A Christ-follower needs to understand and leverage the privilege and the responsibility of prayer. The believer needs to assimilate and acclimate to the ways God answers prayer. The next post will challenge the disciple to explore and discover how to keep the communication of prayer both continual and creative.
When and how does God answer prayer, and how is it recognizable when He does? Before this is answered, it must be understood that God hears and listens to our prayers. Numerous passages of Scripture throughout the Bible tell us this. If the God of the cosmos (Sovereign, Savior, and Spirit) is listening, shouldn’t that fact alone provoke us to trust Him?! But He also answers us, sometimes before the asking, sometimes when asking, and sometimes over a longer period of time. Some of His answers affirm our requests and direction and some do not. At times answers provide clarity, and some answers are beyond our comprehension.
John 17 provides confidence in how Christ prays for us. In His prayer for us, it can be understood that God answers us with the following truths every time we pray.
- It is always possible to gain a deeper understanding of the Word of God. (vv.6,8,14,20)
- Strength is gained in spite of personal mistakes and weakness, testing, temptation, persecution and attack from the enemy. (vv.12,15)
- The discernment of daily purpose in any situation becomes clear. (vv.17-19)
- Unity among believers is maintained. (vv.11, 20-22)
- Christ is displayed to the world. (vv.1,10,22,24)
- Eternal life and living in a relationship with God will be understood as the sum total of all that is imparted to us as a result of salvation, and this is the highest experience of humanity. (vv.3,7,13,26)