Does God answer prayers? – Part 1
God, Himself said: “Call up me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you had not known” (Jer. 33:3; 29:12). Despite the assurances from God that He answers prayers, Satan instigates doubt in many of us to think that God does not answer prayers. One of the oft-repeated questions by many is this, “Does God answer prayers?”
The Bible is a documentary of answered prayers by God. He answered Abraham when he prayed to Him for a seed (Gen. 15:9-15). God answered the children of Israel when they prayed to Him in their captivity (Ex.2:23-25). When Israel got to Marah and the water was bitter, Moses called upon God and He showed him a plant that healed the water (Ex.15:24-25). He answered Jonah from the belly of a fish (Jonah 2:1-2,10).
God answered Jacob when he was in distress (Gen.28:20-22; 32:2-32; 35:3). God answered Hagar and her child in the wilderness when they needed water (Gen.21:17-19). When Hannah prayed for a child, God answered her (1 Sam.1:27). He answered Ezra and the children of Israel when they prayed for protection (Ezra 8:21-23). God answered Nehemiah and the children of Israel when they called on Him (Neh.9:27).
The Lord answered and delivered Daniel at different times when he was in distress (Dan.2:19; 9:22; 10:12). When Elijah called on God, He answered him by fire (1 Kings.18:37). God answered Hezekiah when he called upon Him for help (2 Kings.19:19,20). God answered Jehoshaphat when he was threatened by death in war (2 Chro.20: 31).
Jesus answered the robber at the cross when he cried to Him to remember him in Paradise (Lk. 23:42-43). Jesus answered the Syrophoenician woman who cried to Him for help (Mt.15:21-28). He answered the prayer of Zacharias (Lk.1:13). When the disciples were persecuted and they prayed to God He answered them (Acts 4:31). When Paul and Silas were thrown into prison, they called upon God and He answered them by sending an earthquake (Acts 16:25-26). These examples show one thing that you too can call upon God, He will answer you.
Jesus’ statement to His disciples in John 14:13-14, shows His willingness to answer us when we pray: “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.” To ask in the name of Jesus is not simply to insert His Name at the end of the prayer. It is to ask in accordance with His mind and will. It is to ask for those things that will glorify God, bless mankind, and be for our own spiritual good.
However, there are prayers God did not answer. He did not answer His Son, Jesus when He asked for the cup of sufferings to be taken from Him (Lk.22:42-44).
He did not answer Paul when he prayed for the thorns to be removed from him (2 Corinthians 12:9-10).
He did not answer David when he fasted and prayed for the son he had with Beersheba not to die (2 Sam.12:16-18). If we bear iniquity in our heart God will not answer us (Psalm 66:18).
Sin attracts God’s wrath and makes Him not to answer us when we pray; while obedience attracts His attention and favour (Lev.26:3-13).
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