Remix: Student Devotionals

Time with God - Week 2, Day 1

Day 1 - My Prayers Keep Bouncing (Conditions of Prayer)

Have you ever had your prayers bounce off the ceiling back at your face? You pray the best you can, and you feel nothing happens. Why is that? Is there a reason? The answer to that question is “Yes!” There are conditions in the Bible to God hearing our prayers, and if we don’t meet these conditions, our prayers will bounce right back down at us. Let me show you what I mean.

God won’t answer your prayers if:

  1. There is unconfessed sin in your life. (Psalms 66:18). Are you staying clean before God, or are you holding on to sin you’re refusing to tell God about, even though He already knows?
  2. You ask God out of the wrong motives. (James 4:3)
    Are the prayers you are praying selfish? When you talk to God, and you spend all your time asking for things for yourself or asking for things that will make you look good, that doesn’t line up with the Bible. God is not some genie who can’t wait to fill all your desires and dreams. God has a plan for your life, and if what you ask for is in His will for you, you’ll get it, but if it’s not, forget it.
  3. You won’t forgive other people for the wrongs they have done to you. (Mark 11:25-26)
    Maybe you have enemies who you won’t forgive. If you don’t forgive others, God won’t forgive you. If you are not a forgiving person, then you are not representing Christ. You are sinning. Communication will shut down between you and God until you do the right thing.
  4. If you don’t care about the needs of others. (Proverbs 21:13)
    Has God revealed a need that you could fill, but you have just blown the situation off? A lot of Christian kids talk about serving others, but few find the time.
  5. You don’t pray believing that God will answer your prayers. (Matthew 21:22)
    As soon as many students are done praying, they think that God would never answer that prayer. That’s what I call praying without faith. It’s really strange if you think about it. God made everything in the Universe, and we still walk away thinking God can’t handle our request.
  6. You are playing games with God and not living for Him. (I John 3:22)
    God is not impressed by this. Someday, when you become a parent (Now that’s a scary thought), your children will probably not obey you all the time. Some of you are going to have kids who never obey you. If you are so fortunate to have that type of child, would you continue to reward this child who never obeys with everything he asks for, or would you not give him a single extra until he learned the value of obeying you? It’s the same way with God.

There is a lot more to prayer than meets the eye. The bummer is that there is incredible power in prayer, but we won’t be able to tap into that power as long as we are doing any of the things I just listed. Before we go further with this idea of prayer, why not stop and ask God to show you if you are blowing it in any of those six ways. If you are talking to God about it, and if there is someone else you need to speak with to get things right, do it right away. Your communication to God depends on it.

Time Out

Are you blowing it in any of the six areas?

When you talk to God, do you expect anything to happen? David did. Look at Psalms 5:1-3. Which area are you blowing it if you pray with no expectation of God doing something great?

According to 1 Samuel 12:23, Is not praying for others a sin?

Confess any area that is causing your prayers to shoot back at you. When you blow it, and you will blow it, don’t wait till the nighttime to do business with God about the sin; tell Him immediately. That way, you don’t forget, and that way, your signal to God stays clear. Think about these things today!


James 5:16b, The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.