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The Spirit of Prayer: Answered Prayer Series

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Today’s answered prayer series comes from the late Ravi Zacharias’s book “The Logic of God.” While it isn’t a story of a specifically answered prayer, Ravi does address questions that many of us struggle with when we feel like our prayers are not being answered.

“I marvel at the impact of praying with a hurting person. I have prayed many times with someone who has claimed to be a skeptic and is living in a manner that supports that claim, only to finish my prayer and open my eyes to see tears in his eyes. Although prayer remains a mystery to all of us but especially to one who lives apart from God, I have observed again and again that even the hardened heart retains a longing for the possibility of communicating with God.

It is not my intention to deny the great disappointments of unanswered prayer, but let us look at what God intends prayer to be. The most definitive passage is what is often called the Lord’s Prayer, or, as some scholars like to call it, the Disciples’ Prayer. The highly significant first words carry the weight of all of prayer: ‘Our Father who art in heaven.’ ‘Our Father’ we recognize, at least implicitly, two truths: the nearness of God as heavenly Father, and the sovereignty of God as the One who controls everything. As soon as you cry out in prayer, “Heavenly Father” you are recognizing His presence in your life.

After the Lord’s Prayer and as His conclusion to it, Jesus told us that God would give the Holy Spirit, His indwelling presence, to those who ask for it (Luke 11:13). It is not spoken in the form of a question — it ends with an exclamation point! God will give the gift of the indwelling presence of the holy God to any who ask for it —this is an absolute certainty! You can count on it!

Sadly, we hear so little of this today. We have turned prayer into a means to our ends and seldom wait on God’s response long enough to think about what He wants for us in that very moment. By refusing the evidence of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to one particular gift, we have robbed people of the Holy Presence that prompts us in prayer, prays for us when we don’t have the words to pray for ourselves, and comforts us in our times of need.

The paramount need today is the indwelling presence of God. In this incredible twist, the indwelling presence of God, the Holy Spirit, makes God both the Enabler of our prayers and the Provider of answers to those prayers. More than anything else, this is what prayer is about.”

Sources:
Zacharias, Ravi. “The Logic of God.” Ravi Zacharias 2019

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