Friday, October 26, 2018
The Four Ways God Answers My Prayers
In review of Luke 11:11-13 it says, ”You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (NLT).
Today’s passage comes from the last part of Luke 11:9-13 in a section where Jesus teaches his disciples about prayer. Jesus told them to keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives. Everyone who seeks, finds. And to everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. If my daughter asks for a fish, do I give her a snake instead? If she asks for an egg, do I give her a scorpion? Of course not! So if, a sinful person knows how to give good gifts to my daughter, how much more will my heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him.
Persistence, or boldness, in prayer overcomes my insensitivity, not God's. To practice persistence does more to change my heart and mind than his, and it helps me to understand and express the intensity of my need. Persistence in prayer helps me recognize God's work.
Even though I will make mistakes, I still treat my daughter well. How much better my perfect heavenly Father will treat me, his child! The most important gift he could ever give me is the Holy Spirit, whom he promised to give all believers after his death, resurrection, and return to heaven.
God always answers every single prayer, just not always the way you want or expect it.
He does it in one of four ways.
When the request is not right, God says, “No.” Just like parents say “no” to their kids for a hundred good reasons, God doesn’t owe me an explanation every time he says “no” to my request.
When the timing is not right, God says, “Slow.” There’s a big difference between a delay and a denial. “No” and “not yet” are not the same thing, and learning and accepting the difference shows spiritual maturity.
When the request and timing are right, but I’m not right, God says, “Grow.” He wants to do something in your life before he answers your prayer because I’m not yet ready to handle the answer.
When the request is right and the timing’s right and I’m right, then God says, “Go.” God often gives me the green light to my prayers, and it’s a reason to celebrate!
Luke 11:11-13 says, “You fathers—if your children ask for a fish, do you give them a snake instead? Or if they ask for an egg, do you give them a scorpion? Of course not! So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him” (NLT).
I need to keep in mind the perspective that God is never going to give me anything that is hurtful or bad for me. After all, if even imperfect parents know how to give good gifts to their kids, won’t God, who is good and perfect, do even more for me? He is ready to answer my prayer, in his own perfect time and way.
Ask and receive. Seek and find. Knock and the door will be opened. We know how to give our children good things, we don't give them something bad. How much more will God provide for us.
What this means to me:
I am to keep asking, for if I ask, I can receive. If I seek, I will find. If I knock, the door will be opened. If my child asks for something I don't substitute it with something bad. So, If I know how to give good things, how much more will my heavenly Father do for me.
In summary, if I ask, I'll receive. If I seek, I will find. If I knock, the door will be opened. If I, as a sinful person, knows how to give good things to those I love, how much more will my heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to me. Persistence does more to change my heart and mind than his. It helps me to understand and express the intensity of my need. Persistence in prayer will help me recognize God's work. God will answer every prayer, just not in the way I'd want or expect. He answers in one of four ways. No, slow, grow or go. God will never give me something that is hurtful or bad to me. He is ready to answer my prayer, in his own perfect time and way.
I have a practical example today, as myself and my team are preparing for our office move. The new location has some new equipment and I’m now finding an issue where monitors are not being recognized for certain hardware types (which equate to about 1/2 of all computers.) I really didn’t expect this (and we had pre-tested and didn’t see this issue) and I really want to have no problems for people come Monday when they show up to work. I really need a solution that we could make work without work-arounds (just allowing them to plug in and work.) Yesterday, on my own effort and through some team members, I tried to come up with a solution. On my way home I started to pray that I would quickly find a resolution and have time to push out a fix. Other alternatives have come to mind, but they include either by passing the docking station or bringing over old ones to reconnect with.
Today I’m reminded that I should continue to pray for a solution and pray for those who are helping me with it. Consider a plan as an alternative approach if needed. Also, keep in mind the ways God answers. “No, slow, grow or go”. So I pray this morning Father that you help me and my team find a solution and or determine an alternative plan. Help me to be open with my leadership about what I’m up against. I ask for your wisdom and guidance to pull all the logistics needed to execute the move and to be prepared for things that come up. Help me to lead those around me. Most importantly help me to respond in a caring manner to those I interact with. I pray these things in your Son Jesus name, Amen!
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