How God Answers Prayer

How God Answers Prayer Based on Who God is

Some believers have prayed in faith, believing with their whole heart that God would answer their prayers. How could it not be God’s will for what they prayed about to occur? Yet, despite their fervent pleading, the good they requested failed to happen. Experiences like this often raise questions about prayer. Is it not then possible that what seems to be answers to prayer are just coincidences? However, once we settle the issue of who God is, then we’re ready to accept how He answers prayer.

How God Answers Prayer Must Align with Who He Is

Prayer, and the way God answers prayer, makes better sense the more we view God for the great God He is —

all-knowing and wise as well as all-powerful,
sovereign and righteous as well as loving and faithful.

God responds to our prayers out of the sum total of who He is. Though He has the power to do all things, because of His omniscience, He knows certain things we ask for might not ultimately be wise and for our good. He loves us enough to do what is right and best even if we throw a tantrum because it’s not what we want.

We come to Him as a loving Father who will always do what is right and best. Consequently, answers to prayer may be yes, no, or not right now. This happens in the earthly realm when a loving father answers a child’s request with similar responses so it shouldn’t surprise us that God, who far supersedes imperfect earthly parents, sometimes answers no or not now.

Since our heavenly Father perfectly understands what’s happening, totally knows what’s best, and always responds out of pure motives (Lk. 11:9-13), He isn’t going to give us everything just because we ask for it. His objective isn’t simply to make us happy but to make us better (Heb. 12:5-11).

Some of the best answers to prayer may be the ones where He responds “no” because in the end, getting what we wanted may have actually done more harm than we ever would have realized or caused us to miss out on good we never imagined. Again, because we aren’t God, just like little kids, we don’t always ask for what’s good or best. Consequently, we may not always get what we ask for because God responds from a view of the big picture. Rather than let seemingly unanswered prayer shake our faith, let’s let God be God.

This entry was posted in Praying.

2 Replies to “How God Answers Prayer”

  1. I have been friends with, and prayed for a few pastors and layman who have cried out to God for years for a miracle or a healing to take place for their spouse or a loved one. Although they have not stopped praying, and are still believing God to work. I hear their frustration and cry’s to God on why those they are praying for are not being healed. Please note: Those i am speaking of have prayed for others in their congregation and seen miracle’s such as no trace of cancer over night. And confirmed by Doctors. Can you offer some scripture / understanding on why?

    • Tony, I can’t think of specific verses that provide the answer to why the experience you’ve written about happens. I can point to accounts of people in the Bible who had varying responses. You can read through the Bible and find times God did heal in direct response to people’s request. There’s Hezekiah who was ill to the point of death. When he prayed, God responded by granting him fifteen years (2 Kings 20:1-6). But then there’s the case of David who pleaded with God and fasted for his son born to him through Bathsheba to live yet his son still died (2 Sam. 12:13-23. In this case, it was because of sin. David did repent but God still let the child die. Clearly, though, we cannot say that sin, or even a lack of faith, are the case in every situation. Look at Job who experienced one tragedy after another. He was described by God as “blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil” (Job 1:8). Job wanted to know why. God never told him why but rather responded by contrasting His infinite wisdom and power to Job’s finite understanding (Job 38-42). Yes, God did ultimately restore his fortune and give him a new family. But, his original family was still gone. They were not raised from the dead.

      We cannot always know why God responds as He does to our prayers. Scripture shows that. And, God is not obligated to explain Himself to us and He doesn’t always tell us why. Scripture shows that. It comes down to accepting that He is God and we are not. He sees the big picture which we do not. Once Job came to that realization in his heart, he stopped needing to know why. Through that experience, He came to know God in a way He otherwise would not have gotten to know Him. He said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you” (Job 42:5). And, let’s be sure to note that Job came to that conclusion before God restored his fortune. He didn’t need God to bless Him before his soul was able to rest in who God was … that God was enough and could be trusted even when he didn’t understand.

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