How should we pray and why are some prayers unanswered?

How should we pray and why are some prayers
unanswered? It’s time to UNLEARN the lies. UNLEARN Hey, welcome to UNLEARN. My name is Lex, and I’d like to invite you
to join us each week as we UNLEARN the lies and dig deeper into the truth of God’s Word. Now, let’s get started. Prayer is one of the most important things
we can do to draw closer to God. When we pray, we acknowledge God’s power
and goodness as well as realizing our own dependence upon Him. We become thankful when we understand that
every blessing comes from God, and prayer causes us to look to Him for everything we
need. The disciples understood the importance of
prayer, and they asked Yeshua to teach them how to pray. “Now it came to pass, as He was praying
in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach
us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” – Luke 11:1 They saw the way Yeshua prayed and how often
He prayed, and they realized how much He valued prayer, so they asked Him how they could do
the same. “So He said to them, ‘When you pray, say:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. Give us day by day our daily bread. And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive
everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver
us from the evil one.’” – Luke 11:2-4 Many people have memorized this prayer, and
say it regularly, which is good. However, we need to remember that Yeshua was
teaching us how to pray, not what to pray. This prayer shows us to exalt God, to speak
to him in a loving and familiar way, to seek His kingdom and His will, to lean on Him to
provide for our needs, and to seek forgiveness and protection from sin and evil. Yeshua also explained there are wrong ways
to pray. “And when you pray, you shall not be like
the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues
and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room,
and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and
your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” – Matthew 6:5-6 If you’re praying to impress other people,
your prayer is offensive to God. Our prayers should only be directed to God,
which is why Yeshua said to pray in secret. This is said in contrast with the hypocrites
who pray to be seen by men. Then He said not pray with vain repetition. “And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions
as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for
their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have
need of before you ask Him.” – Matthew 6:7-8 The pagans were known to use prayer beads
to count the repetitions of their prayers. They would chant specific prayers over and
over, and use the beads to count how many times they said their prayer. The Catholics do this when they pray the rosary. Yeshua also told a parable about two men praying
to explain the attitude we need to have when we approach God in prayer. “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one
a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself,
‘God, I thank You that I am not like other men – extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or
even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all
that I possess.’ And the tax collector, standing afar off,
would not so much as raise his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful
to me a sinner!’ I tell you, this man went down to his house
justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he
who humbles himself will be exalted.” – Luke 18:10-14 When we speak to God, we need to remember
that we are not worthy to untie His sandal, yet for some reason He has allowed us to make
our requests known to Him. We need to approach Him with humility and
respect. Yet, we are also told to pray with confidence,
believing that He will answer our prayers. Yeshua said,
“And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” – Matthew 21:22 He even said that anything we ask in His name,
we will receive it. “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes
in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because
I go to My Father. And whatever you ask in My name, that I will
do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do
it.” – John 14:12-14 In Hebrew thought, a person’s name was linked
to his character and authority. Thus prayer in Jesus’ name is prayer that
is seeking His will and submissive to His authority. That’s why John said it this way, “Now this is the confidence that we have
in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever
we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” – 1 John 5:14-15 Some people have turned this into a magic
formula, saying if you add the phrase “in Jesus name” to the end of your prayer, your
prayer will be answered. That’s not what it means to pray in His
name. Asking in His name means we are asking in
His character, according to His will, and with His authority to do so. So, anything we ask in this manner will be
answered. Prayer for healing is one of the most common
prayers we find in the Bible. In fact, we are encouraged to pray for healing. “Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church,
and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick,
and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and
pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous
man avails much.” – James 5:13-16 We are encouraged to pray with faith, believing
that God will heal us. We are also encouraged to have the elders
of our congregation anoint the sick with oil and pray for them. But, what about unanswered prayers? Why are some prayers not answered? There are a few things to consider, and the
Bible gives some specific reasons why some prayers are not answered. I want to start by looking at what the Proverbs
say about this first. “The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination
to the Lord, But the prayer of the upright is His delight.” – Proverbs 15:8 “The Lord is far from the wicked, But He
hears the prayer of the righteous.” – Proverbs 15:29 “One who turns away his ear from hearing
the law, Even his prayer is an abomination.” – Proverbs 28:9 So, according to the Bible, God hears the
prayers of the righteous, those who are considered upright, and those who do not reject the Law
of God. This actually lines up with some things that
are written in the New Testament as well. John said God answers the prayers of those
who keep His commandments and do what is pleasing to God. “And whatever we ask we receive from Him,
because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” – 1 John 3:22 Peter also said something similar, but added
that God is against those who do evil. “For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,
And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the Lord is against those who
do evil.” – 1 Peter 3:12 If you want to know why your prayers aren’t
being answered, start by looking at yourself. As yourself, am I walking in obedience to
God, am I doing the things that please Him? However, this is not the only reason prayers
are not answered. Consider Paul, he was a godly man, he was
an evangelist, he was walking in obedience to God, but he asked three times for deliverance
from what he called a “thorn in his flesh”, but God simply told Paul that “My grace
is sufficient for you”. “And lest I should be exalted above measure
by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger
of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord
three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient
for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast
in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities,
in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 God did not remove this thorn from Paul because
it was being used to keep Paul humble. Sometimes God allows things to happen to us
to accomplish His purposes. Paul was asking God to remove something that
God had placed there for a reason, which is why Paul’s prayer was not answered. Likewise, Yeshua prayed in the Garden that
the cup of suffering might pass from Him, but He also willingly submitted to the will
of the Father. “He went a little farther and fell on His
face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me;
nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will… Again, a second time, He went away and prayed,
saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will
be done… So He left them, went away again, and prayed
the third time, saying the same words.” – Matthew 26:39, 42, 44 We see in His prayer a petition to alter God’s
will and the willing submission to this “hard” path of suffering. We need to remember this when we are facing
difficult situations, and we need to be seeking God’s will in the matter, not our own. So, how can we know and pray for God’s will
to be done? This is why the Holy Spirit is so vital in
the life of a believer. Yeshua said,
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give
you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever”
– John 14:15-16 The indwelling Spirit enables us to call God
“Abba” and to address our Heavenly Father with the confidence of being His child. We need the Spirit to intercede because our
prayers are weak, and apart from the Holy Spirit we pray without discernment. “Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for
as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot
be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what
the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the
will of God.” – Romans 8:26-27 Since we are on the subject of praying in
the Spirit, I want to point out something that Paul says concerning speaking in tongues. I know a lot of people place high value on
praying in tongues, but Paul gives us some very important instructions concerning this
topic. “Therefore let him who speaks in a tongue
pray that he may interpret. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays,
but my understanding is unfruitful. What is the conclusion then? I will pray with the spirit, and I will also
pray with the understanding. I will sing with the spirit, and I will also
sing with the understanding. Otherwise, if you bless with the spirit, how
will he who occupies the place of the uninformed say “Amen” at your giving of thanks, since
he does not understand what you say? For you indeed give thanks well, but the other
is not edified.” – 1 Corinthians 14:13-17 Paul is telling us the importance of interpretation
and having the understanding of what is being said. How can someone say “amen” to your prayer
if they don’t know what you said? They don’t know if you are blessing God
or cursing Him. This is why interpretation is needed when
someone speaks in tongues. Honestly, this is my biggest critique of the
Pentecostal movement, because they encourage people to speak in tongues, but you rarely
ever hear an interpretation given. Another thing that we need to examine concerning
prayer is what Paul said about head coverings. “Every man praying or prophesying, having
his head covered, dishonors his head. But every woman who prays or prophesies with
her head uncovered dishonors her head, for that is one and the same as if her head were
shaved. For if a woman is not covered, let her also
be shorn. But if it is shameful for a woman to be shorn
or shaved, let her be covered… Judge among yourselves. Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with
her head uncovered? Does not even nature itself teach you that
if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory
to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering. But if anyone seems to be contentious, we
have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.” – 1 Corinthians 11:4-6, 13-16 This is a subject of great debate among many
believers. Some say this is a cultural thing, others
say it is speaking about hair length, and still others say it is about wearing a man-made
head covering such as a hat or veil. First off, I don’t believe this is merely
a cultural thing. I believe what Paul is saying has universal
applications to all believers in every culture. I used to think he was talking about hats
and veils, but the more I look at this passage, the more I am convinced that Paul is only
talking about hair length. He says men should have short hair and women
should have long hair, and the woman’s hair is given to her for a covering. He also says if she has short hair, she might
as well have her head shaved because her short hair is not covering her properly. He closes his argument by saying, “if anyone
seems to be contentious”, which indicates that he suspected some women would be contentious
about this. Let me simply say that if you want to argue
about this topic, then you need to take it up with God. However, I would encourage you to look up
what Proverbs says about a contentious woman. Prayer is vitally important to the life of
a believer, and we don’t want to do anything that might hinder our prayers. Peter encourages men to honor your wives so
that your prayers are not hindered. “Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with
understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together
of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered.” – 1 Peter 3:7 How we treat each other is extremely important,
so much that it affects our prayers. So, is there any reason, situation, problem,
or circumstance that we shouldn’t pray about? “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything
by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God”
– Philippians 4:6 Don’t worry, pray. Don’t stress, pray. Take everything to the Lord in prayer and
trust in Him. SHARE THE TRUTH
UNLEARN THE LIES Thanks for watching. If you found this video helpful then share
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who support this ministry. We truly appreciate your prayers and generosity. Thank you so much. And remember, the truth will set you free. See you next time.


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