The Ultimate Yes and Amen
I believe we really don’t understand prayer. I know I don’t. Let’s just say you played the Lottery and you prayed, really prayed hard before the drawing that you would win. The day of the drawing you sit on the edge of your seat to see if your prayer was answered. And…you win! You win the 100 million dollar pay out! Would that change your prayer life going forward? You would believe that God heard your prayers and loved you. Isn’t it funny, because in Christ, we have received more than 100 million dollars! He is the ultimate answer to every prayer. Ephesians 1:3-4 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.” God answered our most desperate prayer in Christ before we ever knew we needed to utter it! Isn’t that amazing?
We have been given Christ’s righteousness and holiness and that is the starting place for our prayers. Because of Christ’s amazing gift to us, Hebrews 4:16 says, “let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in our time of need." Wow! It is crazy to think we have the privilege to approach the throne of God with confidence. 1 John 5:14-15 confirms this, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.”
I love what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 1:19-20: “For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, whom we proclaimed among you…was not Yes and No, but in him it is always Yes. For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.” Regardless of how God chooses to answer our prayers in this life, we know the ultimate Yes and Amen have been spoken by God in Christ. We can pray crazy, passionate prayers to our God, with such trust and confidence that if He did not withhold our salvation, He will never withhold from us any other good or perfect gift.
I will confess that this truth sounds great, but is incredibly difficult to live out. When it seems like God has withheld something from us that we have prayed for, perhaps for years, it is easy to slip into unbelief and start thinking that He has not heard or does not care. We have to recognize this wrong thinking and not let it take root. Psalm 77:1 refutes this lie directly: “I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and he will hear me.”
I have wrestled with these truths for many years. My mom has been in a wheelchair for over 20 years with MS, even though my dad felt God speaking to him clearly a few years after her diagnosis that she would be healed. Many people (including myself) and others in my parents church have had dreams of my mom walking. Today, she still sits in a wheelchair crippled by a horrible disease. However, as I have prayed over and over and wrestled with the Lord about His goodness and faithfulness, I have come to know these truths more clearly than ever. My faith has grown and not atrophied or died. I believe more firmly than ever that God is good and faithful and loving, even when our prayers have not been answered as we would like.
May we press on to know the Father heart of our God, knowing fully that we have already won more than the Lottery!
Written by: Angie Thomas
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