Does God really answer prayer? When you ask Him for wisdom or knowledge regarding a particular issue, does He tell you, or do you have to keep stumbling about in the dark?
“To the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 3:10)
This verse refers to God’s manifold wisdom of including Jew and Gentile in the plan of salvation, which He has revealed to the church, and which the church makes known, by living it out, to all of creation. But what about the everyday issues we experience? Does God share His wisdom with us regarding these things?
God is the one who is ultimately wise, and it is from Him that we get wisdom, knowledge and understanding. I Samuel 2:3 tells us “…the LORD is the God of knowledge…” and in Genesis 18:17, God’s comment regarding Abraham, “…Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing…” reveals His heart toward all of His people. We are instructed in James 1:5, “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally [freely] and without reproach [without scolding us for it], and it will be given to him.” God loves us! He wants to share His wisdom, knowledge and understanding with us. Yet frequently when we have a problem, do we ask Him to help? And when we ask, do we really expect a solution?
Some four years ago, I began having pain in my legs. Because this coincided with a short period of work outside of the home that required me to be on my feet for hours, I attributed it to varicose veins that had worsened. But rather than going away after treatment, the pain increased. This past year, I injured my left hip, and the pain became so severe that I cried some nights, even after taking quite a bit of pain medication. I ruefully referred to my physical demise as the quickest aging process in history.
In my desperation, I finally called out to God and asked Him to make it go away. I don’t think I can honestly say I really thought He would, because I do not believe that His people never suffer physically. I even subsequently forgot about it, but He did not.
Around this time, I also began to get more obvious wrinkles. One day I accidentally stumbled across a book on that topic at the bookstore that someone had not put back in its place. It presented quite a bit of information about the various processes that go on at the subcutaneous level with free-radicals and the like—quite a bit more than I was interested in, but I forced myself to read much of it. One bit of information that stuck in my mind was that Vitamin C, in addition to being an anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, also helps cells repair themselves. Please understand that at this point I was not searching for a cure for my pain—I was simply looking for a way to avoid wrinkles! Yet God does answer prayer, and sometimes in unusual ways.
The comment about Vitamin C later came back to me, and I wondered if I was getting wrinkles because I stopped taking the supplement several years ago. So, I did some research and decided to start using it again. By the third day I noticed that I hadn’t needed to take any pain medication for several days, and now, even on days when I am constantly on my feet, one ibuprofen is enough to completely make the pain go away.
My purpose for sharing this experience is to encourage you to ask God for help, because He cares when we suffer and knows the solution. He created the universe; He can give you the wisdom, knowledge and understanding to alleviate your problem. In my case, He answered a prayer that even I didn’t really expect Him to do anything about—I asked Him to make the pain go away, and He made it go away! I did not research the issue; I did not pursue it at all and even forgot I had asked, but through a completely different interest, God caused me to stumble upon some information which ended my suffering.
Jesus urges, “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks received, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:7-11) God wants to give us answers to our problems; regardless of what they are, let us not be presumptuous to assume He will not help, but ask!
Thank You that You are the God of knowledge and that manifold wisdom is Yours. Help us to ask, so it will be given to us, to seek, so we will find, and to knock, so it will be opened to us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.