’re answered. There’s nothing like the joy that comes when we can see God answering our prayers that draws us closer to Him and fuels us to pray more.

This passage in scripture gives us keys to answered prayer. The Israelites cried out during the battle and they trusted God.

Sometimes you come to a place with conflict in your life where you are realizing the enemy is closing in and there’s absolutely no way out. Times when you’re out of any resources, bankrupt, trapped. You’ll feel so pressed in and desperate that you’ll eventually burst out a cry, “Help”!  It won’t be detailed with how you think God should answer your prayers. It won’t be lengthy in words. You won’t get distracted and you won’t fall asleep. You’ve come to a place where you know only the divine and supernatural hand of God is able to save you and in desperation you cry out to Him.

God hears those cries and He faithfully comes running to save us. But if crying out is a key to answered prayer, I can’t help but ask the question, what if we simply put crying out to Him in daily practice, before the battle was even started, and let Him show us how we can trust Him? What if crying out is like childlike faith that when there’s a need, there’s a cry. When a baby has a need, they simply cry. They don’t cry out of fear. They cry because that’s the way they’ve been designed. They weren’t created to meet their own needs. Their cry causes an interaction with someone other than themselves and, here’s the beautiful part, a relationship is formed. It’s the same with God. When we simply cry out to Him, we’re recognizing that He’s our only source, our only answer. We aren’t looking anywhere else for our needs to be met. We don’t attach any of our thoughts or perceptions on HOW our prayers should be answered and we don’t “worray” (worry pray). Our cry to Him causes interaction with Him!

This leads us to the second key to answered prayer in this verse. Just as a baby learns that their needs get met when they cry, they learn to trust their parent. The interaction creates a place where trust can grow. This is what God is after! He wants the interaction WITH us. He wants a relationship where He can reveal the beauty of who He is. We learn to put our confidence in His character and His nature. We can then rest in His faithfulness and knowing He is trustworthy.

It constantly amazes me that He could do all this on His own. He could choose to not involve us through prayer and just command everything to line up with His desires. But then He wouldn’t enjoy His greatest desire and that’s us. He wants to have a relationship with us and reveal His glory to us.

Let’s practice this! Each and every day, as we are made aware of our needs and the needs of others, let’s lift up our voice in adoration and trust to our Heavenly Father, make our request known to Him, rest in His faithfulness and know that our prayers will be answered.

Heavenly Father, we desire for the prayers you give us to be answered. We don’t want to get in the way of you working by waiting to the last minute to call out to you. We don’t want to complicate the process by adding our words, or be sloppy in our prayer life and leave your prayers dangling, just short of being answered. Help us to be faithful in the things you’ve given us to pray for by bringing everything to You, knowing that You hear us, You will answer and You enjoy us.

Philippians 4:6 – 7 (New Living Translation) Don’t worry about anything; instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

1 Timothy 5:5 The widow who is truly in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day in her petitions and prayers.