Saddleback Church lead pastor and best-selling author Rick Warren recently shared the four secrets to answered prayer.
In a blog entry posted Sunday on Warren's "Daily Hope" devotional site, the Saddleback pastor wrote about answered prayer using the context of the Old Testament prophet Nehemiah.
Warren's list of "four secrets to answered prayers" are: "base your request on God's character; confess the sins of which you're aware; claim the promises of God, and be specific in what you ask for."
"If you want specific answers to prayer, then make specific requests. If your prayers consist of general requests, how will you know if they're answered?" Warren asked.
"After Nehemiah based his prayer on who God is, he confessed his sins. It wasn't Nehemiah's fault that Israel went into captivity. He wasn't even born when it happened; he was most likely born in captivity. Yet, he's including himself in the national sins."
Warren went on to focus on how, according to Nehemiah Chapter 1, the Old Testament prophet specifically prayed for success.
"Nehemiah is not hesitant to pray for success. He's very bold in his praying. Have you ever prayed, 'Lord, make me successful?' If you haven't, why haven't you? What is the alternative — a failure?" Warren continued.
"Is it okay to ask God to make you successful? It all depends on your definition of success! I believe a good definition of success is this: 'fulfilling God's purpose for my life in faith, love, and the power of the Holy Spirit and expecting the results from God.' That is a worthy life objective that you can pray for with confidence."
Warren's focus on the answered prayer of Nehemiah comes the week after he held his first Purpose Driven Conference in about a decade.
People from 33 nations and all 50 states descended upon the Lake Forest campus of Saddleback for the conference, which had the theme of "New Hope for Your Church."
In a statement leading up to the 2016 conference, Warren said the Purpose Driven paradigm is like "the operating system for the church."
"We must help plateaued churches and discouraged pastors, and we must train a whole new generation to embrace God's five purposes for the church: fellowship, discipleship, worship, ministry and evangelism," Warren said.
"We need to introduce a new generation to the paradigm all together, and we need to introduce our old friends to what we've learned in the last 10 years."