When we discuss prayer, and God’s answer to our prayers, there are key points that define the areas in which God works in the Christian’s life. These are definite areas in which the inspired writers directed the saints to pray in order to call on the intervention of God in our lives. Each request for prayer that is made in the Bible is an indirect definition of how God the Spirit can and will come to our aid.
Though we may not understand the mystery of how God would bring about an answer to prayer, we must accept the fact that God works in many areas simply because of the Holy Spirit’s inspired record of these prayer requests. We should thus be encouraged to do as the Holy Spirit stated in Philippians 4:6: “Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
Not only did the inspired writers make these prayers, but they also encouraged others to pray to God in order to unleash the power of God in their lives.
We must remember, however, that all prayer is answered according to the will of God. When we pray concerning the changing of the normal occurrence of natural law, we must understand that God often wills that we endure our impending mountains in order that our characters be prepared for heavenly dwelling. In other words, the answer to our prayer may be that God wants us to struggle over a particular mountain in order to prepare us to be a more serviceable disciple on earth and a greater resident of heaven (See 1 Pt 1:6,7).
We must not forget this statement: “For whom the Lord loves He disciplines [with mountains to climb], and scourges every son who He receives” (Hb 12:6). The Hebrew writer continued, “If you endure discipline [mountains], God deals with you as with sons” (Hb 12:8). Therefore, “do not despise the disciplining [mountains sent forth] of the Lord” (Hb 12: 5). We must remember the following:
“Now no discipline seems to be joyous at the time, but grievous. Nevertheless, afterward it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness” (Hb 12:11).
Our prayers may not be answered as we would want them to be answered. Therefore, if we are enduring the trial of a mountain climb, it is good to remember that God is working on our character in order to prepare us for ministry to others who are climbing the same mountain. He is also preparing us for eternal appreciation in an environment wherein …
“… God will wipe away every tear form their eyes. And there will be no more death nor sorrow nor crying. Nor will there be any more pain, for the former things [mountain climbs] have passed away” (Rv 21:4).
[Next in series: Nov. 25]