Intercession and petition are part of our prayer lives. God does encourage us to interact with him by taking our requests. In Philippians, Paul says, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peac eof God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) The Bible contains a myriad of promises that God hears and answers the prayers of his people.
The quandry is understanding the paradox between God’s sovereign control of all things and our participation in that plan through our prayers. The Bible presents these two truths side by side. God is in control and has set his purpose and plan before the foundation of the world. On the other hand, the prayers of his people move God and He responds by answering prayer. We cannot ignore either side of this equation. If we deny God’s sovereignty and control, our prayers are directed to a being that may or may not have the power to answer. On the other hand, if we deny that our prayers have some effect on this plan, then prayers of petition are useless in terms of having any real effect. Some will argue that the purpose of prayer is not to see God work to change things, rather the purpose of prayer is to change the prayer so that they understand the will of God. I do believe there is some truth in this statement, but not the whole truth. Bottom line is that the Scriptures are incredibly clear that we ought to pray because God will hear our prayers, move in our lives and in the lives of people for whom we pray, and will do miracles as He responds to our prayer according to his Sovereign perfect plan. So here is a list of a few passages in the Bible that promise the ear of God and His answer to our prayers.
Psalm 118:5 – A praise that God hears in moments of distress.
John 14:12-14 – If we ask anything in the name of Jesus, he will do it. Asking in the name of Jesus implies asking things as his representative and for his glory.
Isaiah 30:18-19 – God answers prayers as a demonstration of his compassion and grace.
2 Corinthians 12:7-9 – At times the answer to our requests will be “no” but the outcome will be that God changes the life of the prayer.
Ephesians 3:20 – God’s answer to prayers are exceedingly abundantly far beyond all that we can ask or even think.
Isaiah 58:9 – God hears the prayer of repentance
Jeremiah 29:12-13 – In our prayers, we will seek God and find him when we seek him with all of our hearts.
Matthew 7:7-10 – God gives what we ask because he is a good father who wants the best for his kids.
Psalm 91:15 – God will answer during times of trouble and bring rescue.
Psalm 34:4 – God’s answer includes deliverance from fears.
Psalm 40:1 – God’s answer often comes through our waiting on him.
2 Chronicles 7:14 – God will forgive our sin and heal our land as an answer to our prayers.
James 5:13-16 – God’s answer to prayer includes overcoming depression, healing diseases, and forgiving sin.
1 John 3:21-22 – God answers the prayers of those who love Jesus and keep his commandments.
1 John 5:14 – God answers prayers that are given according to his will.
John 15:7 – The answer to our prayers coincides with our closeness to Jesus by abiding in him and in his Word.
Psalm 116:1 – One way God answers is by producing love in our hearts for God.
Psalm 118:21 – The greatest answer to prayer is God’s giving salvation.