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Prayer, Spiritual growth

Pray. Give it to God. Continue praying.

When God does not answer our prayer, does that mean, we have prayed against God’s will? Or prayed without faith or authority? Sometimes we pray over a over a long period of time and don’t see our prayers answered. We have all been there. It is so discouraging. What can we do?

When God does not answer our prayer

Jesus knew how discouraging it can be, to wait a long time for God to answer our prayer. Sometimes we give up praying altogether. This is why he warns us, not to give in to our flesh, but to keep praying persistently. 

“Watch and pray so that you will not to fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Matthew 26:41 (NIV)

There is a reason why prayers take a long time to be answered. And sometimes, we are tempted to take a short cut – even though there actually are no shortcuts to prayer! 

Or people may confuse us by saying, if we had faith, we would command things into being. Let’s be clear here: there is no way around prayer – and I mean persistent prayer. So pray, trus God and then continue praying.

“Name it, claim it”

Despite Jesus’ teaching to pray persistently, and despite the testimony of great men and women in the Bible, some strange ideas about prayer have crept into the Church today.

One of them is the idea that we can “name it, claim it”, or just “ declare it in Jesus’ name” and get instant results. When it seems that God does not answer our prayers it can be discouraging and frustrating. It also goes against our flesh, as we live in an age of instant gratification, and against the sense of entitlement so prevalent today.

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We may have been exposed to a form of prosperity teaching that tells us everything is available to us as children of God. And yes, God wants to pour out his blessing on us in every area of our life, but in his timing and according to his plan and purpose.

We are dependent on God in everything and not entitled to anything.

I cannot think of one example in the Bible when someone received their answer to prayer by “claiming it in Jesus’ name”.

Abraham waited 25 years to have his Isaac.

Joseph lived as a slave for 13 years before being made prime minister of Egypt.

Israel conquered the land of Canaan fighting real battles that span over decades.

Ezra and Nehemiah’s hard and frustrating work to rebuilt and revive Jewish life in Jerusalem after the Babylonian and Persian exile took years.

Jesus had to go through trial, torture and crucifixion to redeem us.

“Name it, claim it” prayers are not Biblical. The promises of God take time. We need to go through a process of waiting, trusting, seeking and praying. That it is so important we do not get discouraged in our prayer life! Waiting for God’s answer to prayer can be a trial, but it is a refining trial and never a waste of time! 

“Leaving it to God”

Another common practice is putting “if it be your will” at the end of a prayer and then “leaving it to God” – while we actually mean to say: “That’s it, I’ll pray no more.”

Submitting to God’s will and leaving it to him are in fact the right attitude to have. If we really submit to his will then we will praise him even when he withholds our desire from us.

But such formulas or attitudes are questionable when used excessively at the expense of persistent prayer. If God calls us to persist, and from the scriptures we know he does, yet we do not, then such a mindset is counter-productive.

God’s promises are not an excuse not to pray, but a call to start praying. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven”, Jesus taught us to pray. Why did Jesus not teach us to just wait for God to do His will? Why would God want us to pray repeatedly for his will to be done?

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So please: Pray. Give it to God. Then continue praying. And trust him with the how and when.

Can I pray against God’s will?

There is another reason why we so easily give up praying: we doubt God’s goodness and that he truly cares. We may even be worried that we pray against God’s will and so after bringing our petition before him once or twice, we step back, disappointed and confused, and reluctant to continue.

If God delays answering our prayer, we should not interpret this has his unwillingness. As we see in Daniel 10, God answered Daniel’s prayer from the first day but because of the enemy’s opposition, Daniel received his answer only 3 weeks later.

If the answer to your prayer is delayed, remember that there could be a battle going on in the invisible world! But it could also not yet be God’s perfect timing.

Cultivate a consistent prayer life. Always pray, don’t give up. Trust that God will make everything right in due season!

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14 thoughts on “Pray. Give it to God. Continue praying.”

  1. I love this part
    “The promises of God take time. We need to go through a process of waiting, trusting, seeking and praying.“
    So true. 🙂

  2. This is the first time I’ve seen an explanation about some of these typical prayer habits. I’ve never been a name it and claim it pray person but I have been discouraged and discontinued a prayer.

  3. I love that you explained these prayer habits. And that you remind us that sometimes we do have to wait awhile to see an answer to prayer. Thanks for the encouragement to keep praying!

  4. This was a new way to describe different ways we pray. Thanks for boldly stating that some practices are not Biblical and supporting it with scripture references. Very helpful, strong post!

  5. Very powerful and practical post. Thank you for your heart to write this to help guide us in our prayer lives …

  6. Thank you for this encouraging post. We mustn’t stop praying, prayer is a key that can unlock the heavens and bring down the supernatural into our lives.

  7. Gonna be really honest. I’ve said “claim it in Jesus’ name”. And you’re totally right- it’s ingrained in the culture. I never stopped to think- woah, that’s not biblical! Great read ❤️

  8. I appreciate how you exposed the falsehood of the “name it and claim it” prayer practice. And thank you for reminding me that I should continue to “pray without ceasing”.

  9. Thank you for bringing to light some common traps that we fall into while praying and pointing us back to God’s truth. We must pray persistently and wait with holy expectancy that God will answer, even if it’s not the answer we’ve been hoping for. I remember reading that the purpose of prayer is to align our hearts with God’s. I believe that the more time we spend with him the more our prayers will align with His will for us as we grow closer to Him and in holiness.

  10. One of the things that are mentioned a lot is the name it and claim it. The scripture ask the Father in my name is being interpreted incorrectly. I’m glad to see this mentioned in your blog.

  11. Thank you for this reminder to be patient! Clinging to the examples set in the Bible that you provided. And knowing time spent waiting on God is also a time of valuable growth!

  12. Thanks for this.
    There is need to hold on and believe God after praying even when the answer doesn’t seem like it will come.

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