Many Christians feel that their prayers are being ignored by God. Watchman Nee, the late Chinese church leader and Christian leader, addressed this question of how one can have one’s prayers answered in his book, “God’s Plan and the Overcomers”.
Prayers will be answered if it aims at letting Christ have the first place in all things. Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and God will add to us all our needs (Adding is not giving. The first means adding to what is already there; the second means giving what is not there.) Asking in the name of the Lord is asking the Father for the Lord so that the Lord himself might receive it. According to the principle they who mind the flesh will have nothing for which to pray. How we need to let the cross cut off our flesh that we might be the Lord’s intercessors praying out the Lord’s will. We should not pray for our selfish purposes. Only those who permit Christ to have the pre-eminence in all things can enter the Holiest of all. May we transform the time of praying for our needs into a time of praying for God’s affairs. God will then hear the prayer we have uttered – that is, prayer for the things of God; but He will also here the prayer we have not uttered – that is, prayer for our own affairs. If we should ask first that the Lord might receive His, He would cause us to receive ours too. One of the sweet experiences in the life of a Christian is to have prayer continually answered. Remember, though, that the reason for God answering our prayer is to allow Christ to occupy first place in all things.