GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS PRAYERS
Ask and it will be given; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened.” Can we believe that when so often it doesn’t appear to hold true? We beg and plead with God and seemingly get no answer. Indeed, sometimes someone else’s prayers seem to be answered while ours go unheeded.
We can heap guilt upon ourselves, assuming it’s our fault. Perhaps we’re asking in the “wrong” way, or perhaps our faith is deficient. Or we get angry because we assume the fault is God’s. How can we please this capricious God who doles out favors so sparingly?
GOD KNOWS OUR HEARTS
One distinction to note: What is it that Jesus promises? He says, “…how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him?” Ah, that changes things. We are not promised that if we ask for a new job, we will receive a new job, or if we ask for physical healing, we will receive physical healing. Instead, Jesus promises that if we ask for anything, we will receive “good things”.
In other words, we will receive what we need, not necessarily what we want. What we request may or may not be good for us, and God knows the difference. God doesn’t always answer in the ways we want, but God always answers prayers.
TRUST IS A MUST
Jesus tells us God wants us to be honest and ask for what we desire. Of course, God knows what’s in my heart even before I speak. Formulating and verbalizing my needs is a valuable exercise for my own sake, not for God’s. Then I must trust the Source of all love to winnow out the chaff and pour out what I truly need underneath it all.
Jesus’ challenge, then, is to continually be in relationship with God – asking for what I need, laying bare the depths of my heart and sharing my life.
Then comes the hard part – simultaneously opening myself and learning to listen to God’s answers, so I can be an ever more receptive vessel to what God knows I need to receive. My life will not be free from sadness, tragedy, and loss. I need constantly to ask, seek, and knock. God will answer by filling me with everything I need to handle it with grace, courage, and peace. What greater answer could anyone receive?