“Our God is a prayer answering God!”
This is an assertion of truth that has resounded true for many generations of Christians past and present, history is full and overflowing of God’s answers to the prayers of His children, God answers in many, many ways. I choose to narrow down how God answers to this particular manner, it is many times overlooked but one of the most powerful means He uses. Let me share one part of the epic story of a brother;
“When I was a teenager, according to my local church methods, a believer who wishes to be baptized would first go through what is called ‘baptismal class’, a class where the fundamentals of the gospel was taught so as to help the Christian appreciate his life in Christ, I desired to be water baptized so I enrolled in this class.
This class was being taught by a Reverend whom I loved and respected, in one of those classes he casually pointed out that he began praying for his wife from his early teens, this statement struck me. I looked at him, I looked at his wife, I looked at his kids, I looked at his family as a whole and it dawned on me ‘God answered this prayer!’
So I too, took his wisdom and began praying as a teenager for a blessed marriage, I’m not even sure I could then correctly spell the word ‘marriage’. But I prayed and truly I prayed from the bowels of my heart and expressed my desire to God (the fact that my own parent’s marriage was like a war zone, only made me pray the more!). I prayed and kept praying and I believed God heard me and even gave me a scripture of promise.
I was sure God had heard me and I expected to literally marry the girl who won the Miss. Jesus competition. But as I kept growing even out of teenage hood, things started changing, I now in retrospect see what was happening; my desires were changing, my mindset were changing, my worldviews were being altered; I started having a desire and reading books on faith, love and even marriage authored by more matured believers, I started noticing how selfish I was as an individual, I started noting what it meant to be a godly man and what God expected of me as a father, I saw the revelation of Christ as the bridegroom and I and the church as His bride, I experienced a revelation of God’s unconditional love for me, I grew more and more in love with God, I discovered purpose, I started loving even the unlovable, I began to intercede for strangers and share God’s love with them, I saw the need to learn a professional skill, I got a degree, I began living a healthier life, I became kind to those afflicted and hospitable to strangers, I learned how to treat ladies with respect, I dropped bad habits, I picked up good ones, I stopped judging people, I stopped defining beauty by what I saw on the outside, I stopped listening to popular ideologies, I kept renewing my mind on God’s Word, I kept growing in God and a thousand more changes over that period. Many years later, on a certain I paused and took an assessment of my life, where God had taken me from, where I was and where He was taking me to, and it dawned on me ‘It did not matter all the ladies I would ever meet, I could only see the right ones to marry from, and it didn’t matter which of the right ones I married, we could only have a blessed marriage!’ It Seems God was more interested in me being ‘bachelor Jesus’, than finding Miss Jesus. Turns out the answer to the prayer of ‘give me the right spouse’ is God making me the right the spouse.”
This true story of this brother helps point out this truth of how God answers prayer:
Phil 2: 13; For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to do His good pleasure
Many times on our journey in life we face a mountain obstructing our path and we pray that God makes a way, we expect that God would send a great wind to push the mountain aside or that a great lightning comes from heaven dividing it in two, making a way for us. And God does answer in such dramatic ways, but for the majority of life it will be less dramatic. Many times we don’t realize that the way God will make a way is by strengthening us so much that we can climb over or even break through the mountain, and as such because we have our sights set on the mountain, we ignore the principles and processes God uses to strengthen us. We sit waiting for the miracle on the mountain, failing to realize, the miracle is in us.
A student prays that God would grant him success in his academics, he doesn’t realize that God won’t do it by making his courses or exams easier, but by making him tougher (in an academic sense), the Grace of God and the working of God in him is manifested as willingness and ability to study, as long as is needed, direction and insight and understanding as he studies.
The grace of God doesn’t make things easier it makes us tougher!
But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. (1 cor 15:10)
That’s why though everybody fails the exam, he succeeds! The exam didn’t get easier, he was strengthened, it plays the same in business, family and every area of life, God may not make the economic climate easier as a whole, but he will in answers to your prayer so strengthen you with correct and ageless business principles, ideologies, ideas and actions, that will cause you to thrive even in a down turning sector.
Job 22:29 When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up;
Imagine a student who decides that because he has prayed and is sure God has heard him and God’s grace is at work in him and so therefore he does not study but expects a miracle such that he gets amazing grades, even if he doesn’t know what he wrote or he expects he will miraculously receive the correct answers to the questions while in the exam hall. Most probably, he will fail (and the Holy Spirit will comfort him).
That is called using the grace of God in vain (2 cor 6:1), apart from other names like foolishness. The problem with it is that if a man succeeds continuously in every business transaction by such a ‘miraculous means’ how will he train upcoming business men? He will tell them to look for a miracle. If a student graduates as a surgeon by such ‘miraculous means’ how will he perform the surgery to save a man’s life? He will look for another miracle. As wonderful as miracles are, we are to live more by principles of the Word than by miracles, because miracles are defined as breaking natural laws and principles by a divine or superior power.
Our God is a miraculous God, and He does miracles all the time but in His wisdom He turns us to walk by principles, that’s why at some point God stopped providing manner from heaven and told the people of Israel to go and plant (Isaiah 37:30), In other words; follow the principles of seed time and harvest. In the faith, there is the ‘normal’ pattern by which God orders our lives and there are times when God according to His sovereign will and wisdom does the same thing in a ‘spectacular’ manner. We sign up for frustration when we expect God to act or speak in a ‘spectacular’ manner when He has been speaking to us normally (check out the full article on this topic: The Norm and Para Norm of Faith).
Many times you are the answer to the prayer you pray for, especially when you are interceding. Your passion influences your prayer and your prayer influences your path. Moses was passionate about the Israelite’s deliverance, he became the answer to this prayer. God did not change the Egyptians, the issues in Egypt or the state of Israel, but He changed Moses and by this change, everything changed.
God answers prayer and many times He answers your prayers by addressing you and not necessarily the issue.
Indeed, Our God is a prayer answering God!