All the promises of God are “yes” and “amen” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:19).
“If you ask anything in my name I will give it thee” (John 14:14).
How can this be? Preposterous ? Many a pastor has said: “I won’t tangle with this or that verse. We’ll skip over it.” But, rest assured, if these statements come from the mouth of God, these are not lies.
God gives us true statements, but not infinite statements. There is more to this statement than He can tell us now. The part He did say is real. We can drop our drooping attitude of disappointment and pray, earnestly and confidently. Cash in our praying doubts for sure heavenly treasure. We can go ahead and voice every prayer that swells within our breast. And we can voice them with expectation.
First He hears us ....
Our prayers do not dissolve into some cosmic mush. Thousands of times in the scriptures He says: “I HEAR you” when you pray. He puts our requests upon His gigantic chessboard, factors them into His huge “main frame computer brain,” and moves history forward in the light of them. It is almost as if He baits us to pray…enjoys the challenge, romps around with happiness in His omnipotence in light of more prayers that just came in. The believer can take it to the bank: our Heavenly Father hears us.
And then He answers us ...
Because God works upon multiple stories at once and with all the factors in the universe in His hand to engineer this way or that, adding our prayers must invariably complicate things. God, however, is no stranger to complications. Millions of prayer requests are no problem at all for Him. He morphs our trembling pleas into seismic benefits to us—far beyond a mere “yes.”
Given enough time, God solves many complications by delays, transfusions of further developments, unexpected twists and surprising better outcomes. In Hebrews 11 we read that “They died, not having received the promise”...yet. Note that He didn’t say the promise was untrue, or over, or that it had become null and void. He still has a thousand years of a millennial reign on earth to go, let alone the life beyond the current “scrolled up” heavens and earth. Aha, some of His answers may come outside of time!
Here is a small parental example of our way of answering our own children’s “prayers.” Thinking about this, that we know, may help rend the veil of the paradox between the magnificent promise and the apparent contradiction of the experience of unanswered prayer.
Johnny requests of his dad a new bell for his bicycle. Six months go by with no answer. Dad waits to not only give Johnny a bike bell, but a complete superior bike and the bell. But to accomplish that, the Dad has to wait until Johnny’s older brother gets his fabulous new touring bike, and then the parent will give the first excellent bike to the younger son. Johnny’s older brother needed that six months to complete earning his savings in order to procure that touring bike. This is only a peek into the logistics required to execute answers within the physical, material plain. Imagine working like this upon the moral/character/spiritual plain for all believers at once! It boggles the mind.
God is continually, lovingly seven chess moves ahead of us. He is yes to us. He is “yes” to a better more advanced, eternal matured self than we can possibly now imagine of ourselves. He has big plans for what he is making of our prayers. God is “yes” to his people, always and forever. Let us bow down and pray.