March 10, 2016

Four Ways God Answers Prayer

“Call to Me and I will answer you.” Jeremiah 33:3a (NIV)

The more you pray, the more you will experience a variety of ways in which God answers prayer. The Bible is filled with examples of at least four ways in which God answers our prayers. The fact that God listens to us and answers our prayer is even more remarkable to me than the answer itself. I’ve discovered at least four ways in which God responds to prayer.

  1. “Yes!” He’s delighted to give us what is good for us and fits within His plan for our lives. In 1 Timothy 6:17, the Bible says that God generously gives us everything for our enjoyment. Like a loving Father, He delights in seeing His children enjoy the good things He gives us. How often has God said yes to your prayers? Thank Him!
  1. “No.” When God says no, He is protecting us from what would otherwise be harmful to us. Like a caring parent, He withholds what isn’t good for us or what doesn’t fit within His purpose for our lives. How we respond to that answer demonstrates our trust and obedience. Do you trust in God when He says no to your request? Can you let go of your dreams and still believe God loves you? Lauren Daigle expresses this beautifully in her song “Trust in You”.

When You don’t move the mountains I’m needing You to move

When You don’t part the waters I wish I could walk through

When You don’t give the answers as I cry out to You

I will trust, I will trust, I will trust in You!

This was the response of the prophet Habakkuk when he wrote, 

Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty, yet I will rejoice in the LORD! I will be joyful in the God of my salvation! Habakkuk 3:17-18 (NLT)

When God says no to your prayers, trust His heart.

  1. “Wait.” When Habakkuk sought the Lord, God said to him, 

At the time I have decided, my words will come true. You can trust what I say about the future. It may take a long time, but keep on waiting— it will happen! Habakkuk 2:3 (CEV)

Waiting is tough. Are you in God’s waiting room? Abraham waited 25 years for God’s promise to give him a son. David waited over 10 years to become King. Why does God make us wait? Waiting builds patient endurance and character. It demonstrates our trust in God’s timing. In Isaiah 40:31, the Bible says,

But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint. 

If you’re in God’s waiting room, be patient, God may be building your character to match His answer when it comes. 

  1. “More!” God lavishes His love on us! One of my favorite verses is in Ephesians 3:20 where Paul prays, 

Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. 

There is more, so much more that God desires to give us than we can possibly imagine. If God’s blessed you with more than you could possibly imagine, share it. His supply is illimitable!

How has God answered your prayers?