Q. I have been struggling with prayer for some time. I pray quite often but feel like I haven’t got my “message across”. I feel like I have to keep praying and praying saying the same things to make sure he hears me. I feel like if I don’t pray the same thing everyday sometimes 5 or 6 times a day then my prayer will not get answered. Also, I know we aren’t supposed to pray for selfish things, so is praying for God to help sell our house or find a house close to our family where we want to be wrong? Please help.
A. If you want to make sure your prayers are “getting through” I recommend always asking God to forgive you for any sins you’ve committed when you pray to make sure there are no outstanding issues between you and Him. You don’t have to list them one by one and forgiveness is automatic, so don’t be reluctant to ask. “If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
Also, I think it’s a good idea to ask the Lord what He wants in matters like this, and not just assume that what you’ve decided is best for you. We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him and have been called according to His purpose (Romans 8:28) so you have nothing to lose in seeking His will for you.
Finally, from what you say it appears you might have difficulty being patient, so I recommend you study Matt. 6:7-8. In that passage you’ll learn that God knows what you need before you ask Him so you don’t have to repeat the same prayer endlessly hoping you’ll get through. He has already heard your prayer and has decided how best to answer it.
After you’ve done these things, and you believe selling your house and moving closer to your family is something He also wants for you, then ask for it. Our God is a loving father who delights in giving good things to His children (Matt. 7:9-11).