Does God answer your prayers? Does He actually help in your day-to-day interactions and activities, and provide for your needs?
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33)
Years ago, I used to debate with one of my uncles about why we can know with certainty God is real; one of my primary arguments was His track record of my answered prayer. Certainly, not every request has been granted–there are several biggies that haven’t been–but God isn’t a genie who exists to give us what we want. He has a plan for each of our lives which we do not necessarily comprehend at the moment, and there will be times we do not seem to get a “yes” answer–it may not be best in light of eternity, or perhaps God is allowing another person the freedom to choose right or wrong.
But I can say with certainty that the million and one ways He does respond far outweighs any statistical probability. Mathematically, you’d expect a 1:1 ratio of favorable to unfavorable outcomes, were God not a player here. Yet experientially, I find that almost 100% of my pleas seem to get answered. Granted, most of them are absurd little requests in the grand scheme of things–stuff you wouldn’t expect a heavenly Father to care about. Things like helping me find something I can’t for the life of me seem to locate–yet rather than be bothered by my mundane frustrations, He seems to take joy in helping when I call out to Him. And there are other examples.
I manage several residential rental buildings, one of which is in need of a new bathroom vanity. I had had my eye on a modern, black, off-the-floor clearanced-out unit for $230.00 at the local supplier–which was already half off the original price of about $400.00–for several weeks. Because we had just gotten our daughter set for studying in Japan, I was concerned about the cost, and when I returned yesterday, was dismayed to find that rather than having been marked down, the top was now missing. I asked a passing associate, who agreed to replace it with an attractive still-in-the-box top for the same price, so I went to pay for the purchase. It turned out that the set was reduced to $105.00, and they would still give me the new top to go with it, too, for that price!!!
Now, I know, some will say I just got a good deal. But God knew my concerns, and He knew my finances. He knew I didn’t really have the money at the moment for this purchase, but that without it this unit could not be finished and rented, and He was merciful. Yes, sometimes God helps us by giving us the wisdom to be financially frugal, but sometimes He also orchestrates things behind the scenes to help us out.
Earlier, driving into Chicago, I had listened to a sermon on the radio involving just such a situation with the Biblical Esther. God gave her the understanding not to ask for the saving of her people from extermination at the first banquet she threw for the king, yet between that one and the next, He allowed circumstances to change (Mordecai’s foiling of the plot on the king’s life coming to the king’s attention) that made the his heart more open to granting her request! Regardless of the way God does it, He does care for us.
Yet another example concerns our daughter. About two weeks ago I was told I would need two hip replacement surgeries; several days later we were notified that our daughter’s name was submitted for consideration by her university for $400 of the $625 support we are to provide her each month. It’s as if God is saying, “Don’t worry; I can provide for her!” And while she hasn’t actually been notified that she’s been awarded these funds, it evidences the fact that God really does own the cattle on a thousand hills and IS FULLY CAPABLE OF PROVIDING EVERYTHING HIS PEOPLE NEED. Moreover, He has promised to do so.
So, does God answer your prayers–even your mundane, seemingly insignificant ones? Does He help those who love Him–YOU, if you’re seeking after His righteousness and concerned about His kingdom? Of course He does!
Thank You that You love us. Thank You that our needs are not too insignificant to You; that You are pleased to help us out with our little troubles as well as our big. Just help us keep our eyes on You–on living holy lives and being used for the furtherance of Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen!