Part 4 - Lesson 8

How God Answers Prayers

When Jesus was here on earth, you remember from earlier lessons, He answered many prayers.

“If You are willing, You can make me clean,” a leper said to Jesus one day.

“Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!,” called the 10 lepers when they saw Jesus later.

“Come, heal my daughter. She is at the point of death,” pleaded Jairus as he found Jesus speaking to the crowds near Cana.

These three prayers were miraculously answered.

There are many other stories in the Bible about answered prayer. Two blind men followed Jesus as He left Jairus’ home, crying, “Son of David, have mercy on us!” After asking them if they believed He was able to cure their blindness, Jesus heard them say, “Yes, Lord.” He touched their eyes and they could see!

Jesus still answers prayers. Sometimes He says, “Yes,” to our prayers. Sometimes He says, “Wait awhile.” And sometimes He says, “No, I have a better idea.” Paul says this is because we don’t even know what to pray for. But if we trust in God, the Holy Spirit will interpret our prayers, and God will answer them in the way that best takes care of our need.

One time when Jesus was teaching near the Sea of Galilee, some people brought a deaf and dumb person to Jesus and begged Him to heal their friend. Jesus put His fingers in the man’s ears, touched his tongue and said, “Be opened.” Immediately he spoke clearly and could hear all that was going on. Here we see that it is important to pray for others as well as for our own needs.

A young woman was in love with a certain young man. She prayed, “Oh, Lord, please let me marry him!” But instead, Jesus let her see that the young man was really selfish and cruel. She decided she would be very unhappy if she married him. Soon, she did not even love him anymore.

Jesus had said, “No,” to her prayer for marriage with that man, but He had said, “Yes,” to her unspoken prayer for happiness.

A young couple were going on a long trip to an important church meeting in another state. They asked God to keep them safe and help them get to the meeting on time.

Almost as soon as they got on the road, they began to have car trouble. They had a flat tire; then they had engine trouble. Finally, they were in a minor accident. While they waited for the car to be fixed, they prayed, “Why did You let all this happen to make us late? The meeting we’re going to is for Your service. Why didn’t You answer our prayer?”

But when they got to the town where the meeting was supposed to be, they found the town had been hit by a tornado. The road they had planned to drive on was torn up, and blocked by fallen trees. If they had been on time, they would have been on the road just as the storm hit. God had answered their prayers, but in a different way from what they expected.

We don’t always learn why certain things happen to us. But if we trust in God, we can always be sure that He is doing what is best for us.

 An old man was very sick. He was in constant pain. He prayed, “God, let me die.”

The man’s daughter did not want to lose her father. She prayed, “Lord,keep him alive.” Whose prayer should God say, “Yes,” to? We don’t know. But if we believe that God is all wise and all loving, we will trust in Him and accept whatever answer He gives.

John wrote: “This is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”

Jesus said, “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and it shall be opened to you.”

When we pray the Lord’s Prayer, we say, “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” Our prayer will always be answered according to His will.

Even when bad things happen, we can be sure that “all things work together for good to those who love God.”

Prayer can help us to understand spiritual things. Jesus said if we need help in understanding the Bible, we should pray, and God will help us to understand.

Paul says, “He Who promised is faithful.” Isn’t it wonderful to know that God is only a prayer away?

On The Bible Trail

You can read the Lord’s Prayer and other things Jesus said about prayer in Matthew 6:5-13. Does God hear the prayers of only the rich and powerful? Psalm 102:17 answers this question. Find what God will do when one of His children prays to Him in Psalm 91:15. See how soon our prayers will be heard. Read Psalm 138:3 and Isaiah 65:24. Look up Lamentations 3:25-26, Psalm 37:7, and 1 Thessalonians 5:17 to learn what we should do if we don’t see the answer to our prayer right away.

Treasure Chest Verse

This verse tells us how important prayer, and faith in prayer, is.

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.” 1 John 5:14