"It was a devastating car accident," a member of the Bible study said. "The healing was miraculous. I had broken bones. They healed with no need for casts. I had cuts on my face. They healed with no scars. And doctors said I would lose my teeth as they had turned gray and they began to die due to the severe impact. But God healed them as they turned white before my eyes, leaving the doctors stunned."
listened in awe. Yet when we hear of these miracles, we can't help but
wonder why our own prayers aren't answered and why miracles seem to pass
I imagine Joni Erickson might have wondered the same
from time to time while spending her life paralyzed in a wheel chair.
But even when we question, God still insists we bring our requests
before Him: "Do not be anxious about anything, but in
every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your
requests to God." (Philippians 4:6 NIV). And when we do,
here are five steps to make sure He will answer them:
Steps to Answered Prayer
1. Readjust our
priorities. If our # 1 priority is to seek answers rather than seeking
God Himself, God will be patient until we reprioritize by seeking Him
ahead of seeking answers: "But seek first his
kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you
as well." (Matthew 6:33 NIV).
2. Resist the
temptation to recite memorized, perfect prayers, with lovely words and
deep insight. God simply wants the genuine expression of our heart:
"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his
appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not
look at the things people look at. People look at the outward
appearance, but the Lordlooks at the heart.'" (1 Samuel 16:7
3. Recognize that sometimes we don't know how to pray or
what our requests should be. So, we can freely ask for Him to show us
what to pray for: "Search me, God,
and know my heart;
test me and
know my anxious thoughts." (Psalm 139:23 NIV).
Remember that His answer is always in His timing, not ours because a
thousand years in God's sight are like a day that has just gone by:
"A thousand years in your sight
like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the
night." (Psalm 90:4 NIV).
5. Relish in the fact that
while we wait, He's working in us, in our heart, in our situation. He
has the answered already prepared: "For we are God's
handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works,which God prepared
in advance for us to do." (Ephesians 2:10 NIV).
here's the reason we follow these steps: Because "This is the
confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according
to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us--whatever we
ask--we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14–15
While we pray, we're certain that in His timing and ways,
we have what we ask. We receive what He offers. We expect what He
promises. And while we wait, we take our eyes away from the circumstance
and fix them on Christ instead.
Let's Pray: Father, how often
I have cried out to you, searching for words that are perfectly
expressing my needs. But You already know them and You already know the
painful details too. From now on, I will give you thanks for what You're
already doing and how You're bringing Your promises to be. In Jesus'
How deep is your belief in God's ability to hear
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