When was the last time God answered one of your prayers?
Here's a follow-up question: how did you respond when he answered that prayer?
You and I should never grow accustomed to the miracle of God answering us when we pray. It's an amazing thing that he would even listen, let alone respond. We're certainly not deserving of his time, attention, or resources.
Sadly, however, I've found that I sometimes feel expectant of, or entitled to, answered prayers. I think, "God has answered me before, so he'll just do it again." Or, in delusion, I believe, "I've been honoring the Lord recently; he should grant me this request."
Even more shocking, when God doesn't answer me in the speed and manner that I want, I sometimes find myself growing cold and bitter towards him. It's almost as if my soul is muttering under its breath, "How dare he not answer me..." What a dark and dangerous reality!
That's why we need the Bible to remind us again and again of how to present our requests before God. Throughout the Psalms, and in The Lord's Prayer, we're given 6 reasons why the Lord would ever answer us when we pray:
- His Love: "Answer me, O Lord, for your steadfast love is good." (Psalm 69:16)
- His Compassion: "Answer me, for I am poor and needy." (Psalm 86:1)
- His Grace: "Be gracious to me and answer me!" (Psalm 27:7)
- His Faithfulness: "Answer me in your saving faithfulness." (Psalm 69:13)
- His Glory: "Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name." (Matthew 6:9)
- His Kingdom: "Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10)
You don't have to fear God's rejection when you pray, or fall into thinking that prayer is an exercise in spiritual futility. Why? Because God is his own reason for answering. Prayer finds its hope not in the qualifications of the one praying, but in the character and plan of the One who's listening.
God answers because of who he is. He answers because of what he's doing. He answers because he loves to see us come, and he loves to provide just the grace for that moment. So even though you have nothing to bring to the Lord that would commend you to him, you can approach him with confidence.
He really does delight in hearing and answering his children.
- When was the last time God answered one of your prayers?
- How did you respond when he answered that prayer?
- When was the last time God did not answer your prayer as you were hoping he would?
- How did you respond, and what did that reveal about your heart?