Dear Friend, Are you waiting for an answer to a prayer you have placed before the Lord? Is it an urgent petition that needs a rather immediate response? Does His reply seem delayed? Sometimes, we may be reluctant to pray about a situation, wondering whether the Lord actually hears us. Other times, we have already prayed, but no answer seems to be coming. At such times, rather than doubting or wavering, we can encourage ourselves and strengthen our resolve with one unshakable reality: God is the One Who answers.
A Helpful Reminder
A few weeks ago, I was re-reading (for the umpteenth time) Derek Prince’s classic book, Shaping History through Prayer and Fasting. As always happens, the Lord used a portion of Derek’s teaching to provide me with a helpful reminder about God’s faithfulness in my life. In a section subtitled, “Isaiah’s Great Fasting Chapter,” Derek was sharing truths from Isaiah 58. The following quote is what the Lord used to inspire me once again: “In verse 9, Isaiah described the blessing of answered prayer: ‘Then shalt thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, Here I am’ (Isaiah 58:9). Here is God at man’s disposal, ready to answer every petition and supply every need.” What a wonderful realization! The Lord is ready to “answer every petition and supply every need.” It’s always good to remember that God is indeed the One Who answers.
A Prayer Experiment
Is this a strong encouragement to you as well? Is there a prayer request lingering in your heart? Or something you’ve already asked, and you’re waiting for His answer? I came to faith in Christ in the Pittsburgh area in 1965 through an evangelical organization called Young Life. In my early connection with that group, I discovered that it had a strong link with another great organization, The Pittsburgh Experiment, a market-place ministry founded in 1955 by Rev. Sam Shoemaker, Rector of Calvary Episcopal Church. Sam had a lofty goal: he wanted “to make Pittsburgh as famous for God as it was for steel.” One of the ways Sam impacted the lives of business leaders was a very simple tactic which he called the “30-day prayer experiment.” To someone who was searching spiritually, Sam would offer to join with them for 30 days of prayer about a specific need. He challenged them to trust God to answer within that time frame. Amazingly, He almost always did!
Deep in My DNA
I guess this is one of the reasons for my deep trust in the One Who answers. It was infused in my spiritual DNA very early on. And that trust has continued to this day. Regularly, one of the main themes I share with the people I know and love is the truth of Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know.” When I did a study of the first part of that verse, tracing it all through the Bible, I found that almost everywhere God says, “Call to Me,” it is followed by His promise: “and I will answer you.” Do you believe that for your situation? That He is the One Who answers?
The Right Motive
In much of his teaching, Derek Prince focused on how God answers prayer. He often stressed that although the Lord is ready to respond, there are conditions we must meet. This is the core of the Isaiah 58 passage cited earlier—asking with the right motive. The following excerpt from a radio series by Derek, “How to Pray and Get What You Pray For, Part 2,” sheds helpful insight on that aspect of our topic.
The Lord looks at the heart. He searches our motives. God not only checks to see if our prayer request is a good one; He is also concerned as to why we want it. James chapter 4, verse 2 NASB, says: “You do not have because you do not ask.” This tells us one simple, practical reason why people don’t get what they want from God: they don’t ask. Looking back at my own life, I recognize many times when I went without what God would willingly have granted me—simply because I never asked. However, that’s not the only reason. In verse 3, James also says: “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.” Praying with the wrong motive may be one possible reason God will not grant our request, even though what we pray for may be good in itself. So, we ask: “What is the right motive for praying?” In John chapter 14:13 NASB, Jesus says: “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” Here we have a comprehensive promise: that whatever we ask, Jesus will do. But please notice the basis on which He will do it: “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” One right motive for praying is that the answer may bring glory to God.
Trust and Faith
This is helpful clarification, isn’t it? It tells us how to pray properly. Are you ready to take a step of trust and faith? To ask the Lord—or remind Him—about the answer you so desperately need? Let’s come to Him now, believing Him to be the One Who answers.
Lord, You are my only hope, the only One I can turn to right now. This matter confronting me is way beyond my level of faith. It seems like an impossible, insurmountable barrier facing me. The only step I can hope to take right now, is to bring it to You, placing it in Your capable hands. So, I bring it before You again, Lord. I hand it over to You—trusting You to answer my cry; believing I will hear You respond, “Here I am.” Father, I affirm my belief that You are the One Who answers. I place my full trust and faith in You right now—thanking You in advance for your reply, and asking You to get all the glory through Jesus for the answer You provide. Amen.
We Join with You
You don’t have to tell us the details of the need you just expressed to the Lord. That’s between you and Him. But please know that all of us here at Derek Prince Ministries are pulling for you. Certainly, if you want to call or write, letting us know about your “prayer experiment,” we would be glad to hear about it. We are standing with you! May we also supply you with faith-building materials in connection with this prayer need? If you would like the message, “How to Pray and Get What You Pray For, Part 2,” it is yours, free of charge, just use the download link below. (By the way, in a monthly letter a few months ago, our offer was the first part of this 2-week radio series—so this will give you Part 2 as well.) Serving you is our great privilege. Every contact with you is a welcome opportunity for us to express our thanks for the wonderful way you are standing with us. Your prayers and financial support enable us to continue this vital ministry to many around the world. Thank you for your partnership with us, and thanks as well for your generosity toward us.
His Answer is on the Way
You and I have taken a bold step together today—expressing our trust and faith in our Father in heaven as the One Who answers. Let’s watch expectantly for the Lord to move in amazing ways over the next 30 days. May you and I hear Him say, “Here I am.” Sam Shoemaker used to say that in the course of the “30-day prayer experiment,” one of two changes would take place. Either God would specifically answer the request in an unmistakable way, or he would dramatically change the heart of the person praying. Both results are wonderful and remarkable—and they go hand in hand as living proof that the Lord’s care is directed toward us. Why? Because He truly is the One Who answers.