There are certain requirements we must fulfill before God will listen to our prayers.

We Must Belong to God.

There is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus” (1Timothy 2:5). Because Jesus is the mediator between us and God, we must give Him our total allegiance.

Before I yielded the control of my life to Jesus Christ, I would pray, but I was never sure if God was listening or would answer. After I asked Him to be the Lord of my life, I had confidence that God was hearing and answering my prayers.

We Must Pray to God the Father in the Name of His Son Jesus Christ.

Only the name of Jesus Christ gives us credibility with the Father — not our education, our wealth or poverty, our church, our background or our position — only Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “If you ask anything in my name, I will do it” (John 14:14).

Sometimes I use my husband’s name, or my church, or my work to gain credibility with people I meet. But only Jesus’ name gives us credibility with the Father.

We Must have a Clean Heart.

Psalm 66:18 says, “If I had known of any sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened to me.

It is very important to keep a clean heart before God. Someone said, “I ‘fess them as I does them, I don’t bunch them.” Don’t wait until you go to church or a crisis arises in your life to confess your sins to God. As soon as you become aware of an attitude or action that is displeasing to God, admit that it is wrong and thank God for His forgiveness. 1 John 1:9 tells us that if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

We Must have a Forgiving Spirit.

In Mark 11:25, Jesus says,

Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven my forgive your transgressions.”

Jesus makes it very clear that we can’t carry anger, hatred, or bitterness in our hearts toward anyone if we expect God to forgive us and/or hear our prayers.

We must Pray in Faith.

Jesus said in Matthew 21:22,

And everything you shall ask in prayer, believing, you shall receive.”

The very fact that you are asking God for your needs demonstrates your faith.

The answers come every time, but not always in the way we expect.  There are times when God answers prayer as soon as we pray. Other times we have to wait for them to be answered. Sometimes is answer is “No”, like all good parents, He gives us what is good for us, but not what is harmful to us, but He always  listens and answers.

“But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in You.” Psalm 39:7

Recently I experienced a medical condition that has a high mortality rate. As I lay in the hospital hooked up to more wires than the local power grid, I contemplated my mortality.

Most people think of hope like that, as in, “I hope something will happen.” But that’s not what the Bible means by hope. The biblical definition is “confident expectation.” Hope is a firm assurance regarding things that are unclear and unknown.

Without hope, life loses its meaning. The righteous who trust in God will be helped, and they won’t be confused, put to shame, or disappointed. They have a confidence in God’s protection and help and are free from fear and anxiety.

Though I hoped I would recover, as I have a lot of living yet to do, my ultimate hope is in my eternal salvation. Even faced with my current situation, I knew with that expectant hope, that all would be well. Regardless of when and how I came out of the hospital, someday — maybe even soon — I would see the face of Jesus.

As the great songwriter Edward Mote wrote decades ago:

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus Christ, my righteousness; I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

Lord, my hope is built on You and nothing less. My hope springs eternal for that day when I see Your face. Amen.