Why are you not getting your prayers answered? I can point to a few reasons that I don’t get mine answered and they might very well be the same reasons you have. The Disciple wanted to know why theirs were not answered but instead of looking for the reasons why they went to the master and asked him how to pray to get results. The answer is not in the prayer that Jesus taught them but rather in the spirit of how it is prayed. Let me try, in the next few weeks, to explain.
The first two words of this prayed in Mathew 6 is “Our Father”. Jesus starts with the relationship to the father and to the disciples. Philippians 2:6 tells us that Jesus did not consider equality with God something to be grasped. The NIV translate this as something to be used for our own advantage. The New Living Translation said equality with God was not something to cling to. In stead Jesus took on the form of a bond servant and was obedient even to death.
Jesus was himself the very nature God. In Gen. he was the voice of God that created all thing and without him nothing was made. He said at one time he came to do the will of the father. He was in all respect God and man at the same time. Someone has said that Mary had to change his dippers. As a man he was hungry, felt anger, love, compassion, sorrow, was tired, in other words what we experience he experienced. As God he was able do do many signs and wonders that we as humans are unable to do. As the son of God, Jesus said only those things that he had heard from the father (John 12: 50). John 5: 19 tells us that the son can do only what the father does and what the father does the son does.
The relationship between Jesus and the Father is the back drop of this model prayer. In giving this prayer Jesus includes his followers into the family of God. As a member of the family of God they are now joint heirs with Christ, with all the rights that Jesus has. Because we are now sons of God we too will hear the Father and see the Father do things so that we too may say and do those same things.
One of the problems that has arisen is our understanding of the person father. There are those that do not have a loving father as Jesus does so they understand “father” in relationship to their father. For the followers of Christ to over come the misunderstanding of what the true heavenly father is, we will need to look to Jesus as an older brother who has gone on before us and can help us understand God the father. We need to allow the spirit of Christ to become stronger in our lives. John the Baptist said it best when he said that Jesus must increase and I must decrease, again Paul said it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. As we imitate Christ, we will see our prayers answered more often as the spirit of Christ grows in us.