February 5, 2019

Joys of Answered Prayer

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – February 5, 2019

I call on you, my God, for you will answer me; turn your ear to me and hear my prayer.   Psalm 17:6

In 2005, when I was single, I moved to Colorado Springs, Colorado. Six years later, I packed my apartment and moved away. I had sensed God was calling me to leave, but I didn’t want to leave the beautiful mountains and the state that felt like home. Although I was obedient to leave, deep down I didn’t want to go. I prayed God would allow me to return some time in the future.

In 2014, I married and my husband took a job in Chicago. God blessed us greatly while we were there, but I still longed for the mountains. So, I still prayed—for seven years—that He would allow us to return. (My husband had also lived in Colorado.)

At first my prayers were tearful and filled with grief. I felt as if I had left part of my heart in the Rockies. Then, over the years, my prayers slowly changed and turned to the “open-handed” kind. “Lord, I would l really like to go back, but only if it’s your will.” (Life has taught me that I know little of what is best.)

Then, at the end of 2018, a door surprisingly opened for us to move back to Colorado and to the mountains we love. Now, each day when I look out our living room window, or take a drive through the pines, I am amazed and filled with joy.

Recently, I have been thinking about why I have joy and it’s not because my husband and I are living in a place we love. It’s more than that.  

In John 16:24 Jesus told his disciples, “Until now, you have not asked anything in my name. Ask and you will receive and your joy will be complete.”

When I recently read this scripture, I wondered, “Why does asking and receiving result in joy?” Here are three reasons. By receiving through answered prayer. . .

  1. We come to a greater understanding that we don’t have to do life alone, that we are not orphans, and that we have a Father who wants us to be dependent on Him. In this, there is great joy.
  2. We experience a greater conviction that God hears us, sees us, and loves us. In this there is great joy.
  3. We experience joy because we know the Lord wants to give us joy.

Think about that third one for a moment. He wants you to pray and ask so He can give you joy. He isn’t holding back, passively participating in your life, or holding onto His gifts like a stingy Scrooge. He wants to give you joy! Of course, this doesn’t mean God will give you whatever you ask for. He will do what is best because He loves you. And, He isn’t here to serve us by giving us everything we want. We are to serve Him. But He does want you to ask. Just ask.

Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you” (Jeremiah 29:12).

Prayer

Lord, help me to pray courageous prayers, to respond to your invite to ask in your name so that my joy may be full. I want the prayers you answer for me to draw me closer to your heart. Amen.


Application

Commit to pray about a particular need or desire consistently over a period of time.


Related Reading

Mark 11:24; Psalm 102:17; Psalm 141:2


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Your heavenly Father finds great joy in giving you the joy of answered prayer. #WisdomHunters #prayer


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