answers to prayer
1 John 5:13-15
Read Mark 14:36. What does this verse reveal about what our ultimate focus should be as we seek answers to prayer?
How have you responded to some recent answers from God? Why is it vital that we pray in Jesus’ name?
Two answers to prayer. Two perfect answers. The first came after many of us had prayed for a young adopted girl from Ethiopia. Before she was adopted, tests showed that she was HIV positive. After her adoption, however, subsequent tests revealed no signs of HIV. We rejoiced! The second answer came after a friend’s cancer returned. This week she entered hospice. Not the answer we wanted. The disease is poised to claim her life soon. We grieve. Yet she still rejoices in God and shows an unwavering faith. Both answers have brought glory to God.
The apostle John wrote a letter that included instructions for how to pray—how to seek answers from God. He taught, “We are confident that [God] hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him” (1 John 5:14). Believers in Jesus (1 John 5:13) have free access to God and His wisdom. But notice that the focus of our prayers should be His honor and glory, acknowledging that He hears us and will give us “what we ask for” (1 John 5:15). I’ve experienced this reality both with my friends’ adopted daughter and with my friend whose cancer returned. How?
Jesus said, “You can ask for anything in My name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father” (John 14:13). When we pray in Jesus’ name, we’re praying in Jesus—seeking His desires and His wisdom. We’re praying to the Father because of the access given to us by the Son. We’re praying that whatever the outcome, it will honor Jesus and “bring glory to the Father” (John 14:13).
There is “great power” in prayer (James 5:16). God hears us, and He will respond. When He does, however, we must be ready to accept answers that aren’t necessarily what we want, but that bring Him glory.
NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Luke 7:36–8:3
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