Prayer

One day I was chatting with a very good friend of mine and suddenly she mentioned how fearful she is to ask God for prayers all because they may not be answered.  Hmmmmmm … that kept me in silence for a minute.  I didn’t know how to “theologically” answer her to encourage her.  Instead, I went home that day with those words echoing at the back of my mind.

I checked myself if I still am scared to pray big bold prayers …  Hmmmm … sometimes yes!  I would be lying if I say I don’t! 🙂  I am still a work in progress learning how to walk fully persuaded if what I’ve asked for is in His perfect will for me.

We have heard it a thousand times that He will answer us in its time.  Or if not, He has a better plan for our lives.  Both are true, but how can we boldly ask the Lord the desires of our hearts without fear?

One of the powerful ways if not the best way is for us to develop a deeper relationship with God.  It is in our knowing how much He loves us that makes us confident.  Getting to know the Lord deeper and deeper each day postures our hearts to beat in time like His.  Our relationship with Him makes us sensitive to what He desires that become ours as well.  Remember, we become Who we behold and worship.  It is in intimacy where fruitfulness flows and the fruit always look like what He desires that we are graced to desire.  How then can we ask for something that violates His will?  Then our confidence to ask is anchored on the truth that He knows what is best for us.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, 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 the petitions that we have asked of Him.  (1John 5:14-15)

There may be times when we really have no clue what His will is.  All we need to do then is just ASK by faith.  I believe it’s more pleasing to our Daddy God to step out in faith and ask than not ask at all.  Picture with me on this …. that when a child goes to his father or mother to ask for something, he is fearless because he simply knows he can just do it anytime.  He will boldly ask anything without even considering if his parents will give him what he wants or not.  The point is that he just asks.  Because his parents love him so much, they will not give him what is not beneficial to him but lavishes him his desires if it is.  Oh yes, he may throw tantrums when his desires are not met, but it is always for his own good.

I believe we are to come before our Heavenly Father boldly with a childlike faith.  It is His perfect love that casts out all our fears in asking.  We are to view Him as a loving Father Who cares for His children.  And most of all, we are to TRUST Him with ALL our hearts whatever and however He will respond knowing fully well that all things work together for our good.  His word says, “We have not because we ask not!” (James 4:2).  He encourages us to ASK.  He woos us to call upon His name and He will answer.  Our asking and Him answering is such an expression of an intimate relationship.

I was meditating on how John the Baptist was born.  His parents, Zechariah and Elizabeth, were both lovers of God, living virtuously and following the commandments of the Lord fully.  But they were childless since Elizabeth was barren, and they both were quite old.  One day, it was Zechariah’s turn to enter into the Holy Place to burn incense before the Lord.  It was at that very moment when angel Gabriel appeared to him saying, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah!  God is showing grace to you.  For I have come to tell you that YOUR PRAYER FOR A CHILD HAS BEEN ANSWERED.”  (Luke 1:13)  Just by mere reading this means that they were praying for a child but not until they were too old to have a one only then the answer came.

We know that God is a God of purpose.  We know that He knew each one of us before the foundation of the world.  That means John’s purpose was already determined way before he came into being.  He was purposed to “go before the Lord as a forerunner, with the same power and anointing as Elijah the prophet.  He will be instrumental in turning the hearts of the fathers in tenderness back to their children and the hearts of the disobedient back to the wisdom of their righteous fathers.  And he will prepare a united people who are ready for the Lord’s appearing.” (Luke 1:17)

The timing of God is always perfect.  John the Baptist was conceived sixth months before the angel Gabriel appeared to Mary and announced to her that she was chosen to be the mother of Jesus.  What perfect timing!

Did Zechariah and Elizabeth know that John was coming when they were beyond child bearing?  No!  Even if they didn’t see their prayers answered, they continued to walk blameless before the Lord.  It could be that they may have given up expecting their prayers to be answered.  Look at Zechariah’s response to angel Gabriel, “How do you expect me to believe this?  I’m an old man and my wife is too old to give me a child.  What sign can you give me to prove this will happen?” (Luke 1:19)  Because he didn’t believe the words spoken, his mouth was silenced and was unable to speak until eight days after John’s birth.

God’s sovereignty is awesome.  Even when Zechariah already lost hope for a child,  He still made a way.  He even had to allow him to be mute, maybe for him not to speak  words that weren’t supposed to be spoken that could go against the fulfillment of the promise.  Because John the Baptist’s birth was strategic to the birth our Savior Jesus, the answer to the couple’s prayer was done at the right time.

Oh how this story encourages me.  If you’re believing for answers to your prayers, be undaunted!  Be encouraged!  We wait and worship while we wait.  We savor and enjoy each day that He gives us until we see His promises fulfilled in our lives.  When that designated moment will come, it will be glorious.

“Not one promise from God is empty of power, for nothing is impossible with God.” (Luke 1:37 TPT)

Prayer:  Heavenly Father, thank You for always hearing us every time we ask and gracing us to keep hopeful until the day when Your promises are fulfilled in Jesus’ name.  Great is Your faithfulness.  Amen!

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