The God who answers – Part 2
John Piper, one of my spiritual mentors, wrote this: “God never ignores his children. He is never too busy. Never lacking in resources. Never confused. Never ill-disposed. He is always attentive. Always gracious. Always eager. Always wise. Always loving. He hears every request from his humble, trusting children, and he answers with whatever is best. It always pays to pray. Always.”
In John 16:23-24, Jesus makes a promise to his disciples: “In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you. Until now you have asked nothing in my name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.”
God’s readiness to answer us is what I call: “Blessed Assurance.” It is baffling that the Almighty God would give such latitude in prayer to sinners like us. In John 16:23-24, Jesus offers a blank cheque, encouraging us to bring our petitions in his name. Then he gives the assurance: “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” Here, our receiving and fullness of joy are linked to our asking.
God does not always answer prayers by fire or by remarkable signs. More often than not we expect God to answer with a bang, but he answers quietly without much noise. Most times, our desire is for God to answer us more than to understand what he wants to teach us in prayer. At times, God is more interested in developing our character than having our petitions granted. That is why it is not always that we get what we ask for, more often than not, God answers us differently from what we ask. The Apostle James says: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions,” (James 4:3).
The following are nine passages of scriptures in which the Lord tells us that He wants to answer us:
“Again I say unto you, that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven,” Matthew 18:19.
“And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive,” (Matthew 21:22).
“Therefore, I say unto you, what things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them,” (Mark 11:24).
“If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?” (Luke 11:13).
“And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it, (John 14:13-14).
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father,” (Ephesians 2:18).
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” (Hebrews 4:16).
“Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus” (Hebrews 10:19).
“And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him,” 1 John 5:14-15.
These promises show a willing God, ready to answer us when we call on him.