In the world in which we live today, there are many people inside and outside the church who don’t believe in God’s ability to answer our prayers. Many times God answers our prayers almost before we pray them. Sometimes the answer is “no” or “not yet” but sometimes the answer is “Yes!”. We may not recognize His answer as if it came from God but I believe that many of our answers, if not all of them, do come from Him. Just like any parent or guardian, God says yes to some prayers which will give glory to Him and will help us in our journey. Then there are prayers, usually spoken in haste or anger, that God will answer “No!”.
Sometimes we can understand His reasons when we don’t get a positive answer but many times we act like a spoiled child and pitch a fit when we don’t get our way. It is the negative answers which teach us how to be truly patient and one day we will understand why He didn’t answer our request with a “yes”.
In 1 John 5:14-15 it says:
14 This is the confidence we have before him: If we ask† anything according to his will, he hears us.† 15 And if we know that he hears whatever we ask,† we know that we have what we have asked of him.†
Notice that John writes “If we ask anything according to His will…”, meaning that our request should be prayed about, and in asking Him to do one thing or another we must be in His will for Him to answer us with a “Yes!”. In other words, we should be walking with Him, studying His Word, and in a state of prayerful living so that we will know what is His will for our lives.
Unfortunately, there are many people in the church and in the pulpit, who are not walking with Jesus on a daily basis. We tend to visit Him on Sunday or on a holiday or when something goes wrong in our lives and He is the only recourse for us to turn to at the time. Other than that, we just go through our day without a thought about Him or His Word…until we really NEED Him to show up!
God does answer prayers and He hears the prayers of those who belong to Him in their hearts. The Holy Spirit speaks to Him even before we do especially when it is a request that is painful to ask for and it is during those times when God’s answer shows up before we even know that we need it. Sometimes it shows up in a way that we weren’t expecting but many times it will show up in an unexpected way and it will bring joy into our lives that we never knew we had.
Considering our prayers and our relationship with God, we need to remember that He is not a genie. God doesn’t answer at the same moment that we ask and He is not willing to give us the desires of our heart unless our desires and His are the same. Would He give us the desires of our heart? Yes, if it would bring Him glory and bring more people into His Kingdom.
We have to have a close relationship with Him in order for our requests to truly be in line with His will for our lives. Today there are many people in the church who really aren’t that close to God at all. Even though they may think they are. Some of those who think they are close to God are not and some of those are in the pulpit. Are they saved? Maybe or maybe they think they are, only God can answer that question.
That is the most important question of all. Are you truly saved like the thief on the cross? Believe in Jesus for your salvation because He is the only way. Or…will you leave the church with the idea that you’ll get around to it one day but not today. Are you sure that you will be here the next time we meet? Not one person knows that they have tomorrow as another day to make that decision. I don’t and none of you know without a doubt that you will live another day or another week. The only person who knew when He would die was Jesus and that only because He was God in the flesh.