The Most Common but Overlooked Way God Answers Prayer
We all prefer an instant breakthrough. But the way God most often answers our prayers is equally as inconceivable … and it involves you.
Gazing at creation, all around we see the results of the power of God, which flung the stars into place, the planets into alignment and brought about life—all out of nothing. Reading our Bibles, we see stories of dramatic encounters with God and His miracle-working power to heal, deliver and protect. We are assured of promises that through Him, all things are possible.
Have you ever wondered, then, “Why do we have doctors and medicine if God can heal?” “Why security if God can protect?” Or even, “Why preachers if God can reveal Himself?” Ever felt guilty from using some of these man-made creations, fearing a lack of trust or patience in God? I have.
God Partners with People
While the Bible clearly illustrates God is all-knowing and all-powerful, and that He did and continues to perform mighty miracles, it also uncovers perhaps an equally astonishing truth: God uses people.
Often, God chooses to partner with people for feats that He is more than capable to do all by Himself.
Consider just a few examples from Scripture. To protect His people from impending disaster, God used Noah to build a boat. When Israel needed deliverance from captivity in Egypt, God used Moses to bring them out. To reveal Christ to people who did not know Him, He used the preaching of Peter and Paul. In each instance, God chose to partner with people for feats that He was more than capable to do all by Himself.
As God is certainly aware, His choice to use people brings plenty of limitations. In almost every case, it means that His desired outcome takes much longer to come to pass. Or, unfortunately, because of human missteps and mistakes, that it doesn’t come to pass at all. At times, it means people get hurt, they pass on, and consequently, that God’s reputation gets tarnished by it all.
We are Christ’s Body on Earth
The answers to your prayers might come through community, the talent of a God-gifted person or the story of someone who’s “been there, too.”
But as an example of a perfect delegator, God is willing to take these risks and more as an act of love for us. In using people to do what He could otherwise do instantly and flawlessly, He gives us a sense of worth, purpose and affirmation. In the process of obedience, we are fine-tuned and perfected. But perhaps most of all, God knows that flesh best relates to flesh. That is, after all, why He came to earth through Jesus as a human being. He knew He needed to become one of us, with all the human limitations, in order to show us the way out of our brokenness. Now today, as the body of Christ on this earth, in all kinds of ways, God chooses to use people as His hands, feet, mouth and heart.
Certainly, pray for God’s instant breakthroughs and the manifestations of His miracle power. But be careful not to reject the people He puts on your path to help you. The answers to your prayers might come through community, the talent of a God-gifted person or the story of someone who’s “been there, too.”