Tag Archives: guidance

What happens after we pray?

by Richard Mansel, managing editor

We go to God in prayer and plead for his help. What happens next?
In order to answer this question, we must establish some foundation principles.

  • Nothing is too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:17).
  • God is omniscient (1 John 3:20).
  • God never tires (Isaiah 40:28).
  • God will never desert us (Hebrews 13:5).
  • God wants everyone to be saved (John 3:16; 2 Peter 3:9).
  • Sin separates man from God’s care (Isaiah 59:1-2; Psalm 66:18).
  • God listens to the righteous and obedient (James 5:16; Revelation 2:10).
  • Prayer requires humility (Luke 18:10-14).
  • Prayer must be for our own spiritual good (James 4:3).
  • God takes care of Christians (Matthew 6:25-34).
  • God’s concept of time is different than ours (2 Peter 3:8).
  • God’s definition of wealth is different than ours (Matthew 6:25-34).

Christians approach God in prayer, knowing he will reply and do what is best for his children. We trust God completely when we pray (Hebrews 11:6; Matthew 21:20-22).

What happens next is the embodiment of what separates man from God. In his time and in his way, God acts. However, we cannot see him as he moves all the pieces around through his divine providence (Romans 8:28).

God always works his will but we cannot know what is happening behind the scenes. We just have to maintain our faith, trust and confidence. Walking in obedience and seeking his glory, we continue our Christian walk (Ephesians 4:1).

Humans are naturally impatient, so we must resist that urge because God moves in his own mysterious patterns. We cannot look to God as one alternative among many. He must always be first in everything (Exodus 20:3).

Trust God and prayer will accomplish extraordinary things. But, we must allow it to unfold as God desires because Satan will be filling us with doubt (1 Peter 5:8; John 8:44).

Like Job, we must fall back on what we know about God and trust him above everything (Job 19:23-26).

God is always faithful but he has millions of things working at once and we are but one piece in a puzzle that is larger than time. Understand what God is going through and be patient as he works and great blessings will be the result.

 

Jesus Stills the Storms of Life

We cringe when we hear, “Sit down. I have some bad news for you.” We steel our nerves for what is coming. All of us have suffered through hard times, some more cataclysmic than others. It is the most painful aspect of life. We must be able to deal with it in a healthy fashion. John 14:1-6 provides an avenue of comfort.

Jesus knew his death was imminent and sought to prepare his apostles. Jesus would be betrayed by one of their own, he would soon be crucified and all of them would be scattered. These men were in the midst of a storm and Jesus seeks to console them, as only he could.

By studying Jesus’ answer we can learn how to endure our suffering. If we are not a Christian, this lesson will hopefully illustrate what Christians have in Christ. It is a treasure worth pursuing.

First, Jesus is our peace. Jesus begins, “Let not your heart be troubled” (John 14:1, NKJV). Literally, it is “stop letting your heart be troubled.” Hugo McCord translates it, “stop letting your heart be disturbed.” We have power to decide whether we will be crushed by the storms of life or endure them.

While storms batter us, we have more control than we imagine when they come our way. The Apostle Paul said that nothing can “separate us from the love of Christ” (Romans 8:39). The Psalmist wrote, “I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety” (Psalm 4:8).

Second, Jesus is our security. Why should they not be troubled? Jesus says, “trust in God, trust also in me” (John 14:1, NIV). Westcott translates it, “Believe in God, and yet more than this, let your faith find in Me one on whom it can rest.” Jesus knew they needed someone to be there for them to be a constant in the midst of confusion. The Lord is a “refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble” (Psalm 9:9).

Third, Jesus is our hope. Their fear needed reassurance that they would survive these storms. Hope is defined as the “expectation of future good.”

Jesus then goes on to say, “In My Father’s house are many mansions” (John 14:2). Even after his death, their best interest would reside strongly in his heart. He would provide a permanent residence for them. The meaning is not that there will be literal mansions in heaven but that there will be plenty of room for all of us.

No one will have to be turned away because there is no room at the inn.

Jesus wanted them to believe him, wholeheartedly. Seeking to assure them, he says, “if it were not so, I would have told you” (John 14:2). He had never lied to them so his word should be a guarantee (Titus 1:2).

Fourth, Jesus is completeness. After he tells the apostles that he will prepare a home for them he says that they know the way to their new home. Thomas speaks for the others and asks how they can know the way? Jesus adds, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:6).

Jesus would not show them the way, he would come and get them and take them to his home. Isaiah 35:8 calls salvation the “Highway of Holiness.” Scripture is the road map to heaven.

In Christ we can say, “O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” (2 Corinthians 15:55).