God Answers Prayer, Part I
Prayer is not a one-way street. While we may usually think of prayer as talking to God, prayer also means hearing from God. Let me reassure you, God answers our prayers.
Now, sometimes the answer is not what we were hoping for … God may say “no” or “not yet” or even “I want you to grow some more first.” But no matter what the answer is, it is grounded in the love Christ has for us, which never ends. Jesus is God’s ultimate “Yes” to humanity. Yes, God loves us; yes, God forgives us; yes, God will save us.
Here is how the apostle Paul puts it in his letter to the Romans.
Scripture: Romans 8:28-39 (NLT)
And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And having chosen them, he called them to come to him. And having called them, he gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, he gave them his glory. What shall we say about such wonderful things as these? If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else? Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.
Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” ) No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Paul says in his letter to the Romans that nothing—NOTHING! —can separate us from God’s love. That means God still loves us, even when we sin. And even when things in life are tough, God still loves us. This is the good news of the gospel!
And this is the implication of God’s love. What should we say then? Since God is on our side, who can be against us? God did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us. Then won’t he also freely give us everything else?
I encourage you to meditate on these words this weekend. Consider Paul’s logic: If God loves us enough to give up even his own son to die so that we can live, isn’t it reasonable to believe that God will also give us—for free—everything else? Paul is saying, “Look, you can be sure God will provide everything you need, like food, clothing, friendship, and peace, because he’s already given you the ultimate blessing of salvation through Christ.” Trust in the words promised in Romans 8.
Dear God, thank you for loving us enough to send your son, Jesus, to die on the cross and be raised to new life, so that we can be forgiven of our sin and enjoy eternal life with you. In the meantime, please give us everything we need for an abundant life- not abundant with enough material possessions or even health, but with grace, peace, and the knowledge of the gift of salvation. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.