We know God answers prayer.
Hannah prayed so tearfully in the tabernacle that the high priest thought she was drunk. But she longed for a child because she couldn’t conceive. When she gave birth to Samuel, she dedicated him to God.
That happened before all the commands and prayer promises, yet because the patriarchs had sought out God with their concerns, she went to God.
I’ve seen answers to prayer too.
Mother mentioned she’d love to have carpet when I was young. So I prayed God would give us carpet. I didn’t expect to get carpet.
Later, my parents won a contest and received wall to wall carpet in their living room and dining room. Mom and Dad dubbed me their little prayer warrior.
Now I believe God was encouraging me to pray.
However, sometimes we pray and long for an answer. A lot. And we pray for years. Nothing happens. At least, we can’t see anything. Discouragement can take over.
I’ve met people who say, “Prayer doesn’t change things, it changes you.”
Or “God answers. But it might be no.”
Let’s consider prayer promises in the New Testament:
Matthew 7:7 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
Matthew 7:8 For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened.
Matthew 7:9 Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?
Matthew 7:10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent?
Matthew 7: 11 If you then, who are evil, 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!
My husband, Ray Simmons, a teaching elder at our church, offers answers.
The photo: Olive tree in the Garden of Gethsemene