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Why Are My Prayers Not Answered?
 Jesus said: "If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it." 
John 14:14
So with utmost sincerity, time and again, Christians have prayed and prayed, without an answer.
Their prayers seem ignored, to the extent that an answered prayer seems an exception to be spoken about.
The apostle
Paul's experience seems very different to this. He was surprised that he needed to ask God three times on the same issue without receiving a result (2 Corinthians 12:8).
 
Yes, we've heard the explanation that every prayer is always answered – as a 'yes' / 'no' / 'wait'
(as if God's reputation somehow needed protection by that explanation).
 
'But Jesus, now glorified and at the Father's right hand had said - "ask Me anything" and "I will do it", and we always ask in His name by putting it at the end of every prayer we pray, but it seems to make no difference. Why?'
 
'Perhaps
it needs more people praying for the same thing (to put pressure on God?). So we have arranged prayer-chains of people sharing the same prayer needs, or sometimes whole days of prayer to make more of an impact on God. But of course, if there is no noticeable result, it is important to be loyal to God and not criticise Him for Him not keeping His word.'
? Really???
 
 
Perhaps
it would be helpful to pay more attention to that word 'name' – in Jesus' phrase "in My name".
 
 
"In My name" does not refer to the form of words used in a prayer, and even less to mean simply adding the name of Jesus at the end of a prayer.
The term 'name' is used generally in Holy Scripture for more than a word, or a phylactery / mezuzah / kameah amulet.
'name' refers to character!
The
promise in Proverbs that the 'name' of the Lord is a refuge does not refer to any magical power in the use of the term.
 "The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe." 
Proverbs 18:10
 
Understanding the Semitic use of the term 'name' starts for us in Genesis where the first human 'names' the animals, which results in his sense of isolation and then the gift of a wife to Adam because of his uniqueness. His process of naming was not cataloguing or inventing terms.
It was appreciating the special character of each animal, the personal consequence of which was Adam's need for an Eve.
Genesis 2:19-20.
The unique
character of God revealed in the Lord Jesus Christ is the key to answered prayer; not only in the focus of our faith in directing our prayer toward Him, but in the precondition of the prayer itself – the 'IF'!
 
"In
My name" is the equivalent today of saying 'according to My character/nature'. This covers the attitude and motivation concerning the request brought to God in prayer.
Prayer is not a substitute for obedience; nor does our obedience ever 'earn' the answer to prayer.
 
 
Prayers are answered by the undeserved mercy of God,
but according to the character of His life, His nature, His gracious purpose, as it is personally shared by us.
 
Yes,
God is free to do, without explanation, what the unworthy and disobedient may request in prayer, for He knows far better than us what are the real issues involved. But He always acts consistent with His own character! He is never manipulated.
 
 
Persuading many people to pray for a particular need does not affect God, as though petitions are a democracy of influence on Him. The effect of those prayers on the people praying may cause sufficient change which allows God's desire to meet their need to become effective (as Jonah later understood). The change is in the people not in God.
 
So,
a National Day of Prayer for a crime-free society means nothing, absolutely nothing – unless those praying do all that they are personally able to do, at cost to themselves, to act against all lawlessness and in direct aid of the victims of injustice.
And this starts by becoming personally involved in our neighbour's welfare, whether he likes it or not.
 "Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." 
1 John 4:8.
  God hears those who share His heart!  

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