I sat beside a delightful lady at a recent prayer gathering. She related with passion each of the steps of her healing from a devastating car accident.

“The healing was miraculous,” she said.

Broken bones healed with no need for casts, cuts on her face healed with no scars. And doctors said she would lose her teeth as they had turned gray because they began to die due to the severe impact. But God healed them as they turned white before her eyes, leaving the doctors stunned.

We all listened in awe. But after the astonishment subsides, do we sometimes wonder: Why aren’t our own prayers answered and why do miracles seem to pass us by?

I imagine Joni Erickson might have wondered the same from time to time while spending her life, paralyzed in that wheel chair.

But even when we question, God still insists for us to bring our requests before Him. (Philippians 4:6)

And when we do, here are five steps to make sure He will answer them:

1. Readjust our priorities. If we seek the answer to our Prayer with more passion than we seek God Himself, His patience rather than answers is what will be at work. (Matthew 6:33)

2. Resist the temptation to recite memorized, perfect prayers, with lovely words and deep insight. God simply wants the genuine expression of our heart. (1 Samuel 16:7)


3. Recognize that sometimes we don’t know how to pray or what our requests should be. So we can freely ask for Him to show us what to pray for. (Psalm 139:23)


4. Remember that His answer is always in His timing, not ours because a thousand years in God’s sight are like a day that has just gone by. (Psalm 90:4)


5. Relish in the fact that while we wait, He’s working in us, in our heart, in our situation. He has the answered already prepared. (Ephesians 2:10)


Why follow these steps? Because “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14–15).


While we pray, we’re certain that in His timing and ways, we have what we ask. We receive what He offers. We expect what He promises. And while we wait, we frame our patience with joy, confidence and peace.

How much confidence do you have that God will answer your prayers?

Janet P. Eckles