Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Will God answer my prayer?

TODAY'S SPECIAL: 1 John 5:1-21

TO CHEW ON: "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." 1 John 5:14-15

This morning before sitting down to work on this devotion (some weeks before it publishes), I got word that my son's best friend collapsed last night while playing basketball. His heart just stopped. It was revived with shocks but he is lying unconscious in hospital. My mind is full of questions: What would cause the heart of a 26-year-old, apparently healthy young man to stop? Will he survive? Will there be any damage? Will God answer my (and tens of others') prayers for his recovery?

Our focus verse today sets before us one way we can know prayers will be answered: when we ask according to God's will. A footnote in my Bible lists other bases on which we can be assured of answered prayers:

  • When we ask in Jesus' name (John 14:13-15; 15:16; 16:23-24).
  • When we abide in Christ and allow His words to abide in us (John 15:7).
  • When we have faith (Matthew 21:22; James 1:6).
  • When we are righteous in life and fervent in prayer (1 John 3:21-22; James 5:16).
That note sums up:
"One who abides in Christ and whose words abide in Him; who prays in the name of Jesus, that is, in accord with His character and nature, and who is full of faith and righteousness is not inclined to pray anything contrary to His will. But more than how we pray, God wills and cares that we pray. Genuine prayer is not an attempt at precise means of getting God to meet our desires and demands; but rather in subordinating our will to His, we open the doorway to His fullest blessings being released in our lives" - Peter E. Prosser - Notes on 1 John, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1789-90.

It's a challenge to put all the things, above, together when we're faced with a need for which we want only one answer. If God has another plan, it surely becomes a matter of adjusting to His higher wisdom in faith that He, in His perfect love, knows best.

I'll let you know how this turns out.

(The young man lived, regained consciousness a day and a half later, and suffered only minimal short-term memory loss. The doctors put in a pace-maker to guard against this happening again. His memory is improving every day. He has even returned to school. Thank You Jesus!)

PRAYER: Dear God, this morning my heart is full of want: I want S. to live and get all better. I want his wife and parents to know Your presence in this situation. Please give them the faith in Your love that casts out fear as they trust You for the outcome, whatever it is. Amen.

MORE: Only 18 more sleeps

Advent Calendar - December 7

Christmas Fact:

The earliest use of a crib (also called nativity scene, manger scene, krippe, crèche) in worship dates back to fourth-century Rome. Of the three masses observed at Christmas, one was called Ad Praesepe (meaning "to the crib"). This mass took place in the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, at a shrine built from boards believed to have come from the original stable of the Nativity in Bethlehem. Churches throughout Italy and Europe gradually adopted the custom of saying mass over a crib at Christmas time.
Encyclopedia of Christmas p. 407,408

Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore, Rome. (Dragging your mouse across the image causes it to scroll around the entire room.)

Bible Drive-Thru

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