Prayer Product

Copyright Stephen M. Golden 18 December 2001

 

[A work in progress]

This article attempts to address the likelihood of answered prayer. The reader is strongly cautioned that this treatise is highly speculative but attempts to provide answers to the mystery of answered prayer.

 

The success of a prayer is dependent on several factors.

The likelihood of a positive answer to prayer can be loosely expressed as the product of the following:

Intensity of prayer

Frequency of prayer

Quantity of faith

Number of souls praying

1/Complexity of the request

1/Necessary complexity of the answer

Other promises God has made

The relative weighting of each of the criteria, and their priority is undetermined.

 

Intensity of prayer

Luke 22:44 And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

Acts 12:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

 

 


Frequency of prayer

Romans 1:9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,

Colossians 1:9 For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

1 Thessalonians 5:17 pray without ceasing,

2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,

 

Quantity of faith

Your prayers are granted according to your faith.

Matthew 9:29 Then He touched their eyes, saying, "According to your faith let it be to you."

Matthew 17:20 So Jesus said to them, "Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there,' and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you.

Matthew 17:21 "However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."

Matthew 21:21-22 So Jesus answered and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but also if you say to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' it will be done.

"And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive."

Mark 5:34 And He said to her, "Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction."

 

Number of souls praying

There is a clear theme in the New Testament that the prayers of many are desirable.

Acts.11:5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance. 7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. "Quick, get up!" he said, and the chains fell off Peter's wrists.

 

2 Corinthians 1:10b-11 On him we have set our hope that he will continue to deliver us, 11 as you help us by your prayers. Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.

 

Philippians 1:18b-19

Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19 for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance.

 

The reciprocal of the Complexity of the request

1/ComplexityOfRequest

The more complex the request, the greater the implications and impact on other people and circumstances. God is not going to grant us a request if it will cause problems later. We don't know everything, but God does.

 

 

The reciprocal of the Necessary Complexity of the answer

1/NecessaryComplexityOfRequest

The more complex the request, the greater the implications and impact on other people and circumstances. God is not going to grant us a request if it will cause problems later. We don't know everything, but God does.

Romans 11:33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!

How unsearchable his judgments,

and his paths beyond tracing out!

1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? 21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

1 Corinthians 1:25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man's wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man's strength

1 Corinthians 2:5 so that your faith might not rest on men's wisdom, but on God's power.

Job 15:8 Do you listen in on God's council?

Do you limit wisdom to yourself?

 

 


Other Promises God has made

Our God is faithful and true. Our God cannot lie, and He keeps His promises. This is a tremendous blessing we have indeed. The gods of other religions, one in particular, can be arbitrary, capricious, and even go back on decisions previously made. However, this does have implications for prayer. We do not know the promises and decisions God has already made. If God has already made a promise or commitment that is in conflict with our request in prayer, He will not fail to keep His previous promise in order to grant our request.

1 Corinthians 1:9 God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.

1 Corinthians 10:13a No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.

2 Corinthians 1:20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are "Yes" in Christ. And so through him the "Amen" is spoken by us to the glory of God.

2 Timothy 2:13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

Heb.10:23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.