Will God answer my prayers?

Here’s my simple answer to that simple question from a person I know from my local church.

I am sure God answers our prayers, including for you.

But whether he does what we want is another question. I know that a dad does not always give their kids lollies every time the kids ask, because even though it’s what the kids want, the dad knows it’s not good for them to eat too many lollies too often.

A preacher once said that God answers our prayers three ways: No, Slow, or Go.

Sometimes God says ‘No’ to what we ask for.

Presumably because it would not be for our good in the long run, and he knows more than we do. Or maybe it’s sometimes because we ask with wrong or selfish motives. (See James 4:1-4 for that warning!)

Sometimes God says ‘Slow’ to our requests. That is: yes, you can have it, but not yet.

You’ll have to be patient. Maybe God wants us to learn patience and endurance, good qualities to develop. (See for example, James 1:2-4) Or maybe we need to be more mature, before we are ready to receive what we want.

And sometimes God says ‘Go’! He gives us the desires of our hearts and quite quickly. Or what we asked him is already revealed as being in line with his will. (See James 1:5!)

It’s easy to see God’s generosity in this later example of ‘Go’. But it’s important to see God is being kind to us even when he says ‘No’, or ‘Slow’. He has better things in mind than we sometimes realise. He only gives good gifts (James 1:17).

That’s why it’s also wise to remember to preface our prayers (attitudinally, if not verbally), and not only our plans, by saying, “If it’s the Lord’s will” (see James 4:15).

3 thoughts on “Will God answer my prayers?

  1. Sandy,
    I agree entirely with what you have written (time to worry)
    I think what troubles and excites and troubles and excites us is the huge open, come and get it promises Jesus so often makes to us “whatever you ask etc” John 14, Luke 11, Matt 7 etc
    He is promising something really big and yet, we seem to rarely believe that or push others to believe Him with the same passion and conviction we do to beleive say John 3:16 – any wisdom??

  2. Ian, thanks for commenting. I agree.

    Dunno if this is relevant, but I always remember Chappo sharing the woman who was sick with cancer discussing with him whether there was any unconditional promise of healing this side of heaven. Against the charos, they agreed there wasn’t. Among other things, Chappo said that actually freed him to ask more uninhibitedly for her healing, without hedging it around with uneasy “if it is your will”s in such a way that undermined trust in God’s power to do so if he willed it. But also trusting it would somehow be for her best, should be answer differently (as occurred).

    As a detail person I could learn to pray big prayers (for the honour of God’s name) more often and maybe more expectantly. Ephesians 3:20-21 suggest I may not expect or envisage the answers though.

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