It magically showed up in the last week, it simply couldn’t have been there all along, how have I never seen it before?
Every believer I am sure has had one or many of those moments, when you 'encounter' a passage of scripture for the first time. So striking, so profound, so relevant, so exact to your thoughts, needs and circumstance, that the new revelation makes you question on some level, how did it suddenly appear? New words written into the bible in 2021? Well not exactly, but that is how I felt. I couldn’t pull my eyes away. I slowly read every word, punctuated by long reflective pauses, as the words sunk deep into my heart …
And we are confident ….
that he hears us
whenever we ask for anything
that PLEASES HIM.
And since we know he hears us
when we make our requests
we also know
that he will GIVE us what we ask for!
The bible has many promises about praying and answered prayer that I love, such as, “ask and it shall be given unto you” (Math 7:7), “the righteous cry out and the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their trouble” (Psl 34:17), “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes 5:17) and “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (Col 4:2).
What was so powerful about this scripture from 1 John 5:14-15, was the exactness and truth that underpins the reason for and belief in prayer ... God hears us!
We pray because we are confident that God hears us. We are confident that from the time our mind, heart and thoughts are directed to Him, He leans in, eager to hear from us. These two verses give a deep assurance that our prayers are neither lost in space nor is it directed to some unknown universe, but that God himself, Jehovah God, hears us.
Ministers throughout the ages have more than explained the virtues of prayer, giving handy ‘how to’ guides for beginners and illuminating deeper theological truths for the more mature believer. Yet, some people pray and don’t believe that God hears or even cares about their situation. While some start off believing that God hears and cares, but when the answer takes long to manifest, this confidence wanes, making way for the faithless and passive “If it’s God’s will, it will happen”.
How does one reconcile this scripture in 1 John 5 with months or years of unanswered prayer? How? Because an essential aspect of answered prayer, is its alignment with the will of God, or as the New Living Translation puts it, prayer for things that please Him. I fully believe that every desire and prayer that aligns with what pleases God for you, will come to pass. For everything that He wants you to have, this is the assurance that you are sure to get it. It may take longer than you want it to, but you will surely get it.
I have gotten to a place where I no longer worry about what God will and will not give me, because when I pray, what aligns to His will, that is what I will get; and what doesn’t align, I won’t get it, and quite frankly, I don’t want it either. I am no longer anxious about God’s desire to deliver on the big and small requests. I have said this before in another one of my articles, but it is God who determines what is best for me and in my life.
He wants to give you what is best for you (emphasis), not what someone else has or what you think you deserve, but what He says is best. Many people get stuck here, believing that God must give them what they ask for, or that some things are so common in life that it should go without saying that it must be what God wants for them. Then, God gets blamed when it doesn't happen, with little thought about whether that thing is truly meant for him/her.
To be honest, what can really be classified as “common”? A stable childhood with strong family ties may be common for one person and uncommon for another. One person may have long term health issues and another doesn’t. A stable job or a good income may be common for one and uncommon for another. A spouse and/or children, as common as it may seem, is unlikely to happen for everyone. We should therefore spend much of our prayer time, asking God for His direction and what He uniquely wants for us.
When it is all said and done, this is our confidence in prayer - God will give us what we ask for. If you aren’t sure what is His will, then keep asking with a humble heart that trusts and accepts whatever is His answer. God is the one who knows everything, who sees everything and frankly, you should ONLY want what He wants for you. The bible is littered with promises for all believers but Ecclesiastes 3 also teaches us about times and seasons and it is wise to observe and know your season and above all, to trust God’s direction in every season.
This last week alone, through faithful and fervent prayer, and with an army of prayer warriors, my heavenly father showed up mightily on my behalf. I witnessed with my own eyes, a 'Daniel in the Lions’ Den' moment where He shut the mouth of accusers and gave me His peace. God is big and mighty, large and in charge and more powerful than any human. The prayers of the righteous avail much and the impact is in the seen and unseen world.
Hallelujah to our mighty, mountain-moving Father, who answers all our prayers and spares nothing to come to the rescue of His children. So keep praying and keep expecting Him to answer.