Posts Tagged ‘God hears’

askgodIn the same way, you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and you will be overjoyed. No one takes away your joy. In that day, you won’t ask me anything. I assure you that the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. Up to now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive so that your joy will be complete. [John 16:22-24, CEB]

Won’t ask, ask, not asked, ask. What a strange passage with its combination of not asking and asking. Here’s my simple take on this: in the day of Christ’s return, we will not need to ask (we will get it), but until then, we can, not only ask, but ask with the name of Jesus as our co-requestor. Before Jesus, humans could not invoke His name or His consciousness, but now, we can.

I have had an additional bit of a revelation through the writings of Oswald Chambers on this matter.

We hear it said that a person’s life will suffer if he doesn’t pray, but I question that. What will suffer is the life of the Son of God in him, which is nourished not by food, but by prayer. When a person is born again from above, the life of the Son of God is born in him, and he can either starve or nourish that life. . . . To say that “prayer changes things” is not as close to the truth as saying, “Prayer changes me and then I change things.” God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature. –Oswald Chambers [My Utmost for His Highest, Aug 28 entry]

In the days of “blab it and grab it” teachings, this selected verse in John was often used to encourage people to pray, in faith, for anything, including a new car, a job, a mate, etc. All was possible, as long as we believed and prayed this scripture. But now I see, most clearly, what is offered–a life within, one completely surrounded by the grace, mercy, and love of Jesus through the Holy Spirit (for it was the Spirit that given to us at His resurrection). How different the ask becomes then. What would God withhold? Nothing.

  • Create in me a clean heart, O God. [Psalm 51:10]
  • Answer me when I call to you, my righteous God. Give me relief from my distress; have mercy on me and hear my prayer. [Psalm 4:1]
  • Teach me your way, Lord, that I may rely on your faithfulness; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name. [Psalm 86:11]
  • Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. [Psalm 119:34]
  • Lord my God, I called to you for help, and you healed me. [Psalm 30:2]

All for the asking.

To participate in an ongoing 2015 Lenten devotional, download the PDF here.


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Psalm 4

trustThis Psalm begins, ” Answer me when I call to you . . . Give me relief from my distress. . . have mercy on me and hear my prayer.”

How often have I cried out in this way: Do Something! Anything!

It’s a kind of command and a kind of plea. The words carry a feeling of desperation as though God has not been answering, has not given relief, has not been merciful, and has not heard any of my prayers. Not true, of course. I know it, but when I am overwhelmed, I feel abandoned by God, alone, and sometimes, even drowning.

In these moments, it is the critical time to stop and think and consider. Am I child of God or not? Have I surrendered my soul to God or not? Do I believe God is in this life of mine or not? No matter what I might have said or done to get myself here, is God still sovereign?

When I am unwilling to pray, I do the greatest damage to myself. I can convince myself that God is not listening, why bother? I can display my life and use it as evidence that God does not answer. I can choose to embrace the arguments of the enemy to my spirit to deafen my ears, to blind my eyes, to dull my senses.

God hears my prayers if I speak them from the heart. Whether they are well spoken or not, desperate or not, flowery or not, God hears because I asked God to be in my life. I accepted the Presence of Christ’s Holy Spirit within me.

When my circumstances seem out of control, I must take a break and change up my image of prayer. It’s like pounding on a locked door, crying and anxious, while God is calling me to turn away, take a walk, take a breath, engage trust. Believe in the “answers” that come from the most unlikely places, that are far more creative than my requests.

I want to stop making my prayers a list of recommended solutions.

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