broken but not crushed

Helping each other live successfully and abundantly in the face of brokenness.

Location: Columbus, Central Ohio, United States

Friday, October 13, 2006

Next stop on our Journey

Dear Fellow Travelers,

Let’s take another step in our shared journey into the basic disciplines of the godly person. We’ve been talking, in the last few blogs, about getting into God’s Word, the Bible. I hope and pray that you’ve gleaned some insight into new and different ways to connect with your heavenly Dad and to hear what he’s saying to you, personally.

Today we turn down a different street in our disciple’s village. As we examine the addresses on the houses we find one that is called ‘prayer’ – easily one of the most talked about yet most misunderstood of the spiritual disciplines. Though it might seem like we are getting the cart before the horse, one of the first question that comes to most people’s minds is “how does God answer prayer? So here are the “Five Ways God Answers Prayer”, according to the Bible.

1. “I love you too much to answer yes.” 2 Corinthians 12:7-10 Let’s be honest, everything we ask God for isn’t really good for us, and He knows better than to give us what we want. Remember Garth Brook’s song “Thank God for Unanswered Prayers”.

2. “No, not yet. You must wait for my timing.” Daniel 2: 20, 21 and John 11: 13-15 Hey, I get in a hurry, too! But God’s timing is always better than ours so we’ve got to learn to wait a while – ugh!

3. “I hear you, and if you insist, I’ll say yes. But this is not the best for you and you will soon discover that.” Psalm 106:15 It is true. God sometimes gives us the desires of our hearts - even when he knows we’ll be sorry for it later. These are lessons in waiting on God, realizing we aren’t as smart as we think we are, and learning to trust. Hard, sometimes painful lessons, for sure.

4. “YES, I though you would never ask!” Matthew 7:7-11 God really IS our heavenly Dad, and just like good dad’s everywhere, he loves to give his kids good gifts – and in His case, he can afford to give everything he wants to give. Now THAT’S cool!

5. “Yes, and here is even more than you asked or even dreamed you could have.” 1 Kings 2:12, 13 and Ephesians 3: 20. From his never ending supply he can even outstrip our imagination. In fact, right now God is planning for you things that are beyond your wildest dreams.

Well, as far as I can tell these are the primary ways, according to the Bible, that God answers when we call. And no, I don’t really like the “wait” or the “no” any more than you do, but they are necessary for us so they are part of God’s plan. Remember, He doesn’t do anything that is for our harm, even when it seems that way at first, and even along the way. I, too , have a lot of questions for him when he releases me from this broken body, but until then, I – and you – are asked to trust. So I do.

Well, until next time, remember discipline #2 - Pray - at first, just do it, then keep at it until your prayers are powerful and effective.



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