And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. ~1 John 3:22
A temporary Sunday School teacher was struggling to open a combination lock on the supply cabinet. She had been told the combination but couldn't quite remember it. Finally, she went to the pastor's study and asked for help. The pastor came into the room and began to turn the dial.
After the first two numbers, he paused and stared blankly for a moment. Finally, he looked serenely Heavenward and his lips moved silently. Then, he looked back at the lock, quickly turned to the final number, and opened the lock. The teacher was amazed. "I'm in awe at your faith, pastor," she said. "It's really nothing," he answered. "The number is on a piece of tape on the ceiling." Are you someone who desires to see God consistently answer your prayers? Do you desire to have a prayer life that sees God moving on your behalf? This morning, we want to see what the Bible says about answers from God.
There is the responsibility in praying.
Jesus said that men ought always to pray and not to faint. When Jesus spoke to His disciples about praying, it was presumed that they engaged in prayer. He said, “When thou prayest….” Paul tells us that we are to “pray without ceasing.” Praying is a foremost Christian responsibility. Praying is holy communion with our Heavenly Father. It is a privileged audience with the King of kings and Lord of lords. Prayer is asking God to do what we cannot do. We have a responsibility to spend time with God in prayer.
There are the requirements in praying.
Our passage this morning teaches us the divine requirements for answered prayer. First, we must live a life that is obedient and pleasing to God. Obedience involves keeping the commands of God. One of these commands is loving our brothers- and sisters-in-Christ. Hindered relationships hinder answered prayers. Husbands and wives who have unresolved differences hinder their prayers from being answered. Christians who have unforgiveness towards others grieve the Spirit of God and prevent answered prayer. Second, we must meet the condition of doing those things that are pleasing in God’s sight. One of the things that pleases God is praying in faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. We can sometimes be guilty of praying without faith that God answers prayer. Third, our praying must be for the glory of God. "Whatsoever we ask" implies those things that glorify Him.
There are the results in praying.
“Whatsoever we ask, we receive of him.” God delights in answering our prayers. Think of what can be accomplished when our praying pleases God. Laborers are sent into the harvest fields. Sinners can be saved. Needs are met. Satan is held back. Gospel preaching opportunities are opened up! God opens doors that we cannot.
God delights in answering our prayers. Take time this morning to meditate on the condition for answered prayer. Let’s be people who see consistent answers to prayer.
Have a prayer-enriched God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: 1 Corinthians 12-14