You are here: Home » Front Page Articles » God Answers Prayer

God Answers Prayer

by Hollis Miller

The Bible clearly teaches that God hears the prayers of His children. But it is equally clear that all prayers are not always answered as the one praying may wish. The apostle Paul prayed three times that something he called "a thorn in the flesh" might be removed from him, but God answered: "My grace is sufficient for you" (2 Corinthians 12:7-9).

James taught that some prayers are not answered because the one praying asks for the wrong reasons (James 4:3; see also 1:5-8). John wrote: "This is the confidence we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us" (1 John 5:14).

It is a mistake to take a single passage of Scripture about prayer and assume that the passage contains the whole of what the New Testament teaches on the subject. That God cares for His children is a very positive New Testament doctrine (1 Peter 5:7). However, caring for us and always, without exception, responding to our prayers exactly as we request are not equal to each other. The apostle John was present when Jesus said: "Ask, and it shall be given you" (Matthew 7:7). But the apostle's statement cited above evidences that he did not understand Jesus' statement to be unconditional.

Faith in prayer is always placed in God, never in its own sincerity and devotion. Our vision is too limited and our knowledge too inadequate to always know what is best for us. We do not always know, even with regard to the simple things of life, what should be done. Removing the will of God from prayer is to take away the unlimited wisdom, the perfect knowledge, and the unrestricted foresight that belongs to Him alone. Such removal should not be the wish of any Christian.

"...upon this rock I will build My church..." Matt.16:18

Bible Verse Lookup

Search Bible

Search Old Testament

Search New Testament