GOD ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS IN HIS DIVINE PURPOSE AND OUR HIGHEST GOOD
“We can be sure our prayers are answered precisely in the way we would want them to be answered if we knew everything God knows.” – Tim Keller, Theologian –
God always hears our prayers… and He always answers… although not always in the way we expect. Our omniscient God knows us intimately. Our Creator knows our every thought, our every need, our every trial. Nothing is hidden from Him. We may not always like the answers we receive. Yet that is because He is God… and we are not.
We may at times act as God. Perhaps we believe that circumstances or events should go a certain way. Rather than taking our ideas to our wise Father in prayer, we step in and take over for the God of the universe. The outcome is not always the best. In fact, we may make quite a mess of things.
Often, we cannot see all the pieces of the “puzzle” that He sees from a heavenly, eternal perspective. We see only from a worldly perspective. So much more is at stake than we realize. We need to trust the outcome of our prayers to our wise, all-knowing God.
Our heavenly Father awaits our prayers. Our Lord Jesus is at His right hand interceding on our behalf before Him. We have their loving attention and compassionate concern. Amazing to have such an audience as we pray!
Our prayers may be answered by God in one of three ways…
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” – John 15:7
♦ Yes – This is in My will for you
Sometimes God answers with a resounding “Yes!” Notice there are caveats. If we are abiding in Him… our thoughts, intentions and actions are closely in tune with His. And if His words abide in us… we are obedient to Him and are living for His glory.
Our prayers offered in reverence and awe before a holy God, with hearts clean and right, are like fragrant incense to Him. We see in Revelation incense as symbolic of the prayers of the saints, God’s people (Revelation 5:8). When our prayers align with His will, His timing and His eternal purpose, He delights in granting our requests
“Wait on the Lord. Be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart. Wait, I say, on the Lord!” – Psalm 27:14
♦ Wait – Wait and see – Wait on Me
Waiting on God can be difficult. Yet it is not a reason to give up praying. We are to be courageous and strong in prayer as we await His answers. Our all-knowing Father may have reasons for us to wait.
Our prayers may be in His will, yet not His timing. He may be working behind the scenes to put all the pieces of the “puzzle” together. Even when we don’t see Him working, He is orchestrating all things in His time and in His way. We learn patience as we wait.
Or our prayers may be in His timing, yet not exactly His will. As we persist in prayer, we gain His insight into our requests. We come to better understand the mind of God. Our perspective and our prayers change, coming into harmony with Him and His plans for us. We get on the same page as God. We allow Him to refashion our desires and bring them into alignment with His will for us.
Or He may want us to deepen our faith in Him before He answers. As we continue to bring our petitions before Him, we see our God as the God of the impossible. We come to a deeper awareness of our need for Him and His intervention to bring our prayers to fruition. We more fully appreciate the answers to our prayers when they come.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:9
♦ No – I have something far better in store for you
Our prayers may not be in God’s will. We may not understand why… yet that is for Him to know and for us to trust. God has already lived all our tomorrows. What He has planned for us is the very best. We are a part of His eternal purpose… and answers to our prayers must align with this divine plan. He often has something mapped out for us that is far better than our prayers… so a “No” could open up new and exciting blessings in our lives.
“God works all things together for the good of those who love Him, who are called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28
Our heavenly Father always hears our prayers. His answers are the absolute best for us. As we persist in prayer, we come to hear Him more clearly and better comprehend His ways. Our thoughts come into harmony with His thoughts. Our prayers come into alignment with His will and His purpose. In whatever way God chooses to answer our prayers, we can have absolute trust in His perfect wisdom. Into His loving hands, we place our lives and our future.