Hi, I’m Larry Sparks. I am publisher of Destiny Image, welcome to God Today. God is the God who answers. Sometimes, that sounds like a no-brainer. The day and age in which we live we present prayer as something that is almost a gamble. I want to encourage you to actually study the prayer life of Jesus, specifically how He told His people, and disciples, and followers how to pray. He never has a contingency plan, He never had a plan B. He never said, “You know, if you pray but it doesn’t happen, then you might want to rethink your theology.” Jesus didn’t talk that way. Jesus talked and spoke in such a compelling way concerning prayer. He encouraged us to expect answers. He said, “Ask, seek, knock.” Everything that Jesus spoke about prayer, He encouraged you and I to expect an answer. Why? Because our God is the God who answers.
Immediately, it makes me think of 1 Kings 18. Elijah is having a confrontation with the false prophets of Baal. I love it because the thing in this context that would be validating, that would verify that Jehovah God, Yahweh God is the real God is this: Elijah said this, “You call upon the name of your God, the false god Baal, and I will call upon the name of the Lord. The God who answers by fire, He is God. All the people answered, ‘it is well-spoken.’”
Here is the deal. We get so caught up in the excitement about what is going on in this context which is the god who answers by fire, which He ultimately did. Fire! Woohoo! Fire of God, we love the fire of God. I want to encourage you. The thing that encourages me most about that scripture is not necessarily that God answers by fire, although I love that, it’s that God answers.
He is the God who answers. I feel over you right now, you might think, “That is a great scripture, Larry. I don’t need God to answer by fire, I need God to answer by healing, I need God to answer by deliverance. I need God to restore something that is absolutely, impossibly broken. He is the God who answers. You know why He answers? There are three reasons why God wants to answer, why we should actually press in for a culture of answered prayer in the Church and in our lives.
I’ll give you three reasons. 1) He wants to actually reveal He is a good Father who meets our needs. At a very minimal level, Father God is a good Father who meets our needs. I don’t want my child sick, my daughter. When she gets sick I want to see her healed. In the same way God wants to meet those needs that He has clearly promised to take care of in scripture. It doesn’t end there. 2) The second dimension is this. God wants to meet your needs so you have a testimony to share with other people. When you talk about God wanting to meet your needs, this testimony says to this person, “Wow, if God could do that for you. He is no respecter of persons, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, He could do the same for me.” That is an amazing byproduct of answered prayer. It arms you with a great testimony.
Folks, it doesn’t end there. It doesn’t end with God meeting your needs and you getting a testimony. You know what the great purpose of answered prayer is? 3) The heart of God, the agenda of God is that the Earth would be filled with His glory. From the book of Numbers, onward, we see the heart of God is to fill the Earth with His glory. One of the key ways He does that – signs, wonders, miracles, answered prayer. It is not just me getting something, although He is a good Father. It is not just me getting a testimony to share with other people, although He gives me a testimony. 3) When you and I have answered prayer, and when the Church becomes known as a culture where people pray, and we experience the God who answers, then that actually testifies that while He is real, He is alive, and He is filling the Earth with His glory. I encourage you. Father, for my friend watching right now, stir their heart to pray once more, to pray with expectation, and expect God to answer. To bless them, to give them a testimony, but to use their answered prayer. To be participatory in filling the Earth with His glory. In Jesus’ name.