How can we know God answers prayer?
There is a pattern seen in Scripture that emerges when we study the answered prayers of certain people. The pattern reveals specific characteristics about the One who hears our prayers. This pattern of seven answered prayers applies to our prayers!
Let’s see what the pattern is:
So Abraham prayed unto God: and God healed Abimelech, and his wife, and his maidservants; and they bore children. (Genesis 20:17)
Abraham surely was in great distress and remorse because (for a second time), he did not trust in Yahuwah’s [the LORD’s] protection. Now, as he stood before the king of Gerar, Abraham was reprimanded for his deception. Abraham was in a dilemma that most likely humbled him, and greatly frightened him. The king of Gerar could destroy Abraham for his deception. Abraham must have begun his prayer to Yahuwah with much anguish.
Oh HalleluYah to Abba Father, for Yahuwah heard Abraham’s prayer, and gave Abraham his request! Yahuwah healed the king and his family! Abraham’s prayer was answered!
And Isaac prayed to Yahuwah [the LORD] for his wife, because she was barren. And the LORD granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife conceived. (Genesis 25:21)
Isaac was, no doubt, in great distress and anxiety over the barrenness of his wife. Isaac knew his father Abraham’s history. Isaac must have known that he himself was to be in the genealogy of the promised ‘Seed’ (Messiah), to fulfill Yahuwah’s promises to Abraham. And yet Isaac could only ask, “Where are my children?” There were none! Not yet.
Perhaps Isaac questioned himself, wondering what should he do? – what could he do? But there was no answer within himself. Thankfully, in his worry and agony, he turned to Yahuwah! Maybe he had, many times, over the course of several months, poured out his heart to God.
Oh HalleluYah to Abba Father, the answer came! Yahuwah heard Isaac’s prayer, gave Isaac his request, and Rebekah conceived! Isaac’s prayer was answered!
And the people cried unto Moses; and when Moses prayed unto Yahuwah [the LORD], the fire was quenched. (Numbers 11:2)
In this situation, Moses was likely overcome with fear and dread. The children of Israel had a murmuring, complaining spirit, being ungrateful. Yahuwah’s displeasure with this kind of behaviour was very obvious because a fire was consuming the outlying parts of the camp. Moses surely saw the fire and knew the destruction was terrifying. Moses had no power of his own to stop the fire. Thankfully, in his weakness, anguish, and fear, Moses looked to Yahuwah and cried out to Him, pleading, begging for mercy and forgiveness.
Oh HalleluYah to Abba Father, for Yahuwah heard Moses’ prayer, gave Moses his request, and the fire was quenched! Moses’ prayer was answered!
Then Manoah prayed to Yahuwah [the LORD] and said, “O Lord, please let the man of God whom you sent come again to us and teach us what we are to do with the child who will be born.” And God listened to the voice of Manoah, and the angel of God came again to the woman as she sat in the field. (Judges 13:8,9)
Here was a man, Manoah, who fully expected a fulfillment of the message from God. Yet he was in distress and uncertainty as to how to fulfill this declaration. Manoah needed more insight, more instructions for the duties required for such a child. He wanted to hear more, know more from this angel of God. Wouldn’t we all want to know more?
Would Manoah dare to ask God to ‘come again,’ come a second time, to tell them again what was expected? Perhaps Manoah knew the story of Yahuwah’s anger against Balaam, after Balaam inquired a second time for more information (Numbers 22:19-22). Perhaps Manoah wondered if his request for more information was a lack of faith. Would his unbelief annul the message?
Thankfully, despite any anxious apprehension, Manoah turned to God. Manoah, perhaps with trembling, admitting his weaknesses, prayed for more insight, for a second visit from the angel of God.
Oh HalleluYah to Abba Father, for Yahuwah heard Manoah’s prayer, and granted Manoah his request! Father sent the messenger a second time, even giving Manoah further insight and confirmation! Manoah’s prayer was answered!
She (Hannah) was deeply distressed and prayed to Yahuwah [the LORD] and wept bitterly. (1Samuel 1:10)
Hannah was clearly in great distress! In the anguish of her soul, she wept bitterly as she poured out her heart to Yahuwah. In her spirit, she yearned for something—a baby. She had no power, no control to change the barrenness of her womb. Hannah was deeply troubled over her situation. It was hopeless to her. Maybe the prayer she prayed at this time, had been preceded by many other prayers, just like it.
Thankfully, in her desperation and agony, she continued to look to Yahuwah. He was her only hope, her only prayer! Hannah wept bitterly before God, asking Him for a miracle that He alone could perform.
Oh HalleluYah to Abba Father, for Yahuwah heard Hannah’s prayer, and gave her the miracle baby! And that baby became a mighty prophet used by God to perform His purposes! Hannah’s prayer was answered!
In those days Hezekiah became sick and was at the point of death. And Isaiah the prophet the son of Amoz came to him and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Set your house in order, for you shall die; you shall not recover.'” Then Hezekiah turned his face to the wall and prayed to Yahuwah [the LORD] (2Kings 20:1,2)
Hezekiah was at the point of death. That is surely a somber place to be in! Hezekiah was sick, but now he had the added pain of hearing Isaiah’s words: “you shall not recover.” Hezekiah wept bitterly, grieving. He was in the depths of despair.
For many years, Hezekiah, the king of Judah, “held fast to Yahuwah.” Yahuwah had prospered Hezekiah abundantly. But now—he hears the words of his soon death.
There was nothing Hezekiah could do. This time, there was no power or money that could change his condition or the decree. With bitter weeping, Hezekiah turned to Yahuwah. The only path he knew—to cry out to God.
Thankfully, despite his pain, anxiety, and bitter despair, Hezekiah looked to Yahuwah in prayer. He prayed for God’s mercy—to remember the years of his service, of serving God with a whole heart.
Oh HalleluYah to Abba Father, for Yahuwah heard Hezekiah’s prayer, and granted Hezekiah his request! He sent the prophet Isaiah back to Hezekiah to tell him, “I have heard your prayer; I have seen your tears. Behold, I will heal you!” Hezekiah’s prayer was answered!
He (Manasseh) prayed to Him (Yahuwah), and God was moved by his entreaty and heard his plea and brought him again to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that Yahuwah [the LORD] was God. (2Chronicles 33:13)
Manasseh’s prayer is one of the most amazing prayers in the Bible! Manasseh, king of Judah, reigned for 55 years in Jerusalem. During his rule, he led Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem astray, greatly. “He did much evil in the sight of Yahuwah, provoking Him to anger” (2Chronicles 33:6).
Yahuwah sent the army of the king of Assyria, who captured Manasseh with hooks, and bound him with chains of bronze, and brought him to Babylon. Manasseh was now in a place he had never known—prison—a dark, miserable place, worse than anything he had ever imagined! He had no hope, no escape. He must have known he was in a place of his deserved doom.
And yet, in that place—a hell on earth—Manasseh finally knew genuine despair and agony: “And when he was in distress, he entreated the favor of Yahuwah his God and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers.” (2Chronicles 33:12)
Manasseh, now in great distress, now humbles himself greatly! He most certainly wept bitterly before God for his years of rebellion against Yahuwah.
Thankfully, despite knowing his just reward for his years of evil rule, Manasseh turned to God for mercy. Manasseh, with fear, remorse, and trembling, admitting his defiant arrogance, humbly prayed for mercy.
Oh HalleluYah to Abba Father, for Yahuwah heard Manasseh’s prayer, and miraculously delivered him out of that prison! Father restored Manasseh to his kingdom in Jerusalem! Awesome, awesome mercy! Manasseh’s prayer was answered!!!
The pattern in these seven prayers and seven answers is this:
- In the midst of our despair, agony, and impossible situation, if we will look to Yahuwah with a true and sincere heart . . .
- In the midst of our bitter weeping, if we will cry out to Abba Father, humbly pour out our soul to Him . . .
- In the midst of our totally hopeless situation, acknowledge Him, humble ourselves before Him, crying out to Him, asking Him to help us, rescue us . . .
- IF we will cling to Him; continue to pour out our heart to Him; trust in Him no matter what! And wait patiently on Him . . .
Then, something remarkable will happen!!!
These seven prayers and seven answers reveal some amazing characteristics of our Abba Father:
- Yahuwah is gracious and full of compassion!! (Psalms 111:4b)
- But You, O Yahuwah, are a God full of compassion, and gracious, longsuffering, and plenteous in mercy and truth!! (Psalms 86:15)
- Yahuwah your God is gracious and mercy-FULL, and will not turn away His face from you, if ye return unto Him!!(2Chronicles 30:9b)
- Yahuwah is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy!! (Psalms 145:8)
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These seven prayers and seven answers show us a pattern of Abba Father’s great mercy for those who call upon Him in truth (Psalms 145:18). Thus we can be confident that our great, loving, and merciful God, Yahuwah Elohim, is truly and absolutely — an awesome God!
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