A Prayer-Answering God
Vol: 66 Issue: 21 Wednesday, March 21, 2007
It is hard to remember a more welcome headline that yesterday’s “Missing Scout Found Alive!” A twelve-year old Boy Scout spent four days and three nights in sub-freezubg temperatures high in the North Carolina mountains.
I watched Kent Auberry speak to a news conference about his son, where he related that Michael really didn’t want to go on this camping trip. But his dad was so sure that Michael would have a good time that he struck a bargain with him.
If Michael went on the camping trip and discovered he didn’t have a good time, his dad would give him five dollars!
As I watched and listened, I felt hot tears sting my eyes. I could only imagine what the poor guy was going through. The guilt he was feeling was palpable; it was clear he was second-guessing what would, under ordinary circumstances, have been a perfectly acceptable compromise aimed at ensuring his son had the learning experience.
Under any other circumstances, it would have been good parenting. I would be willing to be Mr Auberry was feeling pretty good about himself as a dad.
Until Michael turned up missing. The poor guy. I immediately hit my knees in prayer; both for the dad, and for the missing Boy Scout. I prayed that Kent Auberry would be able to make good on his five-dollar debt and that his son would be found alive and well.
I claimed the Bible’s promise; “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.” (1st John 5:14-15)
The Lord heard my prayer, as I knew He would, and I realized at that moment that I was (surprisingly) confident that young Michael would be found alive. A few hours later, the news alert contained some good news for a change: “Missing Scout Found Alive!”
Praise the Lord.
It may seem somewhat presumptuous of me to claim that this young man was found alive as a result of my specific prayer. I realize that there were probably multiplied millions who prayed as I did.
But the only prayer that I am certain of was my own. And the only relationship with God of which I am certain is my own. I know that my God is my Father, and that His promise is that it is His good pleasure to give me the kingdom, should I ask for it and should it be in my Father’s will. (Luke 12:23)
But I only asked my Father to bring that little boy home safely, I didn’t need the kingdom. And God answered my prayer.
He may have also answered your prayer for Michael Auberry, if you prayed for his safe return. If so, it was just as personal an answer for you as it was for me.
CindyJ posted an anecdote in the member’s forum about answered prayer under the subject heading, “Isaiah 65:24 In Action.” That story was about a hospital worker who prayed for a hot water bottle to save a sick child’s life.
Hours later, the water bottle showed up in that day’s mail run. Whoever packed it had done so months before, but God is not bound by time. He knew what would be needed, and who would be praying for it, and so He set the plan in motion before the need was even recognized. Oh, and He included the doll that was part of the prayer.
There is a wonderful promise in Philippians 4:6-7 that is fulfilled in our lives each and every time we ask God for the impossible and He makes the impossible a reality.
“Be careful for nothing,” says Philippians 4:6. (That doesn’t mean not to be careful, but rather, it means to put your worries behind you) ” . . . but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
That confidence in Him, the Scriptures promise, will impart unto us “The peace of God, which passeth all understanding,” [which] “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
That is why I praise the Lord for answering MY prayer for Michael Auberry. Maybe other people prayed, but the promise of Philippians was for ME. God promised ME the “peace of God which surpasseth all understanding,” and further, that God’s peace; “shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.”
Our God is a prayer answering God. If He can sustain and preserve a little boy lost in the woods through four days and three nights of sub-freezing temperatures, just because I asked Him to, then I can have complete confidence that when I pray for someone’s eternity, He will keep that promise, as well.
1st John says, “if we ask any thing according to His will. . . ” How can we know what God’s will is? The Bible gives us that answer, as well.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, NOT WILLING THAT ANY SHOULD PERISH, but that ALL should come to repentance.” (2nd Peter 3:9)
Do you see it? God’s will is that ALL should come to repentance. And we have His promise that if we ask anything in His Name and according to His will, we can be CONFIDENT that we ALREADY HAVE the petition we desired of Him.
We all have unsaved loved ones. We pray and pray and pray, and, whenever possible, we nag and nag and nag our loved ones until they start avoiding us when they see us coming.
Many of us prayed for Michael Auberry, but not many of us went out to look for him. We left that up to God and to those He sent to accomplish His will.
We may not be the person that the Lord uses to bring somebody to Christ. We may not even be the person who first planted the seed. But we know that between the planting and the harvest, somebody has to do the watering.
Sometimes, that is our whole job. Somebody else plants the seed, we pray for that seed to bear fruit, but then the Lord uses yet someone else to do the harvesting.
It isn’t the seed-planting that takes the most time and energy. Neither is it the harvesting. The real work takes place in between the two, keeping it watered by our believing prayers. But we have His promise that it is our prayers that will not only carry the day, but in so doing, impart to us an inner peace and strengthen our fellowship with our God.
Our God is able to keep a little boy alive in the wilderness. He is equally able to quicken the spirit of our loved ones who currently remain lost in the wilderness — until that loved one comes to repentance, according to His will and in keeping with His promise.
We all have loved ones for whom we pray daily. And we all want to be the one who reaps the harvest.
But note this: I didn’t personally find Michael Auberry. But I prayed someone would. And I was just as happy that somebody else found him as I would have been if it had been me. And he is just as alive as if it had been me who found him.
But the peace comes from knowing that God had never lost him. It just looked that way from where we sit in the here & now. We can have that same assurance concerning our loved ones.
Our God is a prayer-answering God. And He has made no secret of His Will. Take heart. Your prayers are not in vain. Your loved one WILL be saved.
Just keep praying. And know that He is listening.
“Faithful is He that calleth you, who also will do it.” (1st Thessalonians 5:24)