Not Getting Your Prayers Answered: The Purpose of Prayer

prayer (2)The Purpose of Prayer

The purpose of prayer is not to get your prayers answered! Does that statement surprise you?

The reality is, if we are focused on constantly asking God and getting what we want, we are mislead, and wasting our time. The purpose of prayer is coming into a Deeper Relationship With Jesus —

For example, if we always go to our friends asking and demanding; constantly expecting that they will give something to us, or do things for us, we will soon find that we don’t have any friends left!

Our relationship with God is just the same. He is worthy of our time, attention and friendship: even if He never gave us a thing! But He has given us something. He has given us the ultimate gift of life in His son Jesus! What is your response? Constantly asking, begging, and demanding for more in prayer?

Come into the Secret Place

There is a place of rest and relationship with Him. We cultivate it within ourselves in times of prayer and meditation on the Word. It goes, however, beyond simple Bible reading or asking Him to do things. In the Song of Solomon it is referred to as “the secret place”. In the New Testament it is referred to as your “prayer closet”. It is a private time of waiting in His presence, where we can “be still and know that he is God”.

The following is developed from notes by James Goll on cultivating the Secret Place –

Five Steps for Establishing the Secret Place Within You

1. Cultivate Stillness – Be Still!

2. Practice Focused Attention – Turn your eyes upon Jesus.

3. Let Go – Let go of all that holds our attention, and direct it all toward Jesus. He is worthy!

4. Open up – Open your heart, mind, and soul to Him alone. Let Him pour His life into you and through you.

5. Let Him Flow — Let His thoughts, mind and heart begin to flow into you.


A. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Stillness

1. Hebrews 4:9-11
There remains therefore a Sabbath rest for the people of God. For he who has entered into His rest has himself also rested from his works, as God did from His. Let us therefore give diligence to enter into that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of disobedience.

2. Hebrews 3:18-19
And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who were disobedient? So we see that they were not able to enter because of unbelief.


B. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Focused Attention

1. Hebrews 12:1-2
…Let us…lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith.

2. John 5:19
…Truly, truly I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the So does in like manner.


C. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Letting Go

1. Psalm 46:10
Cease striving (let go, relax) and know that I am God.

2. Philippians 4:6-7
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God which surpasses all comprehension, shall guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.


D. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Opening Up

1. John 15:4-5
Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing.

2. 1 Samuel 3:3-4
…and the lamp of God had not yet gone out, and Samuel was lying down in the temple of the Lord where the ark of God was, that the Lord called Samuel; and he said, “Here I am.”


E. Biblical Exhortation Concerning Spiritual Flow

1. John 7:38-39
He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, “From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive…

2. Revelation 4:1-2
After these things I looked, and behold, a door standing open in Heaven, and the first voice which I heard, like the sound of a trumpet speaking with me, said, “Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after these things.” Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne was standing in Heaven and One sitting on the throne.

This is the first of a four part series on cultivating the Secret Place with God. Jesus is referred to as the lover of our souls. He wants to enjoy an intimate relationship with you. Just like in any relationship, it takes time and attention to cultivate the connection and let the relationship grow. For further, detailed instruction on this topic, I recommend Madame Guyonne’s book, A Short and easy Method of Prayer. It is one of the time-honored classics on the subject of cultivating a deeper relationship with Jesus. Blessings on your journey!


About jscotthusted

J. Scott Husted is a writer, educator, minister and teaching missionary currently living and working in Seoul, South Korea. He carries a passion for cultivating authentic community, the establishment of the house of prayer, the plight of children at risk around the world, and raising up a new generation of leaders with a passion for the Kingdom of God.
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