God created mankind; regardless of whether they have been corrupted or whether they follow Him, God treats human beings as … Read More God’s word of the day: “God’s Work, God’s Disposition, and God Himself I” (Excerpt 29)
How God Answer Prayers?
By Wang Nan
Many brothers and sisters in the Lord have such confusion: “I also sincerely pray to the Lord, but it seems that the Lord doesn’t listen to and answer my prayers.” We are often confused by this. How can this happen? Is the Lord not the One who listens to prayers? We do sincerely pray, so why can’t we get the Lord’s response? Before we look for the reason, let us first consider the following questions: How do we want God to answer our prayers? Do we know how God answers our prayers? If we do not know how God answers our prayers, isn’t it easy to miss God’s answer?
I remember seeing such a short story:
A priest, trapped on a roof during a flood, earnestly prayed to God and also believed that God would come to save him. After the prayer, he saw there came a small boat, then a large ship, and then a helicopter, but he refused all their rescues, for he believed that God would come to save him. In the end, the priest was swept away by the flood and drowned.
After reading this story, can we say that God doesn’t come to save him? No, God does come to save him. These rescue teams are all sent by God, but the priest refuses them. In fact, in our experiences, just like the priest, while praying to God, we are still imagining and expecting God to respond to us according to our own requirements and ways. If what God does, does not meet our imagination, we will think God doesn’t answer our prayers. In many cases, it is not that God does not respond to our prayers, but rather that we do not know the ways God answers our prayers. We all know that God is the Creator while we are His creation, so it’s up to God how to answer our prayers. We should take up our position and learn to seek, accept and obey, not to ask and expect God to respond to our prayers in the way we imagine, otherwise the loss will be our own!
The Lord once promised us: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you: For every one that asks receives; and he that seeks finds; and to him that knocks it shall be opened” (Mat 7:7-8). The word of the Lord is faithful, and God is as good as His word and His word shall be accomplished. But how does God answer our prayers and knocking? As we open the Bible, it is not hard to see that the ways God responds to our prayers are often beyond our imagination and break our notions. In the Old Testament age, the Israelites were exploited indefinitely by the Egyptians and lived a life as prisoners. In pain, the Israelis prayed to Jehovah God and asked Him to save them from the Egyptian Pharaoh’s control. However, instead of saving the Israelites from Egypt in a moment as they imagined, Jehovah God sent Moses to lead them out of Egypt. Because it was incompatible with their conceptions, the Israelites had a great deal of rebelliousness and defiance toward Jehovah God’s answer, finally causing them to wander in the wilderness for 40 years before reaching the land of Canaan. In the late period of the Age of Law, the Israelites lived miserably under the slave rule of the Roman government. They prayed and called on the Messiah to come quickly to save them from the Roman’s slavery. However, when the Messiah—the Lord Jesus, whom they desperately yearned for, came to do work in a practical way to save them, they crucified Him on account of His work not being in line with their notions. From these two historical facts, we can see that although people believe in God and, they become those who oppose God because of not knowing how God fulfills His promises to man.
In fact, God has been speaking to us through all things, answering our prayers, and telling us His will. He has never been hidden from us. As long as we pay a little attention, and use our heart to experience and appreciate the people, events, and objects He arranges for us every day, we will see that God is with us and guides us all the time. I saw a passage of God’s word saying: “When you look to God, it’s possible that He doesn’t give you any feeling or any clear ideas, much less any clear directions, but He allows you to understand something. Or maybe this time you haven’t understood anything, but is it then right to look to God? Is it wrong? No, it isn’t wrong. People practicing in this way is not done to follow rules, but rather it is the needs of their hearts and is how man should practice. It’s not that you can obtain enlightenment and guidance every time you look to God and call on God. This kind of spiritual state in life is normal and natural. Looking to God is people’s normal contact with God in their hearts.
“Sometimes, looking to God doesn’t mean speaking clearly when you pray to God for something, or for God to guide you in some way, or that you pray to God for protection; rather it is that, when you encounter some issue, you are able to call on Him sincerely. So, what is God doing there? When someone’s heart stirs, and they have this idea: “Oh God, I can’t do this myself, I don’t know how to do it, and I’m weak and dispirited,” when these thoughts arise in them, does God not know about it? When these thoughts arise in man, are people’s hearts sincere? When they call on God sincerely in this way, does God assent to help them? Despite the fact that they may not have spoken a word, they show sincerity, and so God assents to help them.” Actually, God’s will has never been hidden from us. As long as we sincerely pray before God, He will see our heart and answer us. In many cases, the reason why we do not see God’s answer is not because God does not respond to us, but because we believe in a vague God, just like the priest in the story. God is the living God, and always by our side. When we are in difficulty and call on God, He knows and practically arranges people, events, and objects to help us, so that our difficulties can be solved and we can understand God’s intentions. On the contrary, if we believe in a vague God and ignore God’s practical work, we will lose His salvation.
As a matter of fact, the ways God answers are by no means as simple as we imagine. There are many ways which God uses to answer us and we have truly experienced some of them in our prayers. For example: Sometimes, God will make us clear on something, and then we know how to practice with the guidance of God’s words; sometimes, God will remind us through the people, events and objects around us— someone saying or doing something, which suddenly solves our difficulties; at other times, God will enlighten and move us, so we ponder and then understand unknowingly. These are several common ways God answers us. We can say that every brother and sister who truly believes in God has such experience. We are unable to fathom God’s wisdom, and there are many other ways God responds in our experiences, which requires us to seek with heart.
Thanks for the God’s guidance, I understand the significance of prayer, and know how to pray to God with a true heart in order to gain rapid spiritual growth. We Look forward to sharing with more brothers and sisters about your enlightenment from God and growing together in Christ.
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