Answers to Prayers

1 John 5:13
We are confident that He hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him (v.14).

Two answers to prayer. Two perfect answers. The
first came after many of us had prayed for a young
adopted girl from Ethiopia. Before she was adopted,
tests showed that she was HIV positive. After her
adoption, however, subsequent tests revealed no signs
of HIV. We rejoiced! The second answer came after a
friend’s cancer returned. This week she entered hospice.
Not the answer we wanted. The disease is poised to
claim her life soon. We grieve. Yet she still rejoices in
God and shows an unwavering faith. Both answers have
brought glory to God.

The apostle John wrote a letter that included
instructions for how to pray—how to seek answers from
God. He taught, “We are confident that [God] hears us
whenever we ask for anything that pleases Him”
(1 John 5:14). Believers in Jesus (v.13) have free access
to God and His wisdom. But notice that the focus of our
prayers should be His honor and glory, acknowledging
that He hears us and will give us “what we ask for”
(v.15). I’ve experienced this reality both with my friends’
adopted daughter and with my friend whose cancer
returned. How?

Jesus said, “You can ask for anything in My name,
and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the
Father” (John 14:13). When we pray in Jesus’ name,
we’re praying in Jesus—seeking His desires and His
wisdom. We’re praying to the Father because of the access given to us by the
Son. We’re praying that whatever the outcome, it will honor Jesus and “bring
glory to the Father” (v.13).

There is “great power” in prayer (James 5:16). God hears us, and He will
respond. When He does, however, we must be ready to accept answers that
aren’t necessarily what we want, but that bring Him glory. —Tom Felten

Read Mark 14:36. What does this verse reveal about what our ultimate
focus should be as we seek answers to prayer?

How have you responded to some recent answers from God? Why
is it vital that we pray in Jesus’ name?