If there is one thing I love to learn about..it’s PRAYER. I am absolutely fascinated with it! I love to read books on it. I love to hear preaching about it. I love to listen to others talk about it. It is absolutely intriguing to me. The power of prayer is something I have personally experienced in my own life. I remember back when I was 17 or 18 I really had a desire to want to know more about prayer and how it works. I wanted to experience what I had heard so many people talk about. It was a topic I could sit for hours and listen to someone share about.
I remember someone challenging me to get a notebook and start writing down my prayers and to start keeping record of the prayers God had answered. They told me how it would inspire me to prayer even more. It did. I began to see answers to everything. I just kept asking. I would pray about EVERYTHING. I often got teased by family that if anyone needed an answer to prayer to just tell me and I’d get it answered for them. I later on took this desire of prayer with me to college. I actually fell more in love with prayer AT COLLEGE. I saw God answer so many amazing things while I was in college. I even went a little further and started fasting along with my prayers. It was great! I was excited. I tried to challenge others around me to try it. It just became so much more intriguing to me!
Fast forward to a year leading up to recently…for some reason I kind of stopped praying that much. I had convinced myself that it would always be there if I needed something, that it wasn’t something I needed in my life every single day. I had started to look at prayer as just a go to when I needed something from the Lord. Not a necessity in my daily life. I was so wrong. Little by little I began to see my once answered prayers become unaswered prayers. It was as if God has shut off His line of answering my prayers. The real problem was though I had began to get away from the Lord. Not like full on backsliding. You know the kind of backsliding where you still go to church, you’re still involved, and you put on a front that you are such a great Christian. Yup, that was ME! I won’t drag this out much…but what had happened was I had gotten away from the Lord. I began to let, not big, but little things creep into my life. Things that I thought didn’t really matter. Things I thought would have no effect on my spiritual walk with God. I was so wrong.
It finally came to the point where I was exhausted, frustrated, angry and pretty much depressed. I still did devotions and I prayed but I was so spiritually dead. My prayer life was DEAD. I was literally not getting one single answer to prayer…wait I was, but they were all NO. I couldn’t take it. I remember constantly asking God in frustration, “WHY ARE YOU NOT ANSWERING MY PRAYERS?” I remember thinking “I don’t have any major sins that I need to confess or give up…what is it?” I remember times I would cry out of frustration. I couldn’t figure out WHAT was wrong. I mean I had it in my mind that I could just jump right back in to praying and God would just immediately start answering all my prayers again. Unfortunately that isn’t how it works. I was determined to figure out what I was doing wrong. Especially when I found out I was having a child…I knew I was going to need God’s ear. I knew I was going to need alot of answers to prayer. So I began to literally BEG God to show me what I was missing or what I needed to do for me to start getting my prayers answered again.
He did. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of the app “SermonAudio” It’s a free app you can download and listen to different preaching. For some reason I overheard someone talking about it and decided I wanted to download it again. I had downloaded it before but deleted it for some reason. When I did the first TOPIC I searched was prayer. As I went down through the different sermons posted, it showed a message that had been preached by Dr. David Gibbs- Unanswered Prayer. I thought, “This is PERFECT! This is exactly what I’m looking for.” As I lay in bed that night I listened to every word he said. I was so tired yet so awake (if that makes any sense). He began to tell the story of the time he was in a trial with Lester Roloff. He told how that around 4 in the morning Lester Roloff called him up and asked him to come to his room. When he got there, Bro. Roloff told him how the judge didn’t like them and how that the jury didn’t like them and how the lawyers on the other side had all the resources and money and how they had nothing. They were going to get killed. He told him how that they were going to get GOD into it. He told him “We’re going to pray, but here’s the problem…if we’re not clean we’re going nowhere. You got to get clean, David!” Then he said “I got to get clean. So before we pray lets get CLEAN.” Bro Gibbs told how that no one had every talked like that. Bro Roloff then told him “Now you go get in that corner and don’t come out of it till you’re clean.” He then went on to tell how that when he got into his corner he remembers thinking “I don’t know how to do this, no one had ever challenged me to get CLEAN.” He then began to hear Bro Roloff in his corner confessing sin OUT LOUD..confessing sin sin. He told God that he didn’t now how to do it, but he wanted to get clean. And then God started bringing all these different things to his mind..things he had forgotten about..stuff he knew that was wrong but that he had gotten comfortable with. After a couple of hours they both came out of their corners and Bro Roloff asked him “To the best of your ability, are you clean?” He said “Yes!” Bro Roloff then said “Well now lets pray!” Bro Gibbs told how he then prayed like a 10 minute prayer on behalf of their court schedule the next day. In short the next day at court God did some unbelievable things. They ended up winning the case and the other side even took care of all the expenses. You should really listen to his sermon. Anyway, he asked a few things that REALLY struck me.
“Are you comfortable with unanswered prayer?”
“When is the last time you got CLEAN?”
He said how that R.A Torrey once said “If you want God to answer your prayer, you have to get ruthless with sin in your life.”
Nothing can take the place of you getting clean.
God wants us to have FAITH that He will answer.
I then knew exactly what I needed to do. I finally knew what was holding me back from getting my prayers answered. I WASN’T CLEAN. He told how that we shouldn’t go to the altar to get cleaner but CLEAN. I knew that was what I needed to do. So I got alone with God and I began to get clean. I begged him to show me things in my life that shouldn’t be there. Even the little things that were hindering my prayers from being answered. God began to bring things to my mind. He began to convict me of things I thought weren’t that big of a deal. Things like music, tv shows, the way I had treated someone, envy, covetousness, un-forgiveness. I began to cry. In that very moment I could feel the closeness I once so enjoyed with God coming back. I began to feel a peace I hadn’t felt in a long time. I made some decisions and gave up some things right there that I knew honestly wouldn’t be considered a BIG deal..but they were things that were keeping my prayers from being answered. And i knew that I’d much rather have my prayers answered than to hold on to those little sins that were holding me back. I wanted so badly to have my prayers answered again. I got clean. Getting clean though wasn’t a ONE TIME thing. It has now become a daily thing I do before asking God for anything or giving him my prayer request.
I am not exaggerating when I say that just in the last 2 weeks GOD has been answering my prayers like crazy!! I started writing my prayers down again in my notebook. I try to carry it with me everywhere. I write down even the smallest prayer requests like a parking space, or extra groceries etc. Then I go over them each morning and thank Him for the prayers He answered. I don’t want it to stop. I want to continually see my prayers answered. Someone once told me “You should look for an answer to prayer everyday!” I once again enjoy prayer. I don’t want to ever go back to where I was. I want this to continue.
I shared this in hopes of inspiring others who feel like they’re STUCK or feel like God has just stopped answering their prayers to try it. Maybe it’s time to get CLEAN.
REMEMBER: “If you want God to answer your prayer, you have to get ruthless with sin in your life.”
What is it that’s holding you back? Is that sin/thing really worth your unanswered prayers?
Are you comfortable with unanswered prayer?
I attached printable prayers cards for you if you’d like to print out and start keeping record of your prayer request and answered prayers!