The promises of God are available to all believers. A few of these promises are presented below:
- I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you (Matthew 18:20).
- You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father (John 14:13).
- And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).
If, in fact, our Lord is the Lord of success (and he is); the Lord of promises (and he is); the Lord who can supply all of our needs (and he can); then, why is it that some prayers go unanswered or it takes months or even years to hear from God about a particular issue, if at all? Let me be clear, believers have a lot for which to be thankful because God continues to answer some of our prayers every day. However, there are instances wherein we pray for the Lord’s intervention on a matter and it seems to take forever for the Lord to respond, if at all. Why is this? It goes without saying that there are prerequisites to which we must adhere before God will answer our prayer. Hebrews 10:22, 23 says:
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Let’s assume for a moment that we adhere to the command set forth in Hebrews 10:22, 23; i.e., our prayers are in line with God’s will for our life; our prayers focus more on spiritual needs than physical needs; we submit prayers from our heart, not from our mind; we are using the appropriate words when we talk to Father God; we pray without ceasing and not just in time of trouble or need; we have learned to be patient; our faith is strong; and we do not use prayer as a tool; e.g., therapy, comfort, relaxation, etc. but rather as a pathway that gives us direct access to the Lord. If in fact we are doing these things; then, what is the problem with getting all of our prayers answered? Why are we not recipients of all of the promised blessings as well as the miracle working power as promised in Scripture? Perhaps the answer is that we are not praying in one accord.
You may recall that leading up to the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost, the believers were gathered in one place waiting for the Holy Spirit to come. We read in Acts 2:1 these words: “When they had reached the point of being on one accord, the Holy Spirit appeared and wondrous, powerful things began to happen.” There are two very important points in this setting: 1) only believers were gathered, i.e., no sinners, doubters, etc., and 2) they had reached the point of being in one accord.
What exactly is being in one accord? Accord is defined as being unified which is the state of being one; as combining all of the various parts into one unit; as being oneness of mind, feeling, will, and desire (Source: Dictionary.com).
I submit that there may be nothing wrong with our prayers, our motives, nor our sincerity; however, our prayers may be in conflict with each other resulting in a discord as opposed to being in one accord. Hence, no answer is received from God. Let’s explore this discord further. Satan attempts to influence our prayers as individuals and as a church body to keep us divided. Satan attempts and often succeeds in planting different ideas in our mind, the mind of family members and in the body of Christ in regards to what we need for God to do in our life or in the life of our church. This division results in a discord. God is not going to answer a prayer from an individual or His church that is not in unison or not in one accord. It only takes one person to bring about a discord in our prayer request. Here are few examples:
When you ask someone to pray for you but you don’t tell them specifically what it is that you want them to pray for, they may be asking God for something that contradicts or conflicts with your prayer request. There’s nothing wrong with either of your prayer request. They meet all the criteria described in paragraph three but if God answers their prayer, on your behalf, then it may be impossible for God to answer your prayer if it is different. Therefore, God does nothing because both prayers are submitted in earnest.
A church member may be praying for God to bless the church with new furniture while another member may be praying for God to provide the funds to refurbish the current furniture. Both of these prayers are presented before God. Which prayer does God answer?
A husband may be praying for one thing and the wife may be praying for something else that may be in conflict with the husband’s prayer. Who is God going to answer? Quite possibly, He may not answer either prayer because they contradict or conflict with each other. Yet there is nothing wrong with the prayer itself. We must learn the importance and the power of praying in one accord.
I submit that as a family or as a church body:
- We must meet the requirements of prayer as described in paragraph three
- We must agree and pray for the same thing
- We need to be as specific as possible in our request to the Lord
- We must pray without ceasing
- We must “have faith and do not doubt” (Matthew 21:21)
You might recall that it took around seven days at Pentecost to reach the point of being in one accord. When we have attained the position of being in one accord in our prayer request, we will see the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit within our midst as was manifested at Pentecost. Then we will be able to move mountains.