November 9 - LD 45, Day 5: The Conviction that God Will Answer Our Prayer
by Rev. G. Van Baren

Read: Psalm 115

There is one large question that comes up in connection with prayer. Will God hear and answer me when I pray to Him? The Catechism assures us that He will certainly hear and answer us.

Why bring up this question? The Catechism points out our confession that we are not worthy to be heard and answered by God. That is true.

There are related questions which quickly arise in the mind of the Christian. There are those times when our prayers seem to rise no higher than the ceiling, as someone has expressed it. Simply put, the Christian can easily and quickly, but unjustly, conclude that God does not hear his prayer, or refuses to hear it. That can often be a very devastating conclusion of the Christian. He might despair of God's mercy and grace.

With the above, comes the conclusion that God does not care. He does not answer prayer as He has promised to do. At the least, we might conclude that God is too slow in the answers He gives. We desire an answer right now. But the answer does not come. It may be a prayer for a cure from some serious illness. It might be for sufficient funds to pay off one's debts. But God didn't answer.

Several truths the Christian must remember. Prayers for cures or for seemingly necessary earthly things are not always answered as we might desire. Our prayers must always be with the stipulation, "If the Lord wills..." (Jam 4:15). The fact is that God always sends what is best for His people, for their everlasting welfare in glory. Some requests seem unanswered - for God would teach us patience to await an answer. Has not He taught us in His Word, "all things work together for good to them that love God"? (Rom 8:28) Think of Job. In the loss of virtually everything he had possessed: great riches, many children, he confessed, "the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." (Job 1:21).

The Catechism reminds us that it is for the sake of Christ our Lord that God will hear and properly respond to our prayers. Whether we have health or sickness, riches or poverty, none of these is God's punishment for us. Christ has borne God's wrath, the wrath of hell, for our sins. Our sins are covered by Christ's blood. For Christ's sake, God promises to bless His people in every way. Faith holds fast to that promise of God.