Does God Answer Prayers?
Normally when planning a blog post, I question Bri about the topic I intend to write about. Asking Bri questions and hearing her answers always helps me to untangle the web of thoughts that I have strung about wildly in my head. So this week I asked her, “Babe, what comes to mind when I ask you ‘Does God Answer Prayers‘?”
She thought for a second, then responded with, “well, yeah of course, prayer has kind of always been at the center of our lives“.
I agreed, then continued my weekly interview, “but what comes to mind”, I asked, “what do you think of?” She answered quickly, as if the answer was premeditated, “I think of Judah“, she said.
“Now we’re on to something“, I thought to myself…
The Answer is “Yes”…
So, does God answer prayers? Yes – though not always how you’d like Him to.
Bri and I have prayed for things, and seen them pan out quickly. Likewise, we’ve asked God to move in our lives in certain areas, only for them to remain the same.
Over the years we’ve come to realize that when we ask God for things, sometimes the answer is “yes”, sometimes it’s “no”, other times it’s “not now” – but it’s always something.
The fact that God’s answer is never a guarantee, however, should not inform the way that we pray.
Let me explain…
When Bri and I pray for something, we do so believing God will give it to us – simple as that.
“Well what about praying according to His will?”
What about it? If my prayer aligns with scripture, and the nature of God as revealed within His word, then I’m going to automatically assume my prayer falls in line with His will, and will thus be answered.
In other words when I pray, I don’t insert an “if it be thy will” clause; I pray believing it already is.
Keep Your “But” Out
Speaking of God’s will…
Have you ever noticed the effect that a “but” can have in a conversation? Someone can be saying the most wonderful things about you, but the moment a “but” is uttered, everything aforementioned is instantly negated.
In my opinion (and this may be a bit controversial) praying with an, “if it be Thy will” clause, functions the same way.
Asking God to do anything in our lives is an exercise in faith. However, we have the tendency to circumvent the weight of believing God will answer our prayers by side stepping our responsibilities, and putting the entirety of our prayers on Him (“if it be Thy will”).
What do I mean by responsibilities?
Let’s consider the words of Jesus in Mark 11:24 (NKJV):
“Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.”
Our responsibility is to pray and believe. More specifically, “believe that you receive”.
It’s weighty, I know, but how else will we exercise our faith muscle?
Let’s Get Practical
So how does this look like in a real life scenario?
Here’s a practical example: You may be praying for a new job. Perhaps you’ve gotten everything you could have out of the position and company you’re currently employed at, so you’re looking for something new.
You can pray one of two ways:
- “Lord, if it’s Your will, I ask that you open the doors to a new job for me. Amen.
~ or ~
- “Lord, I pray that you open the doors to a new job for me, I ask knowing you can provide one – and will provide one. Amen.”
Which of these two prayers require more faith? That’s the one you should go with.
“But what if in the end nothing happens?”
Then at least you had faith enough to believe God would make a way.
Isaiah 55:9 (NKJV) says, “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
If something didn’t pan out the way I prayed and believed it would, then I’ll simply put my faith in the fact that God’s ways are higher than mine. In other words, He knows what I need better than I do – but at least I prayed believing.
Prior to having baby Judah, Bri had three miscarriages. To this day we still don’t know why they occurred. In fact, both her and I underwent testing to figure out what the issue might have been, only to be given no answers.
While I intend to go into the details of those miscarriages in a later post, I will say this: every time we prayed to have a baby, we prayed believing God would give us one.
We prayed and thanked God for our baby ahead of time, even in between miscarriages.
For whatever reason, It seemed His answer was “not yet”, before it was “yes” – but it was an answer nonetheless.
Our job was simply to pray and believe. So that’s what we did.
Now we have our baby boy.
I Challenge You
God answers prayers. No one could ever convince me otherwise. Bri and I have just seen it way too many times in our lives.
Sometimes the answer isn’t what we wanted, but it’s still an answer.
I would like to challenge you to worry less about whether you’ll receive an answer, and focus your efforts more on believing you will.
I’m reminded of the story in the Bible of Peter walking on water. Peter stepped out without a life vest. He stepped out without any certainty that he’d defy physics, he stepped out with the rest of the disciples remaining safely aboard the boat – but he stepped out.
Let’s focus less on if God will answer us, and instead pray and thank Him as if He already has.
Are you praying and believing for anything in particular? Feel free to comment below!