Thursday, July 21, 2011


God will in fact listen to the prayers of His own. He does not tell us to pray merely for moral support to remind ourselves that God is there and in control while God just does what He wants anyway. No, God actually listens to your prayers, sanctifies them, and answers them. And His answer is always yes.

First, God listens. He has commanded us to pray, and He promises to hear us. So He listens. He listens to the pleas of mercy for your body and your soul. Sometimes it feels like your body is getting worse and worse. You see loved ones die, and you wonder if God really heard their prayers. But God did hear the prayers of His saints which have gone before us. And He does hear the prayers of the saints today.

God sanctifies our prayers. Paul writes in Romans 8:26 that the Spirit intercedes for us when we pray. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us through His Word and Sacraments, and He thus sanctifies our prayers. So you might pray that Susie Smith will go out with you. The Spirit might sanctifies that prayer that God would provide for you a good wife, not necessarily Susie Smith. Or maybe the Spirit sanctifies that prayer that God would simply provide for your bodily needs. And then the Holy Spirit teaches us by His Word what we are to pray for by pointing us, for example, to the prayer which our Lord Jesus taught us. Finally, the Holy Spirit strengthens you through the forgiveness of sins in Baptism, Absolution, and the Lord's Supper. This forgiveness is not only the ultimate answer to prayers, but by this, He reminds you who your Heavenly Father is, that He is a God who forgives. And if He has forgiven you, you may know that He wants to hear your prayers.

God answers prayers. St. John describes Jesus in chapter 17 praying to the Father. He asks that the Father would glorify Him, and for your sake, God glorified Him by first of all having Him lifted up on the cross. He was lifted up, and in this way, God loved the world by giving His only Son into death for the sins of all. He gives to all believers the power to be called children of God. So if God answered the prayer of His only Son, and you are united with His Son in Baptism, God therefore certainly answers your prayers. What a thing for Jesus to pray for! He prayed that the entire plan of Salvation would be fulfilled in Him! Hanging on a cross and pierced for our transgressions, we see that God has given to Jesus what He has desired and asked for. He desired death so that you may live! That is His glory, and that is God's answer to you! So pray! Because God answers.

Finally, God always says yes to His believers. When your prayers don't seem like God answered them, you might hear explanations from others that God answered, but He simply said no or not yet. But God says yes! Jesus is His yes to us! In Jesus, we find healing from all sickness, the raising of the dead, the feeding of our bodies and our souls, and even the calming of storms. All of these miracles of Jesus prove His absolute authority over the remnants of sin. So whenever you are assailed by bodily sickness, financial burden, or family problems, ask yourself this question: Am I forgiven of my sins? And to find that answer, look to the Word of God! The answer is yes! Yes you were forgiven, and you hear it whenever you go to Church! The cause of all family problems, diseases, and every heartache is sin, and it was placed on Christ. He gives you His righteousness in exchanged, and from this flows every good thing, and everything will be added unto you.

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