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I often hear people thank God about how their prayer being answered such as in competition. But what I'm thinking is, the winner is not absolutely the only one that prayed. I believe everybody in the competition pray and hope to win too. So, in this condition, only one person's prayer will be answered.

So, how does God decide which person's prayer to answer? Is it based on how hard s/he prayed, or how much s/he deserved it? or is it according to His will only?

If none of them pray, will the result be the same?

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To clarify, this is stemming from and concerning prayer before competition (football, swim meet, etc.)? –  David C. Jul 6 '13 at 14:18
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4 Answers

As a frequent competitor, I understand prayer as such following.

When I pray, I know that in whatever I do during the competition, God will be with me. As such, mishaps or any other unwanted disadvantages that may happen to me are voided. And thus I compete fairly with others with no disadvantages (such as sickness).

However God may not answer my prayer as it may be a lesson for me to learn.

God helps me with that, but as for the rest of the competition, it is up to me to accomplish it. God wouldn't want to intervene in order to help me win, because He wants to see me working hard and winning the competition in His will.

Competitions cannot be win by greed, as greed is sin. I pray to do my best of my abilities for all competitions.

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Well said brother –  Shredder Apr 4 '12 at 16:53
    
So if some "mishaps or any other unwanted disadvantages" happened to your opponent does that mean he did not pray or God is not with them? –  FFCoder Jun 6 '13 at 9:37
    
@FFcoder, then I believe it would be the second case of my answer for my competitor. It may be a lesson for my competitor to learn. –  mauris Jun 6 '13 at 12:54
    
@mauris what lesson? If they prayed and practice maybe as hard or harder than others. –  FFCoder Jun 7 '13 at 3:27
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As soon as you start to think about prayer as a set of rules, you have missed the point. God listens to prayers, but doesn't necessarily grant them. You may be asking for something that will be bad for you, or bad for someone else. God may have other, probably better, plans for you. Trying to work out the "magic formula" for getting your prayers granted is approaching it a whole wrong way - like a toddler trying to work out what way of asking her parents for a pony will actually get her one.

There are some guidelines given: James chapter 5 is often quoted in this context. But there are also many, many books on the subject.

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I think you are missing the point of the question. The OP is asking for guidance or how to properly pray (if proper at all) for a victory in competitive situation, where the competition are also praying for victory; and how God responds to the situation. –  Shredder Apr 4 '12 at 0:19
    
As soon as you start thinking about prayer as a set of rules, you are on the wrong track. –  DJClayworth Apr 4 '12 at 13:43
    
The image of a toddler asking her parents for a pony is a great image that properly reframes God. God is a person, the basis for our own personnes, in fact. When God reveals his name to Moses it is I am who am -- NOT It is what is! Approach God like a toddler asking for a pony; not like a vending machine. God is not a vending machine ... –  svidgen Nov 7 '12 at 22:20
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There are no rules. Prayer is a personal relationship between you and God.

It is also not always easy to identify answers as answer to a particular prayer. It is also not given that the prayer will be answered within a short period of time.

God works in mysterious ways.

Answers to prayer is never a result of the "quality" of your prayer.

When you pray before a competition, the answer from God may not be in you winning, but maybe in helping you enjoy the competition and even if you don't win you will appreciate the result and see the positive in your experience.

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The One Main advantage of praying is that you get to connect to the supernatural GOD.We don't need to take any appointment to reach the almighty.He is just a prayer away.We need to think how privileged we are to be born as Christians as we get the chance to closely intimate with GOD and move closer to him and also know what his will is for us in this Life. Once we get this straight in our minds we see the things changing outside.We happen to see a sudden change in ourselves facing every problem with boldness and resolving every difficult situation.We gather the strength and the courage to come out victoriously.

Make Jesus your close friend today and see his mighty hand moving in your lives and making a big difference.

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