In Matthew 11:25-30, the Lord Jesus was compelled by the Holy Spirit to pray to the heavenly Father, revealing how we ought to pray to be heard by God.
“I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.” (Matt 11:25-27)
If we want our prayers to be heard, we need to become like little children. Compared to complicated adults, children tend to be more simple and trusting. Recalculation tends to occur when we are exposed to more possibilities in life–what if this or that happens? As doubt arises, our faith in God diminishes. For this reason, Jesus tells us to become like children—to believe that our heavenly Father knows all and can do all. When we kneel down and pray, believe that He has the power to do anything. Believe that He loves you, will continue to love you, and will answer your prayers when you trust Him with all your heart.
“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (Matt 11:28)
Secondly, do we feel heavy-laden with sin? Do we desire for spiritual rest? In 1 Peter 4:3, Elder Peter says that we have spent “enough” of our past lifetime living in sin. “Enough” of living in weakness, “enough” of being far from God, “enough” of being spiritually dry and thirsty. If we really want to see the power of God working in our lives, we need to be the ones to realize that we need true rest. We need to desire for renewal.
The third key to answered prayers is simple, but often the most difficult: “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matt 11:29-30) Whether our prayers are answered may be decided even before we kneel down. Do we live a life that pleases God? We need to strive to imitate Christ in every aspect of our lives for our prayers to be heeded by God. Learning from His gentleness, humility, and submission is a life-long process, and God recognizes every effort we make in becoming more like Him.
When we pray with simple faith, with urgency, and strive to live a life pleasing to God, He is faithful and will keep true to His word: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” (Luke 11:9-10)