Sunday, 20 June 2021

Answered Prayer

 Scripture: 1 John 5 v 14 - 15: "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: 

 15  And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."

John 16 v 23 - 27: "And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.
24  Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
25  These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father. 
26  At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:
27  For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God."

Our most vital and privileged relationship is the one we have with our Father in Heaven.  He longs for our fellowship like the father in the case of the prodigal son.  When the prodigal returned home his father ran to meet him, put a ring on his finger which denoted authority, sandals on his feet denoting respect, and killed the fattened calf to celebrate his return.

In the sacrifice of His Son Jesus on the cross, Jesus became that prodigal so that we could be united and restored to the Father's kingdom.  Although we do not see the Father, we hear His voice.

As Christians we have access to the throne of God at any time.  We can fellowship with our Father all day long and if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us!  And if He hears us He grants our request.

So to get answers we need to determine His will so that our petitions are in line with it.  He is the Father of Life so He does not listen to prayers that call for anyone to die, for example.  If we are praying for someone who is desperately ill, we need to determine if its the Father's will to take this person home to Heaven or to heal and restore him or her.

When we know and accept His will we will pray correctly and He will hear and answer.  In James 4 v 2 - 3: "Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not.
 3  Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts."

Here we see that God resists those who pray selfish prayers.  You do not receive because it is just to satisfy something you lust after.  It could be power, money, sex or material goods.  Your self will is pitted against God's perfect will.  He has a plan for your life, and you are pushing what you think His plan should be.  You may win round one but it will never succeed.

So let us clear our hearts to enter His courts with praise and thanksgiving, with humility, faith, truth and unselfishness, and present our needs and not our greeds to our Father.  If He hears them its in line with His will and will be granted.  The timing of the answer is also in His hands.

We pray in unbelief when we doubt the answer and keep coming with the same request umpteen times a day.  It annoys the Lord when we keep repeating our requests because it shows that we lack faith and belief, which will render the prayer invalid.

Matthew 6 v 6 - 8: "But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.
7  But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.
8  Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."

Our Father knows our needs before we ask Him.  Of course He does.  To provide those needs He needs us to ask Him correctly.  Our enemy hears our prayers and he is the supreme legalistic who will challenge our prayers, faith, manner, and validity before God, and if he is correct we must realise our error, repent of it and bring our petition in an acceptable format.

Satan is god of this world and our Father has to deal with us under certain protocols.  Obedience on our part, praise and worship, absolute truth, sincere faith and real needs.  When we present our case before Him and all our credentials are in order, we will get whatever we ask for if it is His will.  Never forget that Jesus is our Advocate.

I have observed that Christians who give to other Christians in need, have built up a healthy credit with our Father, who loves a cheerful giver.  We cannot outgive God.  Luke  6 v 38 says it beautifully: "Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again."

The Lord will bless those who give by causing people, whom He has blessed, to share those blessings to give back to them in the same measure they gave.  Those who bless others find their prayers answered and their needs met continually.  If you give as an obligation or grudgingly then the following verses may apply to you.

1 Corinthians 13 v 1 - 3: "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
 2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.
 3  And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing."

The word charity in these verses is not just donating to any old charity but rather being led to give in a Godly way.  God is speaking to Christians filled with the Holy Spirit who withhold blessing others or give in the wrong attitude of heart and mind.  We must do everything in real love.  That finds favour with our Father.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, we all want our prayers answered in the most favourable way, which builds our faith and confidence.  Lord teach us Your perfect way to be in Your perfect will so we will be heard in every prayer.  May the Lord bless every Father on this celebration of Father's Day.  In Jesus' name. Amen.