When my daughter was barely able to talk, she’d stretch her arms above her head, look up into our eyes, and say, “Hold you?” We knew she wanted to be held, and we usually complied. In fact, we tried to meet her every cry at that precious, helpless stage of life because we loved her deeply — and still do!
Just like a parent responds naturally to a child’s cry, the Bible assures us that God responds to our cries and petitions. Our prayers not only give God glory and align our hearts and minds with his sovereign plan, but they are also instrumental in bringing about his plan.
In 2 Kings 20, the prophet Isaiah told King Hezekiah that he would die from his illness. The king responded to this news by pleading with God to spare his life, and God gave him fifteen more years.
Did God change his overall purposes for King Hezekiah, the people of Judah or all of his creation when he answered his prayer? No! We can learn from Hezekiah’s example that God can respond to our prayers and control all circumstances and events without changing his sovereign purpose. God not only commands us to pray, he also promises to answer our prayers as part of his holy plan. Our prayers are the means that he has designed to fulfill his ordained ends.
God is calling you and me to offer him our petitions now so that we can share in his great plan!
“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, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 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 good gifts to those who ask him! (Matthew 7:7-10 NIV)
These Scripture verses are an invitation to confidently approach our heavenly Father who always holds us close to his loving heart. As we grow into his character, we prayerfully seek ways to become more involved in his kingdom-building work in our world.
Jane Hall, NCF National Director