“None of the good promises the Lord had made to the house of Israel failed. Everything was fulfilled.”
An utterly sold out follower of Jesus who lives in a third world country made a statement that keeps reverberating in my head. He said “Every time I pray, my prayer is answered!”
The truth of Almighty God is simple. God keeps all of His promises and answers all of my prayers. Sometimes I find it hard to perceive that what I am seeing is the fulfillment of His promise and sometimes the answer to my prayer is “no” or even “not now.” But the living God always keeps His promises and always answers prayer.
We have defined “answered prayer” by saying it is when God does what I want Him to do. The Bible does say that He will give us what we need, but what loving father gives his child something that is hurtful or even deadly. If the answer to your prayers is always “yes” when you ask God for something, then you are not fellowshipping with Him enough and you are not seeking to know His mind about enough matters in your life.
A number of years ago I was involved in an organization that recognized the value of “brainstorming.” We would meet to discuss an issue and agree that everything was “on the table.” No idea was “stupid.” If we were not rejecting even most of the ideas, then we were not really brainstorming. Out of those sessions came some really important concepts.
When you pray do you agonize to pray exactly the “right thing” so that God will say yes to your prayer? Do you pray as if you are submitting a formal proposal to a foundation from which you are looking for funding? Or do you converse with the Creator of the universe? Do you tell God what you think even when you know He must disagree and do you listen for His input? If you only pray what you know God already believes then why does He need to answer your prayer? Of course, it is a wonderful thing to pray scripture but never be afraid to step into deep water with God. Remember Abraham’s conversation with God about Sodom and Gomorrah and don’t forget when Moses convinced God not to destroy the people in the desert.