These prayer secrets, gained over 50+ years as a practicing Christian, are not the typical tips you will find on the Internet. In fact, you may find them quite odd.
Even so, they happen to be true. They have been proven by the test of time, over and over. They are biblical, as you'll see. While I won't guarantee they will help you get what you're praying for, I can tell you these principles will give you more understanding into the process.
Let's be honest. We all try to do it. We want things our way, so we use every trick we can think of to get God to do what we ask. Over the years I have begged, threatened, reasoned, and bargained in trying to get my prayers answered to my satisfaction. None of it worked.
The reason is simple. God is God and we're not. He knows our hearts, including all the deception and selfishness. We can't disguise our true motives from him. And since he's the ultimate in wisdom, we can't outsmart him. He knows every prayer scam ever tried by human beings.
Because God is in charge, we are asking in prayer, not demanding. We have no right to demand. It is true Christians are God's adopted children, but good children are always obedient to their Father.
This may be the most important of the prayer secrets listed here. If you remember only this one as you pray, you will save yourself untold misery. You cannot, you simply cannot manipulate God. If you start to do anything in your prayers to attempt that, stop immediately and start over.
We have a sinful nature which makes it hard for us to approach God with right motives. He knows that and takes it into consideration. But that never gives us leave to try to manipulate him and think we can get away with it. Trust me. It has never worked and never will.
God allows things in our lives we will never, ever understand this side of heaven. Scripture makes it clear:
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8, NIV)
All of us have asked God why he won't answer our prayers for good, legitimate things, like a spouse, good health, or financial security. You won't get an answer. Believe me, I've tried. God is the Creator and we are his creatures. He is not required to explain himself to us.
As prayer secrets go, this one is rarely mentioned because it doesn't "get" you anything. Like the one above, however, it eliminates a lot of frustration as soon as you make it your own and put it into practice.
The older you get, the more you realize life contains many mysteries which you can never understand. People have been trying to figure out suffering for thousands of years and are no closer today to knowing why God allows it. We see the wicked prosper and the righteous go hungry. We see innocent children die. We see random violence and a thousand other sins and wonder "Why?"
In your own life, you will drive yourself crazy if you obsess on the "Why?" question. Like me, at some point you have to let it go and accept the truth that you cannot understand God.
Among our prayer secrets is the truth that nothing is too hard for God. Remember that the Ruler of the Universe holds unlimited power. Power is not in you or in prayer but in God.
Now for two positive prayer secrets. While you cannot understand God, you can come to know him. In fact, God wants an intimate personal relationship with you and will grant you that if you want it also.
We can know God through his Son, Jesus Christ.
Jesus told us so himself:
"Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father." (John 14:9, NIV)
"I and the Father are one.” (John 10:30, NIV)
Everything we need to know about God is in the pages of the Bible. That's why I'm always urging you to read your Bible. In the Bible we learn God's attributes, his unchangeable characteristics, like love, holiness, compassion, mercy, and justice.
Knowing God helps you in your prayers--not so you can manipulate him (see Secret #1!)--but so you can bring your prayers into his will. Why waste time with greediness when you know that's not how Jesus was? God the Father wants to conform you into the image of his Son. Anything that does not match Jesus' character doesn't have much chance of being granted in prayer.
Our ability to know God is one of the most encouraging prayer secrets. When you love someone, don't you want to get to know them? Don't you want to learn every little detail about them, what they like and don't like?
For true lovers of God, getting to know him is a lifelong dream, and it doesn't end with our life on earth. When we die, the Bible says, we will be like Jesus because we will see him as he is. That means we'll know things about him we could never learn in this life.
Of all these prayer secrets, this one is the hardest to embrace.
Because we tend to believe in what we can see rather than what we can't see, we are continually plagued by doubts when we don't see immediate results. We are men and women of flesh and blood. We live in a material world. And (see Secret #1) when we don't get our way, we tend to believe God can't be trusted.
But the Invisible God often works in invisible ways, and the All-Wise God does things we can't understand. Just wait until you get old and look back over your life. You will get down on your knees and thank God that he did not answer your selfish prayers the way you wanted.
God knows the future. He knows how things will turn out. Knowing that, he can make the right decision in the present. God can be trusted.
I didn't fully accept this truth until I understood that this life is not all there is. Every Christian's story will have a happy ending in heaven. It's not just a fairy tale or a myth. It's true. Christ promised it, so you can bet your life on it.
When you know God (see Secret #3), you realize you can trust God. He cannot act contrary to his character. His love is unfailing. No matter what happens, God always loves you. You may not understand it, you may not like it, you may rebel against what happens, but God is dependable. You can trust God.
This last of these prayer secrets brings great peace of mind. You are in good hands. Nothing can separate you from God's love, including death. Your future is secure. God has promised you will be with him in never-ending joy. Keep that in mind every time you pray.
Your prayers will always get the best answer possible, even when it doesn't feel that way. You can trust God.