First John 5:14-15 “And this is the confidence that we have toward Him, that if we ask anything according to His will He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of Him.”
John 15:7 “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”
Psalm 118:21 “I will give You thanks, for You answered me; You have become my salvation.”
Five specific times in this past week, God said “Yes” to my fervent prayers, and I am so very grateful. In the first three cases, I didn’t know whether my requests were “according to His will” that is mentioned in the verses of 1 John 5, but I earnestly asked Him to hear my prayers.
I asked Him to protect our younger daughter, her husband and their children as they traveled the United States in their motorhome for a month. I fervently asked Him to allow them to return home safely, but I didn’t know whether that would be His will. Praise God, they are home safe and sound. During that same time period, I asked Him to protect our older daughter while she, her husband and their children were on a family vacation. Again, He graciously said “Yes.”
I truly wanted to communicate with the women at the ladies conference where I spoke last Saturday. I worked for hours and hours on my presentation, and I dug into His Word as I prepared. But, I didn’t know whether God would allow me to connect with the women. I knew it was His will for His Word to be clear, but I didn’t know whether He’d allow me to be the one to speak clearly. I still don’t know how much I connected or what impact my words had. Maybe no one was drastically changed, but in reality, I WAS. Studying about the subject of being Christ’s ambassador has forced me into more deliberate actions. God gave me the opportunity, and now I’m in the mode of “practicing what I preached.” I didn’t fall on my face, and the huge cold sore on my lip didn’t deter me. So, thank you, God, for helping me through the event.
I have been asking God to allow Steve and me to use our new home to build relationships with neighbors, friends, family members, non-believers and people we are yet to meet. A few days ago a couple of precious neighbors came for lunch. We spent 3 hours sharing, laughing and getting to know each other. I believe God was honored, and I could feel that He was starting to answer this specific prayer.
The fifth prayer request took much longer for God to answer. Someone I care about deeply appeared to be making spiritual decisions that were expressly contrary to God’s Word. I’ll just call the person “Bob” to protect the real identity. It seemed that every passage I read in the Bible was screaming out the truth while Bob was pursuing untruth. I was convinced that a confrontation initiated by ME was not the answer, so I begged God to reveal Himself and the truth of His Word to Bob very specifically, convincingly and powerfully. I knew Bob had been taught the truth from birth, yet he spent months being drawn toward legalism that would rob him of the freedom in Christ he has as a child of God. I felt helpless. It was one of those situations where I couldn’t “do anything” — which is so often my default setting. But, in this case, I KNEW I was praying in God’s will. I was abiding in Him through the months of waiting. I had other prayer warriors praying.
God said ‘YES!” His promise from Isaiah 55:11 proved itself true once again. His Word “did not return to Him empty.” The object of my prayers saw the lies, recognized the truth and was drawn back both because of his own diligent study of the Bible through the years and because of the “effectual, fervent prayers of righteous people.”
Isaiah 55:11 – “so shall My word be that goes out from My mouth; it shall not return to Me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” (ESV translation)
James 5:16 – “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.” (ESV translation)
I rejoice today with the answers God provided. Now I am watching to see how He will answer other prayers. Will next time be “No,” “Keep waiting” or “Yes?”
What about you? How has God answered your prayers recently?