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FIRST-PERSON: Getting ‘my way’ with God — Part 3

DORA, Ala. (BP)—Having set forth why it’s imperative for our way to be God’s way and some initial ideas for why we don’t receive a “yes” when we ask the Lord for some things in Parts 1 and 2, let’s look at more specific facets of how God answers prayer.

For starters, sometimes He simply doesn’t act immediately, and our impatience causes us to assume we’re getting a “no.” There are some deep desires of my heart that I’m asking Him for that I have yet to see a “yes” to, but I firmly believe that the answer is going to be “yes,” and right now I’m simply in the waiting period.

I remember the 20 long years that my husband Larry and I -– and many others, I’m sure –- prayed for the salvation of Larry’s dad, Travis. One night as our house was filled with college and career students from the discipleship training class we were teaching, our phone rang with the joyous news that Travis had given in to the pleading of his grandson Jason and attended a church service during which the Lord gloriously transformed him into a new creation in Jesus.

We had known that we had no one else who could answer our prayer and nowhere else to turn, so we waited and continued asking. And 20 years later, God said, “Yes.” One thing you will never have a reason to doubt: It is always God’s will for a person to be saved.

Among others Scriptural promises, we trusted in what 1 John 5:14-15 told us: “Now this is the confidence we have before Him: whenever we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, we know that we have what we have asked for.”

And that brings us to a key reason why some people don’t get “yes” to their prayer requests: They simply stop asking.

In Luke 11:5-13, Jesus told about a man coming to his neighbor’s door and asking him for bread in the middle of the night. The man didn’t get what he asked for at first, so he kept on asking. At last, Jesus said, he received what he had requested “because of his persistence” (verse 8, HCSB). And in case anyone missed the point of the importance of being persistent, Jesus added, “… so I say to you, keep asking….” (verse 9). Don’t give up when you know in your heart that what you’re asking for is in alignment with the will of God.

At other times, we don’t get a “yes” because we aren’t living obediently according to His commandments. 1 John 3:21b-22 states: “… we have confidence before God, and can receive whatever we ask from Him because we keep His commands and do what is pleasing in His sight.” If you want that kind of confidence in God’s answers to your prayers, then please Him by being a consistent believer.

And sometimes we don’t get a “yes” because we have unconfessed sin in our lives. Does this mean we’re continuing to do these things? Not necessarily. It may simply mean that while we may have stopped committing these sins, we have never asked the Lord to forgive us for having done them in the first place.

1 Peter 3:12, part of a passage quoting from Psalm 34:12-16, states: “… the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are open to their request. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

There’s one more reason I want us to take a look at in Part 4. For now, though, examine your heart. See if anything stands between you and a perfectly clear relationship with the Savior. And if you find anything lingering, ’fess it up and get rid of it. Get in position, folks: He really does want to pass you a blessing!
Judy Woodward Bates is an author, speaker and TV/radio personality. Visit her website at:www.bargainomics.com.

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  • Judy Woodward Bates