A while ago I listened to Francis Chan do a quick interview. To be completely honest, I don’t remember well what he was asked, but I remember his answer. The question might have been something about his daughter dating. I remember his answer well because it left me with something to think about. His answer went something like “my daughter knows who she should and shouldn’t date. She has the example of watching her father pray to a God who answers his prayers, because God doesn’t answer to everyone’s prayers, He answers to His children.”
I thought about that for a minute, that’s a dangerous thing to say.
It gave me a lot to think about, I want to talk about the two things that hit me hard:
1. Do I approach God with the expectation of Him answering my prayers?
2. Am I God’s child?
I’ll start by answering my second question (Sorry if you like things in order). Yes, I think I am God’s child. I gave my life to Jesus and I try to follow Him in everything that I do. I love Him and I understand that His way is always better. I talk to Him and we have a relationship. But to say that God answers ALL of my prayers because I’m His child really makes me feel like one of those Christians people talk about (and not in a good way). So, I started doing some digging in my own heart and I started to trust God, which led me to answer my first question, ‘Do I approach God with the expectation of Him answering my prayers’? Truth is, I don’t. I pray for things, but I never really wait for the answer and I am too close-minded to think He could answer it any other way than my way.
God used Francis’ words to give me some encouragement so I prayed and journaled about things and gave them over to God. I told God that I knew He would answer my prayers
—I had read throughout the Bible times when God answered prayers. Especially in Psalms, David cried out to God and God listened to him and David tells us that God listened
—which makes it all the more important! In one of my favorite verses David says “And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O Lord have not forsaken those who seek you” (Psalm 9:10). I was putting my trust in Him, I was praying to Him because I needed Him, I prayed with confidence that He wouldn’t forsake me.
The way I pray has changed. God used a simple answer through Francis Chan to send me a nudge to pray with confidence, to pray faithfully, to pray like He is going to do something. Do you want to know what happened? God answered. Every. Single. Prayer.
He didn’t say yes to every prayer, He didn’t say no to every prayer, and He didn’t give me a specific answer to all my prayers. Some were ‘yes’, some were ‘no’, some were “I can’t tell you that right now, but I want you to trust me because I have a plan”. I grew more and more amazed as each prayer was answered. I grew a better understanding of how real God is. He listens and He answers, but most importantly…. God cares. God didn’t just leave me to think He might answer, I can confidently tell you that God spoke to me about every single prayer. It took some Bible reading, some journaling, some devotionals and some hard conversations, but I felt God’s presence.
This all led me to change the way I pray, to approach God confidently and like the God of the universe that He is. It also led me to say “Thank you, God! Because you made me your child, thank you for listening, thank you for answering.” I’m God’s daughter because of what He did, does and continues to do. I’m grateful for a God who lives and acts. God used Francis Chan to nudge me to take my relationship with Him to a whole new level. I hope this encourages you to seek your Creator and to long for His answers.
“Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” Proverbs 7:7
For it is written.