Does God still answer prayer? How long has it been since you have had a prayer answered? Is it possible to know if God does answer our prayers? With all of the prayers that have gone up for recent national disasters, personal tragedies and unexpected calamities, many are questioning if God even exists, and if He does exist, does He really care? How could He allow such pain to happen, and then when we pray for things to get better, why does it seem they only get worse? Well, it is time once again from the Bible believing pulpits of our land, that the preachers of the Gospel assure a hurting world that God does answer prayer – but only on HIS terms, not ours. Of course, first we must be His children, born again by faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Second, we must not have sin in our lives preventing the Lord from hearing us (Psa. 66:18). When all is well between the Father and His children, the answers to our prayers will come. In the publisher’s forward to Herbert Lockyer’s excellent volume, All the Prayers of the Bible, it is stated that the Bible records no fewer than 650 definite prayers, of which no less than 450 have recorded answers! Recently I read an article referencing George Mueller’s diary which recorded fifty-thousand answers to prayer.
George Mueller, born into a German tax collector’s home, was often in trouble. He learned early to steal, gamble and drink. As a teenager he was caught and jailed after pilfering expensive hotels out of their payment. But prison life was no friend to him and after being released, Mueller continued his life of crime until converted to Christ one Saturday night in 1825. Later he married, settled down in Bristol, England, and while growing in his walk with Christ, developed a burden for all of the homeless children running the streets of the city. The story goes that he called for a public meeting, presented a plan for an orphanage, and raised sufficient funds to open his first home with 26 homeless occupants. Soon a second home was established, and then a third.
From the beginning Mueller refused to ask for funds or even to speak of the ministry’s financial needs. He believed in praying earnestly and trusting the Lord to provide each and every need. And the Lord did provide, though sometimes at the very last moment. The best-known account involves a morning when the plates and bowls and cups were set on the tables, but there was no food or milk. The children sat waiting for breakfast while Mueller led in prayer for their daily bread. While he was praying a knock came to the door, and it was the baker. He told Mr. Mueller that he could not sleep that night and felt that they had need of bread for breakfast, so he arose at 2 a.m. and baked some fresh bread. Another knock at the door revealed that the milkman had broken down right in front of the orphanage, and he wanted to give the children his milk so that he could empty his wagon in order to repair it. Such stories became the norm for Mueller’s work. During the course of his 93 years, Mueller provided a loving, caring home for more than 10,000 homeless and hopeless children, prayed in millions of dollars, traveled to scores of countries preaching the gospel, and recorded fifty-thousand answers to prayer!
Does God answer prayer? Why certainly He does! Maybe in light of all the despair of a dark and dismal hour in history, it is time once again to remind our people that God does answer prayer – but on HIS terms. We must be abiding in Him and He will gladly come to our aid. When, on our part, there is sincerity (Psa. 17:1), reverence (Rev. 4:9-11); humility (Isa. 6:5); importunity (Mt. 15:21-18); submission (Luke 22:42); faith (Mt. 9:27-31); and specificity (John 16:23-24) — on His part, there is always a response. For George Mueller, there were fifty-thousand responses. For us? Well, maybe it is also time to start making a list.
“If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”
–Maynard H. Belt