How do I know if my prayers have been answered?
God always answers our prayers. Sometimes His answer is, “Yes!” and on other occassions it is, “No!” We usually want His answers to be, “Yes!” What we mean by this is that He will give us what we want. Somtimes He takes a long time in giving us what we ask for. He has many reasons why He waits. Listen to this passage from the Bible about the apostle Paul. Paul wanted a “thorn in the flesh” removed.
And because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me – to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I entreated the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, that the power of Christ may dwell in me. (NASB) 2 Corinthians 12:7-9
What was God’s answer? The answer was not what Paul wanted. God, in effect, said, “No!” He said no because Paul had either sinned or was in danger of sinning. So God did not remove the thorn in the flesh. This is an important lesson for us. Sin in our life can prevent our prayers from being answered. God says that if we have sin in our life, He will refuse to hear our prayers (Ps. 66:18).
How do you know that your prayers have been answered? If He grants your request, you know that He not only heard your prayer, but He decided to answer it the way you wanted Him too! And if He does not grant your request, His answer may be no or He has decided to wait and grant your request later.
There is a previous question and answer about God answering prayer that you may be interested in reading. I have found that when God does not answer my prayer it is because of sin in life. He always seems to wait until I have confessed sin, turned away from my sin and stopped demanding and insisting on what I want. Our God loves to answer our prayers, but our holiness is more important to Him. May the Lord bless you as talk with Him.