There is a prayer I believe God always says “yes” to. I don’t believe He says yes to every prayer, although I do believe they are all heard, especially if we are praying from a place of belief in Christ.
In Mark 11, Jesus curses a fig tree. He does so even though the tree has leaves. That was usually a sign it could have produced fruit and was still a viable tree. But apparently that wasn’t the case. It wasn’t going to produce fruit and Jesus could tell. The leaves were another way of saying someone has all the outward appearance of belief in Christ, but no roots of faith on the inside. The fig tree is a symbol for the nation of Israel and by cursing it; Jesus was demonstrating the judgment that follows when Israel strays from God.
It is similar to the parable He preached we find in Luke 13:1-9. Jesus is also teaching us in Mark 11 about prayer. In Hebrews 11:6, the writer states that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Without faith in God, He isn’t going to hear our prayers. Not only that, without faith, He won’t answer them. Without God answering our prayers, we won’t bear any fruit. Without faith, we won’t see what God is doing – whatever His answer is. On top of that, without a right relationship with fellow Christians, we will continue to miss out on what God is doing in our lives.
So, back to question at hand – is there a prayer that always gets a yes from God? If we are in a right relationship with the Father and our brothers and sisters in Christ, I believe there is such a prayer. When we ask to see the work He has done, or is in the process of doing, when we declare that we will see it – rather than wishing for it to happen – He is going to give us what we ask.
When we have faith, or live in an attitude of dependence on the Holy Spirit, we are going to pursue the things of God. C.S. Lewis defined trust in God as trying to do all that He says because you have handed yourself over to Him. When you do that, you try and do all He says. Therefore, you are given the confidence God hears and answers. We might not always see it before our own eyes, but those prayers are answered.
I think of my friend, now 76, whose mother prayed for her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, asking God to grant them hearts for Jesus, a half-century ago. My friend points to the proof of that answered prayer in the lives her family, infinitely blessed and strengthened by it. The key to it all is the content of our prayers: they must be chock full of God’s promises in His word. The prayer He always answers is one from a heart that seeks to grow in faith, trust, hope, love and obedience in His Son by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Francis Chan, in Forgotten God, puts it this way: There is a huge difference between believe what God has promised and praying for things you’d like to be true. I encourage you to pray confidently for what God has promised. Don’t put your hope in what others promise or what you’ve been told you’ll ‘get’ if you are a ‘good Christian’ (e.g. a good job, financial success, the perfect spouse, health children, a big house, etc.) And ultimately, you need to stake your faith in God alone, not in the gifts (good as they may be) that He gives.
It really comes down to trust. Faith is the belief that God will do what He has said He will and the belief in Who He is. Then we are blessed with knowing He will give us what we’ve asked. We don’t have to keep banging on the door of Heaven to get what we want. From that hope, we can lift up our needs to Him and move on, knowing He is doing something about it.
If someone you love is walking away from the will of God, don’t enter into prayer in a pleading way. Don’t come to the Lord to tell Him how much better you are and He should change them to be like you. Do what Jesus says in Mark 11 – believe in what God will do when you ask for the fruit of truth and love of His Son to be made manifest in them. Pray confidently, boldly, with a submissive heart, knowing you will eventually see the evidence of your prayer. And if you keep praying, but are not seeing anything, ask Him why. There might be something blocking the communication lines. Jesus knows what we struggle with, He has lived as we do and desires to see the Father’s glory on display (Hebrews 4:15-16).
If you pray from God’s word, with the right heart, you should embrace the security of knowing you will eventually catch up to His answer. It will be done, on earth as it is done in Heaven!