“Have faith in God for verily I say unto you that whosoever shall say unto this mountain be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea and shall not doubt in his heart he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you that whatsoever things you desire when ye pray believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them. And when ye stand praying forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses” (Mark 11:22-26).
As a parent one of the things that I try to do with the best of my ability is to instill values, provide for, protect and preserve my children to prepare them for the future. God our heavenly Father does the same thing and even more. Society has made God to look like a killer and someone who doesn’t care when the opposite is true. He so loved the world (John 3:16) that he gave his son Jesus to die on the cross for our sins. He did not go through all of that to make it hard for us to talk to him. In fact he says to come to the throne of grace boldly that we may find help in the time of need. A child who is afraid to approach a parent will not receive much, and the relationship will be damaged if things don’t change.
So the first step in getting your prayers answered is you and I must approach the Father through Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:6 that I am the way, the truth, and the life and no man comes to the Father but by me. We cannot come to him based on our own human efforts because that is self-righteousness. Self righteousness is as filthy rags in his sight. We must approach him in faith through the finished work on the cross. Second , we will get our prayers answered based on whether he hears us or not. Psalm 66:18 says that if I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Premeditated sin in the life of a person will short circuit prayer. The only prayer guaranteed by the word of God to be answered on behalf of a sinner is the prayer of repentance (1John 1:9) (Romans 10:8-13).
All of us make mistakes and slip up from time to time, but premeditated sin is when a person yields to their fleshly desires on purpose. Romans 6:1 says What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? So a person must repair the bad connection on the prayer telephone line by confessing sin, and God will hear and answer.