How God Answers Prayer

How God Answers Prayer

Does God answer prayer?

Certainly. But not in the way we ask him to every time.

Put on your imagination cap for a moment. Just imagine, if you can, that God answered every prayer exactly as we asked him.

Here are two high-school football teams; tomorrow's the big game. Suppose players, coaches, girl friends, and parents on both sides prayed for victory. Who would win? How would God answer those prayers? Put yourself in his place. What would you do?

Or, take this matter of weather. A critical big-league baseball game comes up tomorrow. The victor will go into the World Series. But all around crops are dying for lack of water. Ball fans pray for a clear day. Farmers pray for rain. Both are Christian people. What would you do if you were God?

Or, imagine this. Bill fidgets away in a math test, biting his nails. He knows he'll flunk. He didn't do his homework all fall. He prays and promises God he'll do better next term if he gets help right this minute. But can God suddenly cram Bill's head full of mathematics, just to get him off the hook? And even if he could, should he? Would it be good for Bill?

Ralph is strongly tempted to join the gang in a drinking spree. One boy swiped a bottle of whiskey. They're all going to get drunk, just to see how it feels. They call Ralph "chicken." He prays to God: "Please help me God, to go on home now." Should God answer Ralph's prayer? We'd all agree on that.

When I was a small boy, I promised God literally everything if he'd do certain favors for me. He never granted my prayers. If he had, he would have violated every natural law, as well as common sense.

Yes, God does answer our prayers. Many times his answers don't jibe with our prayers. So, we doubt the power of prayer.

I had very, very wise parents. They made me and my brothers and sisters work. Sometimes I doubted their justice. Some kids in town got everything from their parents. Now I see how unwise those parents were. So, God makes us work to help answer our own prayers too.

I know a sophomore in high school. He yearns for a college education. I happen to know he prays over it. If that boy studies hard and wins scholarships and works hard for extra money, he will finish college. Prayer will help, but it's no substitute for effort.

Sometimes God is powerless to answer even righteous prayers. Suppose he righted all injustice, healed every disease upon request, killed every dictator with bolts of lightning, released all the prisoners in Russian slave labor camps, and punished every evil thief and murderer with instant death? A lot of prayers would be answered, but we wouldn't want it that way.

Yes, he does answer our prayers, especially when we pray for the right things. He gives us strength to resist temptation, he grants us forgiveness for sins, he gives us power to love even unlovable people, he comforts us in distress.

Can we say in each instance: God answered my prayers thus and so? Not very often. "God moves in a mysterious way his wonders to perform." To pray takes faith that God answers prayer in his way, his time, and by his method.

Be assured of this: He does hear our prayers and he does answer them. So, pray in confidence that your prayers will be answered in a way superior to anything you can imagine.

| More