God Wants the Best for You

God Wants the Best for You!

R. T. KendallBy R. T. Kendall5 Minutes

Jesus and the Holy Spirit filter our prayers to get us the best result!

Our Lord Jesus Christ at this moment is seated at the right hand of the Father. He is interceding for us. One of the things Jesus does, as John Calvin put, speaking metaphorically, is to beckon for the attention of the Father to Himself “to keep His face away from our sins.” But there is more that Jesus does. He prays for us according to the will of God as also the Holy Spirit prays for us according to the will of God (Romans 8:26-27). We therefore have Jesus and the Holy Spirit simultaneously praying for us right now! Robert Murray McCheyne once said, “If I could hear Christ praying for me in the next room, I would not fear a million of enemies. Yet the distance makes no difference; He is praying for me.”

But there is more. In keeping the Father’s gaze away from our sins, Jesus also filters our prayer requests. God only hears prayers that are in His will. The Hebrew word shamar means to hear in the sense that you pay attention to. Of course, God knows everything and hears everything. But if He pays attention to our request, it means He hears us in this Hebraic sense. For if we ask anything according to God’s will, He hears us (1 John 5:14). Jesus passes those requests to the Father that He knows will please Him. When you and I pray in Jesus’ name, we address the Father. But fortunately for us the Father does not obey all our requests! This is because Jesus only lets the Father hear those requests that are in the will of God. Some of our requests do not get through to the Father.

Why Are Some Prayers Unanswered?

It is estimated that each year one million children are trafficked for slave labor or sexual exploitation. Where is God when these people cry to Him?

Jesus’s answer is one of the profoundest statements in the entire Bible. It not only explains part of the reason for unanswered prayer, but also gives a strong hint why God allows evil and suffering. Why does God not step in and relieve suffering when He so easily could? The answer is partly for the same reason Jesus did not stop what He was doing and go straight to Bethany to heal Lazarus, which He could have done. Knowing that His disciples did not understand, Jesus simply said, “Lazarus is dead.” In other words, if Lazarus is dead, why bother? But then He added, “And for your sake I am glad I was not there [in Bethany], so that you may believe” (John 11:14-15).

There it is, one of the reasons God does not say yes to our prayer requests or stop evil and suffering – that we might have faith. After all, if you knew the reason for evil, you would not need faith at all. Furthermore, if God instantly answered every single request you put to Him, you would not really need faith. But for some reason God has chosen to create a universe in which people must believe His Word. It is faith that pleases God (Hebrews 11:6). Therefore, God not telling us why He allows suffering is an opportunity for us to believe Him, to trust Him. Likewise, God not telling us the reason He does not answer our prayers is that we might trust Him.

Therefore, God says no to some of our requests partly because He is looking for our faith when we don’t get what we want. It is also because God likes our company, as I put it in my book Did You Think to Pray? But there is another reason for unanswered prayer: He has a better idea than what we asked for.

Excerpt used by permission: It Ain’t Over (Lake Mary, FL: Charisma House, 2019)