Monday, May 16, 2011

GOD ANSWERS PRAYER IN MY PRAYER

GOD ANSWERS MY PRAYER IN MY PRAYER

God answers prayer. God answers. We pray and God hears us and He answers. GOD hears the prayers of those who cry out to Him and seek Him with all of their heart. David said, "Incline Your ear, O LORD, and answer me; For I am afflicted and needy" (Ps 86:1). There's no denying that God answers prayer. How He answers is a different matter.

I believe that God answers prayer in many ways, including in the prayer. I don't believe that my thoughts are God's thoughts. I am not confused to think that my thoughts are the voice of God. BUT I do have faith that there's an answer from God somewhere in my thinking. I have the faith that my prayer for wisdom from God is more than mental exercise and growth. For sure, God's wisdom is ascertained through the Holy Scripture, through the creation (Rom. 1:20), and through the example of faithful Christians. But there is a wisdom to be attained THROUGH prayer and IN prayer. "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God" means there is SOMETHING which comes from God. Sure, study and study more in God's Word and that's important. But James said "let Him ask/pray" and God will give wisdom if you don't doubt. Learning God's Word is essential to the process, but I have a sense that God's answer to prayer isn't only received by turning back to the Scriptures.

It seems to me that somewhere along the process of a man being changed on the inside there must be something that God is doing on the inside. If God were not in the equation, then man would simply engage in academic exercises to perfect his walk. But God is in the equation. And Christians trust that God effects in them what they cannot do themselves. There is this "interface", if you will, between man and God. So while I'm not presenting a case for the supernatural or miraculous works of God to be still at work, God is at work in us because somewhere in the loop between praying to God, then consulting with His Word, and back to praying to God, and so on, there is something that God does. "He gives generously" His wisdom to those who pray without doubting. The giving of wisdom is connected to praying.

There might be more doubting than we want to admit that God truly answers us in our prayers. In the prayer of faith, there is peace and solace to be found. Perhaps the answer is a sense of clarity. The humble soul goes into the presence of God where there's no trouble, no worry, no fear. In some fashion, God is powerful and able to answer our supplications and prayers. When His face is turned towards us and when His ear attends to the prayer, there is a blessing which is real. It's not magic or voodoo, and it's not the supernatural type of communications God had with the prophets of the Bible; yet it's a spiritual connection between the Father and His children.

Must we believe that God's answer to prayers be only external? We believe that God gives us bread and fish when we are hungry. We believe that God answers prayers, opening doors, making "all things to work together for good", and so why don't we believe that there's an answer to God in our thoughts? Again, I am not confused to think that my thoughts are the voice of God. I am not a prophet. And God doesn't speak to us today through angels or prophets (Heb. 1:1,2). I know and believe that God speaks to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. So I'm not suggesting a dangerous position where men are lead by their dreams and imaginations. But I am suggesting that somewhere in our minds, there is a confluence of God's working thar becomes manifest in our thoughts - even while we are praying.

Parents parent better who have prayed to God. Workers work better who have spoken with God. FAITH demands that we NOT assign these improvements only to our own wisdom. Shepherds shepherd better when they talk regularly to God. Sure, Bible study is invaluable, irreplaceable, and required. The Scriptures are powerful, there's no question about it. But so is prayer.

Prayer is powerful. Prayer accomplishes much when spoken by the righteous (James 5). Let's make sure we aren't giving lipservice to prayer. We believe that the Word of God is powerful. Let's believe that prayer is powerful. Let's start believing that God answers prayer. Not just externally, but in our soul. God answers prayer in ways that manifest themselves in my thoughts. I'm not saying that my thoughts are God's thoughts. I'm not saying that God speaks to me in a "small still voice". But there's this inescapable idea in me that with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in me (helping me in my prayers with groanings too deep for words), and through careful study of God's Word, that my thoughts are affected, altered, and enlightened when in serious prayer. Somewhere behind my thoughts and musings come the answer from God. I can't prove it but I believe it.

The answers from God can't contradict Scripture. We cannot exceed what is written in Scripture (1 Cor. 4:6). The answers from God can't be false or contradictory to His revealed Truth. God does not lie and there's no falsehood in Him. Like wise deductions from Scripture, so the wisdom of God can be manifest in our prayers. The truth is, it's really a mystery how God does it all. The wisdom of God that comes to me through Bible study, fellowship, and prayer is in conformity to the Bible. There can be no contradictions.

I believe that God answers prayers. Not just externally, through other people, by opening doors, by creating circumstances, but He answers prayers in my prayers.

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