Prayers God Answers “Yes” To

Don’t you just love it when a plan comes together? Isn’t it awesome when you try something and it actually works?

I have little ability when it comes to fixing things—and, unfortunately, all five of the people in my household are gifted at breaking things. Being the dad, I am the first one called upon, though I’m not sure why. My efforts often end in failure, or I make things worse than they were. But on rare and glorious occasions, the thingamajig gets fixed. That’s when the band plays, there’s dancing in the streets, and all is right with the world.

Through the years one of the true joys in my prayer life has come from praying the actual prayers of the Bible, especially those that worked. I reason that if God answered the petitions of Hannah, David, and Jacob, He might do the same for me–and He has!

Several years ago I accepted the challenge to narrow the hundreds of prayers in the Bible to twenty-one short, simple petitions that God answered positively. These twenty-one high-impact prayers span thousands of years, come from all classes of people, and were offered for a variety of reasons. Each was particular and direct, expressed with great earnestness, and offered with sincere expectation. They were offered as requests, not demands. They flow in conformity with the life of the requester and were presented with genuine reverence and humility. And they were all wonderfully answered!

They are petitions God enjoyed enough to have recorded as Scripture. They changed the lives of those who prayed them—and they are requests that we can make today. I have found that praying the answered prayers of the Bible gives me confidence that what I am asking is at least close to the will of God.

Learning them is fun.
Remembering them is easy.
Praying them is simple.
Seeing God answer them is exciting.

Praying these petitions will become an adventure that can change your life. However, before you do, let me remind you of some important truths about prayer. I agree with Bob Russell’s warning that prayer is not dictation. Prayer is not telling God what to do and then expecting His immediate, positive response. Prayer is cooperating with God so that He can release His power.1

“You gotta be kidding”

Someone said that God answers prayers, “Yes,” “No,” “Wait,” and “You gotta be kidding.” Someone else said that if our request is wrong, God says, “No”; if our timing is wrong, God says, “Slow”; if we are wrong, God says, “Grow”; and if our request is right, our timing is right, and we are right, God says, “Go!” However God answers, we know that He is a wise heavenly Father who knows what is best for us and what is best for others.

When my youngest son, Luke, was three, he began asking me for a pocketknife. Repeatedly, he received the same answer: “Wait until you are old enough so you won’t hurt yourself or your brothers.” Yet he kept asking. When he was five and a half, his mother, taken with a genuine Swiss Army knife in a store window, purchased the knife. The end of the story is that Luke ended up needing three stitches in his leg. (That is one of the few times I said to my wife, I told you so.)

Even if you do pray the most effective prayers in the Bible, like my son, you may not always get the answer you want when you want it. God’s “No” or “Wait” is another way of saying, “I love you and I only give what is best for you.” Keep in mind God is not our servant—but we are His. He answers according to His plans and purposes, and not ours. Our heavenly Father knows best.

I think you will find that He delights in saying, “Yes.” God loves to hear and answer prayers. More often than not, He is the God of “Yes.”

1 Bob Russell and Rusty Russell, When God Answers Prayer (West Monroe, LA: Howard Publishing Company, 2003), pp. 10–14.

–Dr. Dave Early is a pastor, a trainer of pastors, an author of multiple books, and the developer of The 21 Days of Prayer Event, held January 1-21. This is taken from his book The 21 Most Effective Prayers in the Bible (PrayerShop 2023). Order this book prior to June 30, 2023 at and use code Launch21 at checkout for a 20% discount.

21 Prayers in the Bible God Said “Yes” To

1 Give Me Success Today: The Prayer of Eliezer Genesis 24:12
2 Bless Me: The Prayer of Jacob Genesis 32:26
3 Go with Us: The Prayer of Moses Exodus 33:15
4 Give Me a Sign: The Prayer of Gideon Judges 6:17
5 Remember Me: The Prayer of Hannah 1 Samuel 1:11
6 I Have Sinned: The Prayer of David 2 Samuel 2:13
7 Enlarge My Territory: The Prayer of Jabez 1 Chronicles 4:10
8 Give Me Wisdom: The Prayer of Solomon 2 Chronicles 1:10
9 Answer Me: The Prayer of Elijah 1 Kings 18:37
10 Deliver Us: The Prayer of Hezekiah 2 Kings 19:19
11 Help Us: The Prayer of Asa 2 Chronicles 14:11
12 Grant Me Favor: The Prayer of Nehemiah Nehemiah 1:11
13 Strengthen My Hands: The Prayer of Nehemiah Nehemiah 6:9
14 Send Me: Isaiah’s Response to God’s Call Isaiah 6:8
15 Save Us: The Prayer of the Disciples Matthew 8:25
16 Have Mercy on Us: The Prayer of the Blind Men Matthew 9:27
17 Lord, Teach Us to Pray: The Prayer of the Disciples Luke 11:1
18 Lord, Help Me: The Prayer of a Desperate Mother Matthew 15:25
19 Increase Our Faith: The Prayer of the Disciples Luke 17:5
20 God, Have Mercy on Me, a Sinner: The Prayer of the Tax Collector Luke 18:13
21 Father, Forgive Them: The Prayer of Jesus Luke 23:34

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