As promised, today we will examine three instances in which God answered prayers.
The first case we will look at is from the woman with an issue of blood. Her testimony can be found in Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:25-34 and Luke 8:43-48. For twelve years this woman bled excessively. But, when she heard that Jesus was in town, she pressed through the crowds that surrounded Him, and by faith touched the hem of His garment for healing. The Bible records one prayer that this woman makes to the Father, and she never even utters the prayer. Rather, “she said within herself [thought], If I may but touch the hem of his garment, I shall be whole” (Matthew 9:21). Evidently, this woman was made whole. And from this we can glean an object lesson. At times the trial we may be facing may press us down so much that our prayers do not escape our lips, but God still hears and answers. Another, characteristic of God’s answer to this woman’s prayer, is that it came immediately. Thus, at times God answers our prayer without delay.
The second case is that of Jeshoshaphat’s. This king of Judah and Jerusalem was being triple banked by enemies, namely the children of Moab, Ammon and mount Seir. These enemies are unique, because the first two are family nations of Judah and all Israel. Moab and Ammon are the sons and at the same time grandsons of Lot. See Genesis 19:36-38. Lot is the nephew of Abraham, who is the father of Israel (Genesis 12:1-3, 5). Additionally, God prevented the children of Israel from destroying the children of Moab, Ammon and mount Seir when they were coming out of the land of Egypt (2 Chronicles 20:10). In other words, the same people that were spared from death are trying to inflict it.
Nevertheless, Jeshoshaphat is still in a jiffy, and as his fear begins to consume him, he, “set[s] himself to seek the LORD, and proclaim[s] a fast throughout all Judah. And Judah gather[s] themselves together, to ask help of the LORD” (2 Chronicles 20:3, 4). Thus, here we see a body of people petitioning the Father for victory over their enemies. As they were praying the LORD, through Jahaziel, “a Levite of the sons of Asaph” (2 Chronicles 20:14), delivers a message of encouragement. For not only does God say, Jehoshaphat will be victorious but that “the battle is not [his], but God’s…fear not, nor be dismayed…for the LORD will be with you” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17). How encouraging are these words! Indeed all, Jeshoshaphat had to do was to array the army and himself the way God instructed, and the LORD would fight their battle (2 Chronicles 20:16).
Once again God answers the prayers of His people, for 2 Chronicles 20:22 records, “the LORD set ambushments against the inhabitants of mount Seir, to utterly slay and destroy them,” and then God confused the children of Moab and Ammon and had them kill one another (2 Chronicles 20:22-24). Not a single person against Jeshoshaphat was left alive (2 Chronicles 20:24). From this we learn that God is willing to fight our battles, but we must step out in faith. We must orient ourselves for victory.
The final case study is a scene from the life of Paul. This apostle devoted his life to the ministry of Jesus after being converted (Acts 22:21). Because of his faithfulness, however, to the Lord, the messenger of Satan sought to buffet him with a thorn in the flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7). Three times Paul prayed that God would remove this thorn, and this is how God answered: “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:8, 9). For God would use this affliction to glorify Himself in Paul’s life. There are some infirmities that God allows the devil to mete out to keep us on our knees, and to glorify His name.
In these three case studies we see that God can answer our prayers immediately. Other times, our victory is dependent on our obedience to His command. And other times, God, for our good, says no to our prayer. So, whatever the situation may be, or however hopeless your case may seem, seek the Lord. For He will answer.