Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Psalm 141:1-2 O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! 2 Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!
I need answers!
We all need answers at times, but where we go to find them can make all the difference in our lives. There seem to be many options for us – from worldly philosophies and self-help gurus to escape mechanisms like drugs, alcohol, and sex. All are available to us, but all any of them do is provide an escape that keeps us from facing the real need. However, I can assure you that the real answer is found in only one place. In Psalm 141, King David declares and demonstrates that only real option is to call out to God in prayer.
But how can we know that God will answer us when we call to Him? Let me give you some basic truths that may help. Read Matthew 7:7-12.
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”
First, God is the source of all your answers. Whatever your need, God has promised to answer it. Do you need the provision of your basic needs for living? Ask, and it will be given to you. Do you need wisdom and understanding for your current situation? Seek, and you will find it. Do you need doors opened for you to move ahead in your life in serving God? Knock, and they will be opened. Every need you have will be met with the response of God’s provision, power, purpose and protection. He is the source of all your answers.
Second, His answers are significant, because they are the expression of His endless love for you. Every answer He gives is a good and perfect gift from His heart. When you pray with a humble heart of dependence upon your loving Father in heaven, and seek to know His will and purpose for your life, then every answer is a manifestation of His love for you that will result in the experience of good.
The Apostle Paul understood this when he wrote “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:26-28)
The answer may not make sense to you today, and it may not be what you expected or had hoped for, but it is God’s best for you. God cannot deny His nature, and every answer you receive is the expression of His love to you that will result in His glory and ultimate good.
Third, the starting point of receiving God’s answers is to ask correctly. Jesus uses the illustration of a son asking his father for food, and showing how the father would respond in love. After making His point that God’s love motivates His answers as well, He then makes this crucial point – in everything you ask for, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.
We can be assured of God’s answers when we ask with the right motive. What is the right motive? The glory of God and service to others. Isn’t it interesting that the verse we call the Golden Rule is connected to the principle of prayer in Jesus’ teaching? It’s also very interesting that the majority of our prayers are self-centered. James, the brother of Jesus, wrote, When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. (James 4:3) The starting point of all our asking is to be for the benefit of others, not self.
All basic needs will be provided when we ask for them in the context of using them to serve others. All wisdom and understanding will be granted to us when we seek it on behalf of others. Doors of opportunity will be opened for us when we knock with the intent of ministering the grace of God to others. When we come before the Father in heaven with our requests, let them be motivated by a humble desire to serve Him according to His purpose for our lives, and we will receive everything we need to do it. His love will respond.