Transformational Truths

How To Get Answers When You Pray

Pray Pregnant Prayers

Clearly Evaluate – What is the value of what you are asking? Are you asking for something that you cannot do without? Is what you are asking God for of life or death proportion?

Ask Earnestly – Is there anyone else who can provide you the request you are making? To whom are you praying? Is there help available from who you are praying? Do you really want what is being asked?

Wait Expectantly – Are you looking for the answer? With your little eye are you spying to see the display of the request? Is “wait” in your demeanor? Are you resting confident you will receive a response?

An Example To Consider

Ruth clearly evaluated there was great profit to be had in having someone to redeem the land of her mother-in-law. The land redemption would determine their future and livelihood. They would be unable to survive without the help of a Kinsman Redeemer who would take them in and provide for them for the rest of their lives. Ruth and her mother-in-law were in dire need.

There was no one else who could provide what they needed. Naomi mentored Ruth to know how to care for herself, dress, and present herself to Boaz. Ruth humbly followed all the instructions. During the night when Boaz was startled awake, Ruth clearly presented the need and requested for Boaz to find favor and help them. Boaz assured Ruth he would work to get the need met.

Before the sun rose, Ruth returned home with six measures of barley Boaz had gifted her. Naomi met her with an open ear to hear all that had happened. Ruth shared with her how everything had gone the night before. After hearing everything, Naomi advised “Wait, . . .until you know how the matter turns out; for the man will not rest until he has settled it today.” (Ruth 3:18) They both rested confident an answer to the request made would come.

Two More Examples To Build Confidence

Two other examples come to mind in the Bible that exemplify prayers that got answered. One was a parable and one was a real life example.

Luke 18 records the parable of a woman who had a clear need. She had clearly evaluated someone was taking advantage of her and she was in dire need of help. She went to the judge daily asking for help. Her earnest plea was heard day after day of which the duration was not told. Daily she went to the judge looking for the answer and when she did not see it, she would ask again. She kept asking and earnestly looking for what she had evaluated she couldn’t live without. In the end, she got relief from the one to whom she prayed and the one who was taking advantage of her was done away with.

James 5 shares a significant account of prayer that occurred in the Old Testament when Elijah prayed for rain. A prior prayer of Elijah had cut off rain for 3 years. Now the land was in desperate need of rain. Elijah had evaluated the great need. He knew only God could provide the answer. He diligently prayed to God, the only one who could make it rain. His prayer included an earnest watchfulness. 1 Kings 18:42-43 states Elijah sent his servant to watch for the rain clouds seven times as Elijah continued in prayer. Elijah prayed with an evaluated need, an earnest request, and an expectant watchfulness.

Teaching Truth

  • “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.” Hebrews 4:16
    • We can confidently ask for what is needed.
    • God is in the position to provide what is being requested.
    • The answer can be received at the time we have the need.

Removing Ruin

  • “He that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Hebrews 11:6
    • Get rid of thinking God is unable to help you.
    • Eliminate hesitancy to pray to God.
    • Dismiss other options for getting your needs met.

Abolishing Argument

  • “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Mark 11:24
    • Agree with God in His knowledge of your need.
    • Restfully believe He is hearing your need and working it out.
    • Calmly wait, watching for the answer.

Implement Instruction

  • Evaluate the favor/help of God you are requesting.
  • Earnestly ask God for the help needed.
  • Expectantly watch for the answer

Nurture Newness

  • Practice determining your need and the “direness” of your situation.
  • Urgently and consistently present your request to the only One who can help.
  • Look intently for God to send the solution.


Prayer is an intimate conversation between you and God. When you pray you are invited to come boldly and respectfully. When Ruth requested from Boaz what was needed, she kept with the customary protocol. Elijah prayed in a bowed position. The widow presented daily her request with a “continual coming”.

It is also important to understand we are praying to the only One who can provide the needed response to our request. Others may be able to provide some relief, but God is the only One who has all the answers. All three examples we looked at were able to persist in prayer because they had confidence in whom they prayed. Ruth had confidence in Boaz’s ability to “take care of the situation today”. Elijah had courage to keep praying a long time because he knew God was the only one who could send the rain. The widow continued to come because she had confidence in the authority of the judge to act on her behalf.

We are able to get our prayers answered because we have clearly evaluated our great need, we have earnestly requested of the only One who can meet our need, and we are expectantly watching for the answer to arrive. When these three components are active you will get your prayers answered.

The prayer of a righteous person, when it is brought about, can accomplish much. James 5:16

Written By: Anne Gurley

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