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lighthouse (Peggy's Cove, east coast Canada).
What Does the Bible Say About … BELIEVING in PRAYER?

Does prayer have to be answered for people to believe in its power?

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You have asked a very excellent question. Each and every Christian has asked themselves and God that same question many, many times. Some have even cried out in desperation that their prayers are not being answered.

Prayer is our communication link with the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Not every prayer is answered right away. God has four answers to each question we ask, Yes, Maybe, Wait, and No.

Hebrews 11:1 tells us that we must operate in the faith mode. Faith is being sure that whatever we hope for, pray for, seek God for, we will believe that God will answer that request even when we do not see the prayer being answered at that moment.

Turn to Luke 11:1-13, Jesus was teaching about prayer. Prayer isn’t like the ‘Santa Claus’ in the sky list of what you want because you have been good. It is also not rubbing the magic glass bottle and forcing a genie to grant you three wonderful wishes. Prayer is humbling yourself before the Lord in recognition of your own lack and God’s great ability to supply. It is respectful and persistent pouring out of your heart’s desire to the only one who can change or fulfill them. Prayer is your expression of your longing to commune with God. Perhaps our first prayer request should be “Lord teach me to pray to honor you.”

In Daniel 10:12-13, Daniel was praying to the Lord questioning why his prayers were not answered. God told Daniel that he heard his prayer from the first day, but Satan did everything he could to block the answer to the prayer. If you ever felt like God did not hear your prayer, then you are not alone. Every Christian would like to receive an immediate response to prayer. And when we do not receive an answer we think that God does not hear us or He just does not care. But neither is true. God always hears – and he always answers- each and every single prayer. However, His answer is sometimes delayed for reasons that are out of our control or have nothing to do with us. Please wait patiently on God knowing that He will answer in his own way and in his own time.

For over 26 years I have been a Christian. A few of my prayers took many years to be answered while other ones were answered the same day. And yet many have not yet come to fruition. But I will not give up praising God for the unanswered prayers.

In the year 2000, God had called me to the ministry. I was in college studying theology in preparation for ordination. But upon graduation each and every door had been blocked. I kept asking God “Why,” and never truly heard an answer. I kept the desire for my ministry to begin someday. This past June, God spoke to me “Now is the time!” The floodgates opened and from June 17, to today, I have been so busy and involved in a ministry that is still unfolding. I thank God for letting me wait patiently for 6 years. During that time I recovered from 2 severe illnesses, financial loss, my church has fallen apart, loss of dear friends and family members, and I still kept praising the Lord. That is what God wants you to do. Patiently waiting on the Lord, no matter how long, totally trusting in the Lord that He will give you the desires of your heart.

I was reminded of a prayer template that we can follow when we approach the Father.

A. We are to acknowledge what the Father is to us. Tell Him personally how you feel about Him.

B. Praise Him for what He has done in your life. Praise Him for what He has done for mankind. Praise Him for the creation.

C. Confess your faults to the Lord. Ask Him for forgiveness and strength to continue onward without sinning.

D. Confess your needs before the Lord. Remember that He already knows what you need, but He wants to hear it from your lips and heart.

E. Thanksgiving. Thank the Lord for sacrificing His son Jesus on the Cross. Thank God for the answer to your prayers. Thank the Lord for all the blessings He has given you.

F. Salutation. This is the love feast before the Lord. Singing praises, saying Psalms, reading to the Lord, Telling the Lord how much you love Him. Continual praising.

Then sit in quietness before the Lord. Just wait on Him. Maybe you will not hear anything right at that moment, but just rest in His comfort and calm.

I truly wish to set aside a time every day to pray. But, I am the type of person that cannot commit to a set time, so my prayers to the Lord run continuously all day long. However you choose to commune with the Lord, know that He will meet you, stand beside you and listen to you.

Sue Ramsey


No it does not!

If we are talking about Christian people, they already know the power of prayer for God answered the first prayer they ever really prayed and that was the prayer of a sinner that we prayed at the time of our conversion.

If we are thinking of unsaved people, then most of them believe in the power of prayer because of the lives of truly converted individuals that they have watched change before their very eyes.

Next if people believe the bible like the unsaved of my family did, yes they believe in prayer.

I would have to say that most people believe in prayer even if they have not actually seen prayer answered. My reasoning behind this is the great number of unsaved that has asked me to pray for them.

As someone has rightly said, there is no atheist on the battlefields of war.

So to answer this question, No, people do not have to see prayer answered to believe in prayer.

Besides all this if we believe in God, then we must believe in prayer.

James Avery


God always answers prayers. However, sometimes, when it’s for the greater good of the person involved and the greater glory of God, the answer is “no” or “not yet”. Many who feel their prayers haven’t been answered simply didn’t receive the answer they were expecting. That being said, people do definitely believe in the power of prayer when the answer is yet unknown. We may not know in what way God will answer our prayers, but we can trust Him to provide for us!



The prayer should answer the people and they should believe that it powered.

Sasha Kipnis


Not necessarily it is only God who knows which prayers to answer and which ones not to. Some prayers will not be answered because the motive of making such prayers is not right. The attitude which every Christian believer should have is to pray with the right motive without ceasing and leave the rest to God. Whether prayers are answered or not God remains God and praise be to his glory.

Weldon Siongok

Nairobi Kenya


Though from the past, one could believe that prayers has effect but people that are waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God want to see that God still answers prayers before they believe. This is one of the reasons why people move from one church to the other searching for answers to their prayers. Also note that hope deferred makes the heart sick even to the believers. It is true that prayers need to be answered for people to believe in its power based on the following reasons:

1. John 4:48 – Jesus Himself said, except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.

2. John 14:13 Whatsoever ye ask in my name, that will I do that the father may be glorified in the son. If ye ask anything in my name I shall do it.

3. John 9:3 That the work of God should be made manifest in Christ.

Jesus said, thank you because you always answer my prayer. After feeding people with bread and fish, they believed and followed him everywhere. When they saw answered prayer in the Bible the seven sons of Sceva wanted to demonstrate the power at last. Acts 19:17-19 “Fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified. And many who had believed came confessing and telling their deeds. Also, many of those who had practiced magic brought their books together and burned them in the sight of all.” NKJV

Hoping that I have tried in answering the question.

Femi Jacobs


This is a good question and I pray that God will give us a greater level of insight and understanding about the power of prayer.

In Mark 11:22-24, Jesus said “Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them”.

Hebrews 11:1 says “NOW FAITH is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”.

According to the scriptures listed above, we have to have faith in order for our prayers to be answered.

Notice what Jesus said in Mark 11:24 “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” This means that we have to believe that we receive the answer(s) when we pray; not after the answer comes.

If we believe in the power of prayer after we receive the answer, then it is no longer faith. Faith in God requires us to believe Him even when it does not look like things are changing for the better. Therefore, we should believe in the power of prayer even though we do not see immediate results. If we put our faith, hope and confidence in God while we pray, then the answer(s) to our prayers will come.

Melvin Lewis


This question is one I’m not sure there is a definite answer to. I think it depends on a believer’s level of spiritual maturity and where their walk with the Lord is at. It brings many questions to consider, I think.

My first question back to this is are you sure your prayer wasn’t answered or just not as you wanted it to be? We live in a society that tells us we deserve all we want and, with fast food, that we should get it fast and hot! Some people pray for a situation for years before they receive an answer.

Do you have a balanced prayer life? Do you only pray when in need, or do you pray to praise God for who He is and thank Him for what He has done or given to you?

Do you pray in the will of God? This may be hard to tell, but there are some guidelines I learned through a study I have been in. You are in the will of God if you are asking for blessing for others, if you are asking for His kingdom to be expanded, if you are asking for Him to send someone, be careful it may be you, to do His work in some area (Matt. 9:37-38-Then he said to his disciples, “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. 38 Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into the harvest field.”), asking for salvation for others (1 Tim. 2:4-who wants all men to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth.), rebuking Satan in the name of Jesus Christ (Eph. 6:12-For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.)

The Scriptures I looked at showed me that when people prayed “in the Spirit” (or as they felt God called them to and for what He called them for) and trusted and submitted to Him, He answered. 1 Chron. 5:20, Romans 1:10, Eph. 6:18, 1 Tim. 2:1, and Hebrews 5:7

When the people didn’t follow Him or were rebellious, He didn’t answer. Proverbs 28:9 and Isaiah 1:15

Does that mean every time we don’t get answers we are doing something against Him? Not always, we just may need to be persistent in prayer and listen and watch for answers that may be different than what we were expecting.


Prayer has absolutely no power whatsoever. This is why people are disillusioned and disgruntled when their prayers are not answered. They think, “Why is my prayer not answered? There must not be a God. God is mad at me.” Or whatever they think. The truth is that many pray. Many of all religions pray. The power is not in the prayer. It is in the God that they are praying to. Answered prayers are exclusively contingent upon the choice of God to answer or not. Believing that He loves us and knows what is best for us is the key to happiness. If we pray to the one true God, the Father of Jesus Christ, and He chooses not to grant us our desire, it is because He knows there is something better for us than what we want. Perhaps this failure will launch us to greater victory. Perhaps giving us the thing we ask for will invoke pride and arrogance. God knows. The question is which God are you praying to and do you believe in Him? Check out James 4:2-3.

James Jones, Pastor


The simple answer is “NO”. God answers all prayers but in three ways, i.e., Yes, No, Wait. A prayer is simply our trust in the Almighty and All Knowing God. If we do not get a positive answer to our prayers, it does not mean that prayer has no power. A glance at the Word of God would provide ample evidence for the power of prayer.

Biju George, Punthala


The Issue of answers to prayer is quite interesting. We must know that the power of prayer cannot be discussed in relation to whether its answered or not. Eventually it is our responsibility to pray and God responsibility to determine how he will answer prayer. He may answer and say:

1. No

2. Yes or Hold on its not yet the time to receive what you are asking for

Eventually answers to prayer are based on God’s will for our life. Daniel’s prayer was heard and answered the very day he prayed in Daniel 9,and 10. What caused his prayer to be answered was: He understood what was on the heart of God, that is, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last 70 years and the 70 years were over and they needed to be delivered from bondage. He also understood that just because the 70 years were over did not mean the will of God will be automatic. Secondly he went through the emptying process. This is when he repented of the sins that had taken them into bondage thirdly he waited upon the Lord in prayer – for God is (not us) responsible for when and how he would answer prayers.

Some people are busy answering their own prayers – like I think God does not want or its not the will of God…..prejudging the process

It takes faith to know that God will answer prayer. Why should you even bother praying if you suspect that God is not capable of answering the prayer?

Bernard Bushe


No – prayer does not have to be answered in order for people to believe in its power any more so than carbon monoxide has to be smelled in order for it to be deadly. Besides, we are not fully capable of knowing when or how prayer is answered, especially when the answer does not conform to our presuppositions and parameters. When it comes to prayer, seeing (an answer) does not equate to believing and especially so when we realize that God very well may delay His answer for a lengthy period – again well beyond our parameters. Besides, we are told to pray out of obedience and God will hear, but the Bible never says we will receive a discernable answer every time.

David Paterson