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Conditions of Answered Prayer

Rosalind Goforth


Praying according to God's will is exceedingly important if we want to obtain answers to prayer. Rosalind spoke to this in her book How I Know God Answers Prayer. She began with an introduction which follows, and then listed both positive conditions and negative things that hinder. We would do well to take what she says seriously.—Dan

The Story That Introduces "Conditions"

When my husband resigned the regular field work of Changte, Honan, it became necessary for us to find a home elsewhere. The only suitable place, meeting all our requirements, was on the hills at Kikungshan, South Honan. On going there to get a site for our home, though we looked for more than a week, we could find no place. As we started down the hill, one morning soon after midnight, I was feeling our failure very keenly, for we had given up our old home. When my husband saw how bad I felt, as he told me later, he began to cry earnestly to the Lord to give us a site. And before we reached the station the assurance had come that we would get a place. A friend on the train, traveling third class, saw us getting on the second class, and came in for a few words before getting off the train. When he heard we had failed to get a site, he said:

“I know of a beautiful site which our Mission is reserving for a future missionary. I’ll ask them to give it to you.” A few days later the treasurer of this Mission wrote us that they had unanimously and gladly voted to give us the site. I am now writing these closing words in our God-given home, built on this beautiful site, one of the most lovely spots to be found in China. So from this quiet mountain retreat, a monument of what God can give in answer to prayer, this little book of Prayer Testimonies is sent forth. As the past has been reviewed, and God’s wonderful faithfulness recalled, there has come a great sense of regret that I have not trusted God more, and asked more of him, both for my family and the Chinese. Yes, it is truly wonderful! But the wonder is not that God can answer prayer, but that he does, when we so imperfectly meet the conditions clearly laid down in his Word.

In recent years I have often tested myself by these conditions, when weeks, and perhaps months, have passed without some answer to prayer, and there has come a conscious spiritual sagging. As the discerning soul can plainly see, all the conditions mentioned in the list below may be included in the one word 'Abide.'"—From How I Know God Answers Prayer

Rosalind's List of Conditions

1. Contrite humility before God and forsaking sin. 2 Chron 7: 14

2. Seeking God with the whole heart. Jer 29: 12, 13

3. Faith in God. Mark 11: 23, 24

4. Obedience. 1 John 3: 22

5. Dependence on the Holy Spirit. Rom 8: 26

6. Importunity. Mark 7: 24-30; Luke 11: 5-10

7. Ask in accordance with God’s will. 1 John 5: 14

8. In Christ’s Name. John 14: 13, 14 (and many other passages)

9. Willing to make amends for the wrongs to others. Matt 5: 23, 24

Rosalind's List of Causes of Failure in Prayer

1. Sin in the heart and life. Ps 66: 18; Isa 59: 1, 2

2. Persistent refusal to obey God. Prov 1: 24-29; Zech 7: 11, 13

3. Formalism and hypocrisy. Isa 1: 2-15

4. Unwillingness to forgive others. Mark 11: 25, 26

5. Wrong motives. James 4: 2, 3

6. Despising God’s law. Amos 2: 4

7. Lack of love and mercy. Prov 21: 13

Taken from How I Know God Answers Prayer, pp. 116, 117.