December 16, 2008

Grace Abounding: God Answers My Prayers!

"God answers all my prayers." That was the statement I kept hearing from Mark, a homeless man I met on 69th Street this Saturday. He had alcohol on his breath, and must have drank enough to make him just under the influence. He knew the Bible extremely well, and was quoting Scripture to me most of the time we talked. A faithful follower of Harold Camping from "Family Radio", Mark could have talked my ear off all night. He insisted that I give him a prayer request so that he could pray for me about that thing. So I told him that I want to study and learn to understand accurately and communicate the Bible. He wrote it down in his "book of miracles." We argued about a few things, and Mark ended by denouncing me as not working for God (at least not in the correct or true way or something), even after he had begun by commending me. He kept saying that he works for God, and that God answers his prayers and people have been healed from his prayers. He even went as far as to tell me he doesn't even pray anymore because God will just give him what he knows he needs or wants or something like that. Although there were some serious things about Mark's faith and attitude that came up that night, one thing he reminded me of was that God answers my prayers. When I challenged Mark about his hope for heaven, he got upset at me, because he said that you can't know if you're going to heaven... in other words, you might lose it. He asked me what mine was, insisting on it. So I told him, I said, "Mark, you wanna' know what my hope for heaven is?" He answered, "Yeah, I really wanna' know. What is it?" So I said, "It's Christ!"

Which, as I mentioned, reminded me of how God answers my prayers all the time. It does not surprise me anymore that the LORD answers my prayers, but it does still make me in awe of His endless mercies. I will not say that God gives me everything I ask for, but that He is so gracious, as my heavenly Father, to first give me eternal life in His Son and eternal hope through His Holy Spirit. 1 John 5:13-15 says,
"I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life. And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him."
It then continues to teach how to pray and how not to pray for a believer who sins.

That verse is one that I love. First, John says, "I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God that you may know that you have eternal life." Then he goes on to say that we have such confidence toward God to ask anything according to His will, knowing that He hears us and will grant that request.

All that simply to say, I am so glad that the LORD has been granting me the desire to read the Bible more. I also have some good books I've picked up again after setting them on the shelf for a while, such as Holiness by J. C. Ryle and a book by John MacArthur on Revelation. I have been reading through Revelation and just been amazed at the revelation of Jesus Christ all throughout as "the Lamb who was slain" and as God in the flesh of a man. Jesus is God, and God became a man, and this man is the eternal Son of God who died on a cross. It is amazing! And the prayer part is that I would continue seeing Christ in the Scriptures, which is happening so much lately, and that I would be praying more, and continue to be sanctified in the Holy Spirit to be useful to the Master. This request is still an ongoing process, but God is faithful, and I just wanted to share the benefit of joy and hope that comes from knowing Christ, my solid hope. :)

4 comments:

Sam said...

Hi Mate. I am encouraged by your love and service for the Lord!

I am also grateful to Him that He saves a people like us! He is to be forever praised for His mercy and loving kindness!

If you ask me what date and time it was, I couldn't tell you, but I remember the joy that flooded my heart when the realisation of how assured our salvation is in Christ hit me. He is truly a solid hope! A foundation that will not be shaken nor crumbled!

I pray that you will continue to grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ! Keep going soldier!

Anonymous said...

It looks like "Marks" prayer was answered! hmmmm interesting.

phylicia said...

Hi Penn,

That was an interesting theology that Mark had! I am glad you shared with him and spent time engaging him.

I am back blogging again and thought I would stop by and see what you were up to. I like the posts you have written over the time I have been gone. Keep glorifying Him!

Phylicia

Penn Tomassetti said...

Thanks for the comment Phylicia... and for reading my posts, I'm glad you benefit from them. I will have to check out some of your new posts when I have time. Thanks.