Blackaby’s opening sentence on this day was: “Have you ever prayed and asked God to do something and then been surprised when He did it?” And then he says “Surprise on our part may indicate a lack of belief.”
The key point for the day was that God always answers prayer. Always. What I need to remember is that God answers prayers that are asked in alignment with His will. Blackaby went through three different ways that God answers prayer.
YES â€“ sometimes, God’s answer is a straight up yes, no hesitation, no questions, no doubt about it. There was a time when I was unsettled at my job, not certain why, I just felt uneasy. Things were going great, we had turned the company around and were making a buck. Then, unexpectedly to me, the board of this mult-location company decided to return to entertainment as a form of marketing and leased a suite on Bourbon St. for Mardi Gras.
I didn’t find out about it until afterwards, seems they didn’t want me to know. I was pretty shocked that they would do something like this after being so close to bankruptcy and it was my work that turned it around. It was then that I knew they were doomed in the end and prayed about it, prayed for direction. Within a day, I had found another opportunity, one that just fell into my lap. I left. About a year to the day, the creditors called in the notes, they declared bankruptcy and were bought at auction by a company that dismantled them.
- YES, BUT NOT YET â€“ other times, God does answer our prayers but doesn’t do so immediately. It may be that we require more experience to do the task or that other things need to fall into place for it to happen. I remember SU desperately wanting children before my mom passed away after a lengthy battle with cancer. It didn’t happen, but we did have two wonderful girls later. I don’t know why the delay.
NO â€“ anytime God answers our prayers differently than we wish, it is for His purpose. Most of the time, we think about this in terms of illness because it is so easy to relate to. We cannot understand why people must die before what we think is their time. It took years for me to recover from the bitterness of losing a mother in the prime of her life, a steadfast Christian woman that did many things for the Lord.
But lose her I did. And I can’t imagine Pop’s grief to have his second wife die after a lengthy battle with cancer. But he did. Perhaps when I see Jesus, He’ll tell me why that had to happen like it did in order for His plan to be fulfilled. As Kristen Scanlon sings, I can’t see what You see from there.
When God says no, it is because He has something better for us.
As I sat in the hotel reading this study, it occurred to me that the people out there preaching health and wealth just don’t understand God. If they did, they wouldn’t go around preaching the nonsense that they do, that if I just ask for riches, I’ll receive them. I’d like to ask one of those guys, exactly what do you think God would like to purchase on this earth? I mean, he created the freaking universe! Why on earth would He care about a house built by a man?
And yet, that is the most popular theology going today. I think it is because people think that they can buy happiness. Can’t be done. There are more important things in life, things far greater in significance than anything I could buy.
Matthew 26:39 Going a little ahead, he fell on his face, praying, “My Father, if there is any way, get me out of this. But please, not what I want. You, what do you want?”