The God Who Answers Prayer

Jim Cymbala

Do not be afraid to ask God for great things! Anything less dishonors the One who has given us such awesome promises. When his blessings come showering down upon us, let’s praise him with all our hearts. But on those occasions when he whispers, “Go! Arise, and do what I’ve shown you to do,” let us remember that many of the sweetest answers to prayer involve working together with God to accomplish his purposes.

Imagine waking up in the middle of the night to the noise of an intruder seeking to break in. You lie frozen with fear, slowly remembering that the phone is right beside your bed and you can dial “911” if you choose. But in order to get help, you must pick up the phone.

We have the same kind of “911” access to God, but our direct line to the throne of grace will do us little good if we fail to use it. Throughout the Bible we see how victories were won and negative circumstances overcome when a man or woman prayed the right prayer at the crucial moment. We could choose from hundreds, but the psalmist David offers a classic illustration:

“Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray. In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation” (Psalm 5:2-3).

Notice the fervency of David’s prayer as he asks God to “listen to my cry for help.” This is a matter of desperate pleading, not relaxed prayer, because David is contending with enemies. If he is to survive their attacks, he has to have help from heaven. He has no “Plan B” because he is petitioning “my King and my God,” the Lord for whom nothing is impossible.

David was a man who prayed much and received much; his faith was not in the power of prayer itself but in the God who answers prayer. That is the secret of everyone throughout history who has learned firsthand about God’s faithfulness.

Avail yourself of God’s help today — don’t forget to “pick up the phone” and make the call.

Jim Cymbala began the Brooklyn Tabernacle with less than twenty members in a small, rundown building in a difficult part of the city. A native of Brooklyn, he is a longtime friend of both David and Gary Wilkerson.