Why Doesn’t God Answer Prayers? Part Two

I come to the garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear
The Son of God discloses
And he walks with me
And he talks with me
And he tells me I am His own
And the joy we share as we tarry there
None other has ever known
(In the Garden. Lyrics by: Johnny Cash)
At first, while it is yet early and we are still young in the Lord, God answers our prayers to teach us about his goodness, his abundance, his loving-kindness. Moses said to God, “Show me your glory,” and God granted his request. The glory of God passed before Moses, but God did not show him his face. He did not stop to embrace him. (Exodus 33:17-23)
But Jesus touches the blind, the lame and the unclean. And he’s calling us to an intimate relationship with himself.
It is more important to Jesus that we know him than it is that we get from the world what we want. Before he tells us to ask, seek and knock, he tells us to seek first and above all things the kingdom of God.
Psalm 42:1 As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God (NIV).
Jesus assures us that God knows what we need, and that he will continue to supply us with the necessities. At first, while we are getting to know him, God answers our childlike prayers. Jesus says in Matthew 7:11, “If you then…know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!” (ESV). God gives good gifts to his children who ask him.
Would we rather that our children and grandchildren only come to us when they want something; or that they come to us because they love us want to spend time with us? Which approach is better for the development of their character?
God created all things for us to enjoy, but he doesn’t want us to follow after the creation. He wants us to seek an ever-deepening relationship with himself. He will meet all our needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19), but our greatest need is not for anything in this world. Our greatest need is Christ Jesus.
Now Beloved, listen! This is where everything changes. This is where God answers our prayers before we can even ask them. This is the economy of the kingdom of heaven.
Ask for more of God. Seek his face. Knock on the door of his heart!
Pursue him! Follow after him! Call out to him! Until your heart says, “I have found him whom my soul loveth: I held him, and would not let him go…” (Song of Songs 3:4b KJV).
When the most intense desire of our hearts is for more of Jesus, when we call out to God for more and more of himself, he who created the universe will also give us all things. “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32 NIV).
God wants us to grow and mature in our relationship with him. When we pray and seem to find no answer, it is because God is weaning us from depending on what the world offers and re-directing our hearts to seek more of him, the Giver.
Every good (earthly) gift, and every perfect (spiritual) gift comes from above, from God (James 1:17). He will not refuse to give us what we need, but at a certain point, he asks us to trust him so completely that all we ask for is more of him. When that happens, he knows that he can trust us to be stewards of his bounty, because our priorities are in an alignment with his heart and not his hands.
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