How Are Prayers Answered

God as our loving Father is always happy to answer the prayers of His children for both material and spiritual needs (Matthew 6:25-33). In fact, we are encouraged to ask and promised that our requests will be answered (Luke 11:9-10). The Father may be even more willing to provide for us than earthly parents like to give gifts to their children (Luke 11:13). This is especially true when we ask for the Holy Spirit (same verse), and asking for the Holy Spirit can be equated with asking for the Divine Love.

In the so-called “Lord’s Prayer” (Matthew 6:9-15), we are encouraged to ask for both material and spiritual needs. At the top of the list is a prayer for the coming of God’s Kingdom (v. 10) – which again can be equated with asking for the Divine Love because God’s Kingdom or the Celestial Kingdom is only open to those who possess the Divine Love in their souls and have thereby had their souls transformed into divine substance. In fact, we are promised that if we seek first the Kingdom of God and God’s righteousness (again, Divine Love), all our physical needs will be taken care of as well (Matthew 6:25-33).

God personally answers our spiritual prayers – specifically those for the Divine Love – by having the Holy Spirit infuse our souls with the Love. As a result of this, we also receive true faith as the Love and faith work in tandem.

Our prayers for material needs are answered by the work of God’s angels and spirits (Hebrews 1:14). God does not exercise any arbitrary power to answer prayers, nor does he answer them by fiat. Rather, when sincere prayers are offered to Him, He works through His angels, who are always watching and working, and when the opportunity comes, they use their influence in the best possible way to bring about the desired results.

Some prayer answers depend on the will of others. God or the angels will not violate human will, but may be able to influence people to act in the desired way. If that happens, those prayers that are proper and worthy may then be answered. God does not answer prayers for material things that are not in consonance with laws controlling the free will and actions of humans or that violate the laws of love. Only those prayers will be answered which tend to bring about the overruling of evil and injustice. If we are not habitually doing God’s will or if we ask with wrong motives, our prayers will not be answered (John 9:31; James 4:1-3; 5:16).

In answering prayers, the spirits and angels operate under certain limitations. It is a fact that God helps those who help themselves – so we have to do our part toward what we wish to happen. Yet the spirits can influence – but not control absolutely – others’ desires and intentions, and thus bring about favorable circumstances. However, answers to prayer will never violate the laws of God governing the material things of His creation, or go beyond the powers naturally given to spirits or angels.

So the keys to answered prayer (spiritual prayers answered by God or material prayers answered by angels and spirits) include asking according to God’s will, with the right motives, and in the right priority in order to do good and to further love and justice in the world.

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