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Prayers Answered


Jesus said to his disciples, “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you” (Jn 15:7). God is always pleased to grant what His faithful servants need for their ministry. King Solomon, at the early stage of his governance, sacrificed a thousand burned offerings at Mount Gibeon. God appeared to him there in a dream at night and said, “Whatever you ask I shall give you.” Solomon’s request was, “Give your servant, therefore, a listening heart to judge your people and to distinguish between good and evil. For who is able to give judgement for this vast people of yours?” The Lord was pleased at Solomon’s request and said, “I give you a heart so wise and discerning that there has never been anyone like you until now, nor after you will there be anyone to equal you. In addition, I give you what you have not asked for: I give you such riches and glory that among kings there will be no one like you all your days. And if you walk in my ways, keeping my statutes and commandments, as David your father did, I will give you a long life” (1 Kgs 3:4-14).

During the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and the one who seeks, finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened” (Mt 7:7-8). Jesus assured the answer to prayers in his name. “Whatever you ask in my name, I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (Jn 14:13). “Whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you” (Jn 15:16). “Until now you have not asked anything in my name; ask and you will receive, so that your joy may be complete” (Jn 16:24).

The apostles worked miracles in Jesus’ name, so their listeners were convinced of the divine mission they were holding. God the Father answered all the prayers of Jesus except his prayer at Gethsemane to take away the chalice from him. Jesus knew he had to complete his mission. So, he added, “My Father, if it is not possible that this cup pass without my drinking it, your will be done!” (Mt 26:42). Instead of taking away the suffering, God sent his angel to empower Jesus in his distress to complete his mission (Lk 22:43). Comparable situations can happen in our lives as well. That is why Jesus added, “Thy will be done” in the Lord’s prayer.

God told Moses, “‘I will show mercy to whom I will, I will take pity on whom I will.’ So it depends not upon a person’s will or exertion, but upon God, who shows mercy” (Rom 9:15-16). We should not get disappointed when God does not answer all our prayers. As a parent looks for what is good for the children, God will provide all we need even without our asking, especially needs concerning our spiritual growth. Jesus taught, “Your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Mt 6:8). Jesus also said, “If you then, who are wicked, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good things to those who ask him” (Mt 7:11).

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