Does God Answer Prayer?

Dan Lenington on October 13, 2016

Underground Church

Does God answer prayer? Of course the Bible says he does. But sometimes when we pray about something and then it works out well, we can also be tempted to think that it was just a coincidence. Either everything is just a random coincidence which is the philosophy of an evolutionary worldview, or nothing is random and coincidental. Albert Einstein once said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” The question remains, which is the more accurate way to live? It all boils down to whether or not you believe God exists. If He does, then it would be safe to assume that He is directly involved in the lives of those that He had enough interest to create in the first place. The Bible also tells us that He is sovereign, meaning that He can interact with His creation in any way He chooses. Plus, He specifically tells us that “every good gift and every perfect gift is from above” (James 1:17). Finally, He tells us in dozens of places that He directly answers the prayers of His people (Ps. 81:1; Jer. 33:3; Matt. 17:20; Mark 9:23; Matt. 21:21-22; Luke 17:5-6; Eph. 3:20-21; Matt. 17:20 Matt. 21:21-22; Mark 9:23; Mark 11:22-24; John 14:12-14; Mark 16:15-18; John 15:7). However, if there is no God, then obviously everything is random coincidence and certainly not a miracle. So let’s try to answer the question “Does God exist” in order to answer the question “Does God answer prayer.”

                It is really not that hard to prove that God exists even if you exclude the direct revelation of God to man found in the Bible. First, all scientific observation shows that life always and only comes from life not non life. Life on earth had to originate from life from somewhere else. However, it could not have been physical life since all physical life and physical functions wear down over time. Physical life had to begin with non-physical life, specifically life that is a spirit. Therefore, this ultimate, timeless, self-sufficient spirit would logically be God who has actually revealed these qualities about Himself in His Word the Bible (Ps. 90:1-2; 102:24-27). Second, all concepts of objective morality such as murder, rape, and child abuse being wrong must come from a higher source than just the consensus of the majority. After all, what makes the majority right? In Hitler’s Germany, the majority felt that killing off the weak and undesirable races was the moral thing to do. The truth is that without a standard of moral absolutes beyond the heart of man there is no basis for calling any action wrong. About all you can say is that you don’t like it. However, why do we all feel like cruelty and torture are wrong? The only answer is that a higher standard of moral absolutes has been placed in us from the beginning which God tells us He is responsible for placing there (Romans 2:14-15). Finally, logic demands that information always comes from intelligence. Information requires not only a pattern but also an inherent meaning behind the pattern. Natural occurrences can sometimes create patters (like crystals) but they can never provide a framework of inherent meaning to create true information or instructions to be followed. The incredible and complex information found in the human genome is beyond extensive. This information requires a source in great intelligence. The source cannot be a physical source (such as aliens) because this would only perpetuate the problem of finding an original intelligence. Physical sources are all bound by the same laws of increasing entropy and are not eternal. Once again, the only source for the information found in the physical life forms on earth is the ultimate intelligence of a creator God.

                Now, let’s return to the original question “Does God answer prayer.” Since God exists, and has revealed Himself to us in the comprehensive and verifiable record of His Word, we can trust His promises to answer our prayers. However, why does it often seem like our prayers go unanswered? Thankfully, he answers this question for us too. First, sin of any kind causes God not to hear our prayers (Ps. 66:18). One key sin that hinders prayer is unbelief, thinking God won’t really answer (James 1:5-7). One more reason our prayers don’t get answered is that we are asking for the wrong things. James warns us not to pray just to indulge our sinful desires (James 4:2-3). John tells us to first learn the will of God and then pray according to His will with confidence (1 John 5:14-15). So if you pray for something and it works out, God answered your prayer as He promised. It wasn’t just a coincidence. If you prayed for something and it didn’t work out, examine your motives, examine the request, and see if any sin got in the way. If all of these check out, then keep praying, God often has a different schedule and different set of priorities than we do. When He answers, don’t forget to praise and thank Him!