As I was sitting and listening to J.G. and Noah share during the Sunday school hour, I was freshly struck by how kind God has been in hearing and answering prayer. What were their testimonies but the fruit of God’s grace in response to our persistent cries? Add to that the recent mercies shown to Emmalyn Pafford, Phil Roerdink, Tonya Roerdink, and Dan Barr. Truly, our heavenly Father has heard and answered us in His large-hearted goodness!
Thomas Chalmers, a 19th-century Scottish pastor, once prayed, “Make me sensible of real answers to actual requests, as evidence of an interchange between myself on earth and my Savior in heaven.”
Think about that for a moment.
These real answers to actual requests that we have experienced in recent days are tangible evidence of a divine-human interchange. When God answers us, we ought not only to be overjoyed at the answer itself, but also at the evidence the answer gives of our filial relationship to God who stoops so low to listen to the likes of us. True prayer entails a loving exchange between us and God. God’s answers are assurances of His fatherly love and care toward us which is one reason we should not be content without them.
Yet how often we utter prayers with a heart that doesn’t expect God to answer or is indifferent as to whether God answers. Our petitions so quickly become heartless repetitions rather than heartfelt expressions of desperate need that only God can supply. One of the great indications of true prayer is that it cares greatly about being answered. That is why the psalmist is always crying, “Hear me, O God!” and “Answer me!” Prayer is not a prefunctory duty, but a life-and-death necessity. That is the kind of prayer that God delights to answer because that is the only kind of prayer there is.
Beloved, we have much to give thanks to God for in His real answers to our actual requests and of the evidence they are of the loving communion bond we enjoy with Him in Christ. Let us thank Him, and let these gracious answers stir us up to true prayer that comes to God expecting an answer and persists until it receives one.
Yours in Him,