When I was in Secondary Two, a friend said to me, “God has never answered my prayers. So I don’t believe in praying.”

That was how Bobby Chaw, executive pastor of City Harvest Church, began his sermon on November 24 2018. He reminded the church that prayer is powerful because God still answers prayers.

Many people are discouraged because they feel that their prayers are not answered after such a long period of prayer. What can we do when we meet with such disappointment?


1. Keep an open heart and listen to others’ testimonies

The word testimony means to “bear witness”, but its original Hebrew word `uwd also means to “repeat or do again”. When we listen to a testimony, it gives us faith that God can do it again — in our lives this time!

So, when you are disappointed and find it hard to pray, talk to someone whose prayers have come to pass. The Bible tells us “faith comes by hearing” (Romans 10:17), so allow the testimonies of others to build up your faith.

2. Stir yourself up

The Bible says that “David encouraged himself in the Lord his God” (1 Kings 30:6).

When Pastor Phil Pringle of C3 Church came to CHC over the weekend of November 17-18, he preached a message on recharging faith. He spelled out two ways to revive faith – the first is to stir yourself up.

He gave the example of Abraham who was discouraged because God had promised him a baby and the baby took so long to come. Genesis 15:1-3 says that Abraham started complaining to God. But we know that by the end of the story, Abraham did not waver in his faith and became the father of many nations just like God said he would.

Abraham stirred himself up by confessing the promises of God.

Pastor Phil pointed out the fact that Abraham knew how to switch his faith on, remove himself from unbelief, and start believing in the truth of God’s Word. Abraham stirred himself up by confessing the promises of God.

You could pick up your guitar or put on your favourite Christian music (there are lots of good worship songs on The CHC App), and start praising and worshiping God. You could also pray in tongues. Isaiah 28:11-12 says that speaking in tongues is speaking the language of God and it will strengthen a person’s faith.

3. Do the will of God again

According to Pastor Phil, the other way to revive faith is found in John 4:34. Jesus said, “my nourishment comes from doing the will of God”.

Sometimes, we become disappointed when we are exhausted. We work so hard but we don’t seem to see any fruit arising from our labour.

“Exhaustion doesn’t come with hard work; it comes with doing the wrong work,” Pastor Phil told the church. “Understand who you are so you can position yourselves properly. When you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing, you’ll be happy and energised.”

Instead of praying for God to answer our prayers, maybe we should ask God what His prayer is for us – what is His will for our lives? Instead of praying for God to flow with our lives, we need to ask God what is His plan for our lives.

When we are doing His will, things will start to fall in place.

4. Be honest with ourselves

Sometimes, we just need to be honest with ourselves: Has God already given us the answer, but it’s an answer we don’t like? Did God ask us to do something that will lead us to the answer of our prayers – but we’re just not willing to do it?

We are taught that when we pray for the deliverance of a person from demonic strongholds, we need to first ask the person if he has any unforgiveness in his heart. Because unforgiveness is something the devil can hold on to and torment us with. Unforgiveness hinders our deliverance.

Has God already given us the answer, but it’s an answer we don’t like?

Is there something we are not letting go of so that our prayers can be answered? Go back into conversation with God again and you will find your answers.

5. Believe that God is good 

“Do prayers really work? Yes, yes and yes!” Pastor Bobby said.

At the end of the day, we need to trust that God is a good God and He has good plans for us. Sun Ho, CHC’s executive pastor, taught the church, “A person can only have faith to keep exploring solutions and contending for God’s presence if he truly believes that God is good. If he struggles with doubts of whether God really cares for him, he will not have the determination to push through when he cannot see immediate results.”

We need to go back to the Bible and find the verses demonstrating God’s goodness. In the face of crises, we need to hold on to the Word and trust the Lord with all our hearts.

We might have focused on our prayers and our needs so much that we forget that the most important thing for any Christian is his relationship with God. There may be many reasons why our prayers are not answered, but unless we sit at the feet of God and listen to Him, we may never understand His will for us.

This article was first published on Citynews.sg and is republished with permission.