Last week, my son, John, injured his right thumb at work. Since his wife, Amy, is an operating room nurse, she promptly got an appointment for John with a surgeon that she knows and respects. When the surgeon examined the injured thumb, he determined that it was badly damaged and infected, and that it required surgery as soon as possible. He was prepared to do the operation right then and there, but my son had misgivings about the procedure, and he asked for an appointment for the following week. When I found out about all this, I immediately turned to the Lord and began praying that He would heal John's thumb without surgery. I asked God to do such a perfect work of healing in my son that the next time the surgeon examined him, he would accurately and honestly say that the thumb looked so good that surgery would not be necessary. Today was the day that John was scheduled for surgery, and I am praising and thanking God because He answered my prayers for my son exactly as I had prayed them. Upon examining John's injured thumb this morning, the surgeon declared that my son's wound and infection were completely healed, and there was absolutely no need for surgery.
As I was expressing my heartfelt thanks to the Lord for the answers to my prayers, He revealed to me that He did not rescue my son simply because he was my son. But He did it mainly because John is a devoted servant of His. He reminded me of His Word in Psalm 35:27 (NIV) which says: "The Lord be exalted, who delights in the well-being of His servant." The Lord showed me that when I ask Him for deliverance and blessings for those who are devoted to Him, I can go ahead and pray for - and expect - radical answers to my prayers. He also showed me that I should not beat myself up when I pray for people who aren't seeking Him or serving Him, and I don't get the results I had hoped for. I must confess that I absolutely love praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ, especially for those who are living for Him instead of themselves, because I know that God is eager to bless their obedience in extraordinary ways. And when I join my faith with theirs, anything can happen.
If you're wondering what a true servant of the Lord looks like, all you need to do is read the first psalm in the Bible. "Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men's advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God. But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on His laws and thinking about ways to follow Him more closely." (Psalm 1:1-2 TLB) If these verses describe you, then you can confidently pray radical prayers for yourself, and expect the Lord to do "exceedingly abundantly" above all you ask or think. (Ephesians 3:20 NKJV) If these verses don't fit you right now, then I urge you to get busy seeking and serving God the way He desires and deserves. He will show you how to do it, if you ask Him to.
Scripture says: "The Lord favors those who fear and worship Him [with awe-inspired reverence and obedience], those who wait for His mercy and lovingkindness." (Psalm 147:11 AMP) God's love is unconditional. But His favor, blessings, and rewards are not. Those who demonstrate genuine fear and reverence for the Lord and His Word by their obedience will experience answers to their prayers that doubtful, disobedient Christians will not. We are living in dangerous times. Lines are being drawn. The devil knows his time is short, and he and his evil cohorts are working overtime to lead people away from God and His laws, principles, and truths. Don't you be one of his casualties.
Prayer: Lord, make me a true servant of Yours - one who demonstrates genuine fear and reverence for You and Your laws through my thoughts, words, and actions. Cleanse my heart and mind of everything that is not of You. Deliver me from all doubt and unbelief that would keep me out of Your will, and make me vulnerable to satanic attack. Make me a lover and doer of Your Word, and help me to cooperate with You for the building of my faith. Thank You that as I follow You in wholehearted obedience, I can expect radical answers to my prayers!
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