How many times have we asked the following question and heard other people ask the same question: “Why doesn’t God hear my prayer? Why doesn’t He answer me?” Some of our prayer requests may be quite selfish but the majority of our prayer requests are genuine and in line with God’s word. In John 14 Jesus Himself says the following:
“I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it”
He expands on this in John 16 and says:
“Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete”
God desires for us to live lives free of sickness. Free of addictions – drugs, alcohol, eating disorders. He wants us to live our lives free of fear, worry or anxiety. We know He wants this for us because in Jeremiah 29:11 it clearly states:
“I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”.
God created the human race to glorify Him and to enjoy Him forever. Sin, however, messed up the plans God had for us in a very big way.
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. “But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden His face from you” Isaiah 59
The way we get back into right standing with God is through prayer. Through communion with God and through reading His holy Word. Oswald Chambers has this to say about prayer:
“We look upon prayer simply as a means of getting things for ourselves, but the biblical purpose of prayer is that we may get to know God Himself. To say that ‘prayer changes things’ is not as close to the truth as saying “prayer changes me and then I change things”. God has established things so that prayer, on the basis of redemption, changes the way a person looks at things. Prayer is not a matter of changing things externally, but one of working miracles in a person’s inner nature”.
For me prayer is the means through which we get to know God in a deeper sense. I want to share an extract from a letter with you. It is an example of what prayer is and of what real communion with God is. The letter was written by a Methodist minister, Andre le Roux. The letter is dated the 26th May 2010 and he wrote it after he was given the news that despite the chemotherapy treatment he had been undergoing, the cancer in his body was continuing to spread and grow and that he only had a matter of months to live. This is what he wrote:
“Now, more than ever, we are left with a miracle as the only option for healing. We hold onto that hope, though will need to find, and own, a new hope too – one that is not dependent on the cancer being taken away, but on being carried through this disease, and if necessary through the valley of the shadow of death. It is not about what God can do for us, but about who God is to us. And the God I believe in is not the magic genie god who jumps out of our “prayer lamps” to grant us our 3 wishes (though at times God does that for us). I believe in a God who is with us in all things: carrying, guiding and challenging. However, at this time, that picture needs strengthening and deepening in me – it needs a new depth that I have not needed before. I am determined to find it. God cannot be the “fix it” only God – that would make a mockery of everything that Jesus stood for. In the end, the incarnation is about God being with us. I hope to find that in a way that sustains me along this road. Never having been there before makes it a new journey for me – one that may prove lonely at times, no doubt frustrating and confusing at others, but there will also be the special moments that come from seeing the world through new eyes opened by the discoveries I make along the way.”
He ends the letter “Still held in Healing love”, Andre Andre died on 13th July 2010, 48 days after penning this letter.