Ask: Why Does God Answer Prayer?
Why does God answer prayer? We have all asked ourselves this at one point or another. All of us, knowingly or unknowingly, have tried to convince God that we are good enough to have our prayers answered. But here is an invaluable truth: God answers prayer based on who He is, not on who we are. He is not up there, looking down at us, saying, “Well, I was going to answer that prayer but since you messed up, I guess I won’t.” He is for us, all the time. It’s because He is an awesome God.
Let’s look at Psalm 23:1-6 (NKJV). It says: “The LORD is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” This is God’s character. He leads us to restoration, peace, and goodness, for His name’s sake. Not for your name’s sake; for His. He isn’t depending on you to be “good enough,” so throw that idea right out of your head. God is here for you because of His goodness, His righteousness – not your behavior.
God Answers Prayer Because:
- He is my Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me” (John 10:14 NIV). God is Jehovah Raah – He is our shepherd. Psalm 23:1 (NKJV) reminds us: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want.” A shepherd protects his sheep without ceasing, and God is always with us, communing with us if we let Him, and he only wants what is best for us. “He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters” (Psalm 23:2 NKJV). God knows what we need and He is for us.
- He is my Peace. God is our Jehovah Shalom; He is our God and our peace. John 14:27 (NIV) says: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” God gives us peace the way the world can never give us. His peace isn’t derived from our circumstances or our behavior; it comes from his perfect love. Perfect love drives away fear, and God’s love is absolutely perfect and always constant.
- He is my Righteousness. God is our Jehovah T’sidkenu, our righteousness. 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NLT) declares: “For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” Thankfully, we don’t have to earn our righteousness. Jesus was the perfect sacrifice for our sins – past, present, and future – and we don’t have to work from a place of earning righteousness. He is our righteousness – and that is our starting point.
- He is my Defender. He is our Jehovah Nissi, our banner of victory. Often we pray out of desperation rather than from a place of victory. Psalm 20:7 (ESV) declares: “Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” Our God is on our side. His love for you is overwhelming and you have victory in Him. Consider Romans 8:35-37 (NLT): “Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? As the Scriptures say, For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep. No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.” This is something we often lose sight of: we are already victorious and God is our defense. How differently we live when we keep that in the forefront of our minds and hearts.
When we fully recognize that God is our victory, our peace and righteousness, and our protector, some of the things we think we need seem irrelevant. God provides us our daily bread, and He knows our needs better than we do ourselves. He answers our prayers because He is a magnificent God who loves us completely, not because we are perfect people (thankfully, since none of us are perfect!). Remember that God is your shepherd, peace, righteousness, and defender because of who He is, not because you do all the right things.