My daughter would often come to me with a request to take some snacks at home. She would say things like; “Daddy, can I take it?” Most times, I give her a go-ahead. But there was a day I noticed she had already taken it before asking me. I simply told her; “Go and drop it.” She cried in disappointment. But I learnt a lesson on keeping idols in one’s heart.

Friend, if you must get the right response from God in prayers, you must avoid coming to Him with an idol in your heart. This, perhaps, is the reason a lot of people do not get God to speak to them. God cannot be fooled. You cannot be asking God for direction when you have already made up your mind on what to do (Matthew 19:16-22, Acts 9:6).

An idol is that thing that replaces God in your heart or life. It is what you have already concluded on your own without consulting God. It is that desire you want God to stamp for you in the place of prayers. God promised that He would answer you according to the idol in your heart (Ezekiel 14:1-4). But that is a dangerous place to be.

It is not every “answer” that you get in prayers that is from God. Yes, it may look like God has given you a nod concerning it, but He is only answering you according to the idol in your heart. Sometimes, a pastor or counsellor can “Okay” your decision, not because it is right, but because your mind is made up. A made-up mind is difficult to convince. You need to go to God and a counsellor with an open heart (Psalms 139:23-24, Proverbs 18:1-2).

It is better to tell God what you feel like doing while sincerely asking for His opinion and direction than to pretend as though you have nothing in your heart. Like Tamar told Amnon, I tell young people, if you like someone and you wish to marry the person, go and tell God rather than asking God to lead you as though you have no one in your heart (2 Samuel 13:13). Such prayers do not get the attention of God.

There is a way you can disturb God on a matter that He allows you to go and satisfy the idol in your heart (Genesis 6:3, Ezekiel 14:4). Such an allowance can be dangerous to your destiny. I don’t just want to do what God only allows me to do, I want to do what God really wants me to do (Romans 12:1-2). The posture you should take in prayers is one that has come to do God’s will only, not one looking for a divine stamp on your made-up mind (Hebrews 10:5-7).

‘Demola Awoyele
Lead Pastor,
Destiny Impact Church
Akure, Nigeria