(Psalms 143:1-6) A Psalm of David. Hear my prayer, O LORD; give ear to my pleas for mercy! In your faithfulness answer me, in your righteousness! Enter not into judgment with your servant, for no one living is righteous before you. For the enemy has pursued my soul; he has crushed my life to the ground; he has made me sit in darkness like those long dead. Therefore my spirit faints within me; my heart within me is appalled. I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah
(Matthew 7:7-11) "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!
The title of this morning's devotional might seem a bit obvious and unnecessary to state. Who would not listen to the answers to his prayers, right? The Lord has given us instruction on how to pray and the Bible is emphatic that the Lord hears the prayers of the believer and that He answers those prayers. Quite often, believers pray and ask the Lord for specific things or for specific direction, and this is a good way to pray. Coupled with this type of praying, however, there is sometimes an expectation of an equally specific answer. What I mean by this is that it is easy to get ahead of the Lord and expect a particular answer instead of listening to His answer. When you pray and the answer seems (to you) to be obvious, you may not recognize or hear the answer if it is anything other than the answer you are expecting (or wanting).
God hears your prayers and is faithful to answer them. He answers them according to His plan, wisdom, and knowledge, not always or necessarily according to your desires or understanding of the situation. It is important to listen and listen carefully for the answers to your prayers that the Lord is faithful to give. Not receiving the answer you want or are expecting does not mean you are not receiving an answer.
Pray, and pray often. Pray with confidence that your heavenly Father hears your prayers and answers them. Approach prayer with the mindset of learning God's will for any given situation, not obtaining divine permission to pursue your own. Listen carefully for His answer and embrace his answer knowing that His answer is the best for you.
Questions For Discussion
- Does God ever not answer your prayers?
- How quickly does God answer your prayers?
- What should and shouldn't you be looking for in an answer to prayer?