Answer to Prayer

Don’t you just love those passages from the Scriptures that recount dramatic answers to prayer?  Here are a couple of my favorite examples from the book of Acts.  Both instances of prayer display God’s intercession on behalf of His persecuted people by answering their request with His awesome power.

21 So when they had further threatened them, they let them go, finding no way of punishing them because of the people, since they all glorified God for what had been done.  22 For the man was over forty years old on whom this miracle of healing had been performed.  23 And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them.  24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said:  “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, 25 “who by the mouth of your servant David have said:  ‘Why do the nations rage, And the people plot vain things?  26 The kings of the earth took their stand And the rulers gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’  27 “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together 28 to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.  29 Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.”  31 And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness.  Acts 4:21-31

The immediate answer was that the Word of God was boldly proclaimed; God’s answer for the miraculous signs and wonders to bear witness to God’s word is attested to in other passages found in the book of Acts.

12 And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people.  And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.  13 Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.  14 And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, 15 so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them.  16 Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.  Acts 5:12-16

5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.  6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.  7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, come out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.  8 And there was great joy in that city.  Acts 8:5-8

 Another account of answered prayer is the deliverance of Peter from the wicked intentions of Herod, who planned on unjustly executing Peter to placate the Jews.

1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched out his hand to harass some from the church.  2 Then he killed James the brother of John with the sword.  3 And because he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to seize Peter also.  Now it was during the Days of Unleavened Bread.  4 So when he had arrested him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to keep him, intending to bring him before the people after Passover.  5 Peter was therefore kept in prison, but constant prayer was offered to God for him by the church.  6 And when Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison.  7 Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison; and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, “Arise quickly!”  And his chains fell off his hands.  8 Then the angel said to him, “Gird yourself and tie on your sandals”; and so he did.  And he said to him, “Put on your garment and follow me.”  9 So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.  10 When they were past the first and second guard posts, they came to the iron gate that leads to the city, which opened to them of its own accord; and they went out and went down one street, and immediately the angel departed from him.  11 And when Peter had come to himself, he said, “Now I know for certain that the Lord has sent His angel, and has delivered me from the hand of Herod and from all the expectation of the Jewish people.  Acts 12:1-11

These are dramatic examples of God powerfully answering the prayers of His people.  I would like to share with you instances in my own life of seeing God wonderfully and powerfully answering prayer for my family.

First, my believing grandmother singled me out from the rest of my siblings to bless me with her love and attention because she knew that God would save me in answer to her prayers.   When I was a child, well before I was saved, she instructed me to make sure that I shared the gospel with my siblings.  This loving kindness that she gave to me was a balm of healing that lessened the pain of living in a sin ravaged family.  She sent a letter to her daughter, of course my mother, just days before my mother died.  Shortly thereafter my siblings and I were shocked by witnessing a radical change in the demeanor and behavior of our mother.  She died shortly thereafter, my siblings and I believe that she was murdered by our father; we all came to this conclusion independently of one another.  I am still praying for the salvation of my siblings after sharing the gospel with them many times.

I remember those exciting glorious days after I was saved through faith in Jesus Christ.  I exulted in God’s love to me and was so greatly encouraged.  I trusted Him for everything.  During the early days of my second pregnancy, I prayed and asked God for a red-headed girl.  I even named her early on in the pregnancy.  I told everyone that the Lord was going to give me a daughter.  Of course the nurses would tell me that the baby’s heartbeat indicated a boy, but I still held out hope.  The day of her birth was a wonderful testament to God’s kindness and grace in so many ways, but the greatest was the birth of my beautiful red-headed daughter.  I remember promising God that I was going to love and cherish her forever.

During her adolescent years, our daughter became involved with ungodly influences.  She moved in with her friend when she was just eighteen.  Fortunately, that was short lived and while she was there God provided a godly influence for her.  She and her younger brother lived together for a while and then she moved out of the area.  While she was a way, we were encouraged that she completed her education through the community college system and she agreed to live with and help her grandmother.  However, I could see that sin was seeking to dominate her life and destroy her.  I prayed with vehement prayers to God that He would deliver her.  During a visit, I was truly troubled by her attitude and behavior.  When I attended church for encouragement, the message brought nothing but condemnation.  It was while driving home and listening to the bible on CD that I was encourage by God’s Word through this passage found in Galatians chapter six.

1 Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted.  2 Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.  3 For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.  4 But let each one examine his own work and then he will have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another.  5 For each one shall bear his own load.  Galatians 6:1-5 

Then, as I was led by the Lord, I prayed that she would move back up here.  It was after her grandmother died that we were able to rescue our daughter from her dire circumstances.  This all happened by God’s guidance and enablement.  She moved in with her older brother and we saw some improvement, but she was still struggling.  I prayed that she would move in with us, and God brought her home with us.  It was pretty rocky and I can still recall the scars left upon her character by her sinful choices, but God prevailed in her life.  Through answer to prayer she got a good job and has done well with her employment.  We are all grateful for the goodness of God shown to us and our daughter through the wonderful promise that He does hear and answer prayer.  Praise God, last week during our time of worship and fellowship in God’s Word, she testified to the effect of a passage from the Bible upon her attitude and by God’s grace and His Holy Spirit we witnessed a change.

13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.  15 If you love Me, keep My commandments.  16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever—17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.  19 A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me.  Because I live, you will live also.  John 14:13-19

I want to encourage you to share God’s answers to your prayers, those passages from the Bible about prayer that are a blessing to you, and/or your prayer requests in the comments section here or on your own blog.  May God abundantly bless us as we serve Him by blessing and encouraging our brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus Christ.  God bless you:)

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