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Four Principles of Prayer:

Romans 8:26-29 gives us some insights into prayer. As you read the passage and meditate on it, you will find some of the principles listed below. God certainly answers prayer, but not always in the way we expect. Hopefully, this information will help you understand how God responds to prayer.

1. The Holy Spirit helps us to know what and how to pray (v. 26).

2. The Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf (v. 26).

3. God hears our hearts more than the words in prayer (v. 27).

4. Prayer is always answered (vs. 28-29), though not always according to our agenda.

Bill Hybels has coached many people about God’s four basic responses to our prayers.

No—Your request is not in God’s will

OT: 2 Sam. 12:15-16, 22-23

NT: Matt. 26:36-39

Slow—Your request is not God’s will at this time

OT: Gen. 15:2-6; 21:2

NT: John 11:3,6,14-15,17,43-44

Grow—Your motives are wrong

OT: Num. 14:26-45

NT: James 4:3

Go—Your request, timing, and spiritual condition are okay…Yes!

OT: 1 Kings 18:36-39 (cf., James 5:17-18)

NT: Acts 12:5-7,12-17

Bill Donahue, Leading Life-Changing Small Groups, (Zondervan Publishing House, Grand Rapids, MI, 1996), pp. 57-58

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