Luke 11:5-13 NIV
“Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”
“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.“
“Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
I don’t know about you but this is one of the passages that comes to my mind when I pray and ask God to open the minds and hearts of family, relatives and friends that haven’t asked Jesus into their lives as Lord and Saviour. Sometimes I even add the statement, “Father, I’m knocking on your door.” I’m pretty sure He knows what I mean.
Sometimes our prayers aren’t answered immediately for a reason that is unknown to us. Sometimes God is trying to teach us something that we haven’t even entertained or thought of and sometimes He is using a situation to draw us closer to Himself. Sometimes He is waiting for us to do our part so that He can do His part. We plant a seed, He brings it to life.
I’ve seen enough delayed answers to prayer in my life to know that when I have thought that the door was shut, He opens it after I had given up hope He would do so, sometimes at the very last minute when I thought that it was beyond hope. Because I have an analytical mind, I have a tendency to want to hammer out each process so that I can obtain an expected result by following the right process. How has that worked out for me you ask? Not so much.
There are a number of areas that seem to fall within this realm of asking God to do things for us. Things like physical healings, spiritual gifts, saving family members and friends are among these areas. God is sovereign within each of these areas and if life experience has taught me anything, God is not about to embrace our way of doing things.
There’s a reason for this of course. God doesn’t want us to focus on a process that puts Jesus to the sideline, He wants us to keep focused on Him, our dependency on Him, our need for Him, in all that we do. Remember how Jesus said that without Him we could do nothing (John 15:5)? The minute that we start focusing on a methodology that facilitates healings or signs and wonders, human nature being what it is, there is a tendency to take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on the continuance of the manifestations. And if God is not forthcoming, the Prince of the this world, is more than willing to accommodate.
Matthew 7:21-23 NIV “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’
Now I’ve seen and experienced manifestations of the Gifts of the Spirit but surprisingly enough, not one of these manifestations ever took place with any forethought or anticipation of, on my part. That’s God’s sovereignty in action, He decides, not us. He initiates, not us. There’s a lesson there if you look for it. And always, without exception, the particular manifestation of the Gifts of the Holy Spirit have been edifying for the Church and in line with God’s Word, with decency and order prevalent.
Unanswered prayer, especially with regard to our loved ones who are not saved, is difficult at best. But like Jesus explained in this parable, sometimes our persistence is needed, to trust in God, even when the evidence of an answer is still outstanding.
Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!