How often have we comforted friends with the words, “God answers prayer.”
Ephesians 3:20 tells us that he is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or imagine, according to the power at work within us.
We have the ear of God the Father, the Creator of the universe. Do we pray boldly? And when we have made our requests known, do we expect him to answer according to his abundant nature?
(Exodus 14:20-22) The people of Israel fled the Egyptians, but were soon trapped between the sea and Pharaoh’s army. They thought they would be killed, and cried out to God for help. Maybe they thought, with God’s intervention, the army would change its mind and leave them alone. Maybe they thought a plague would suddenly hit the army. Maybe many prayed the army would simply escort them back to slavery without bloodshed. It’s doubtful any of them imagined they would walk through the sea on dry ground with a wall of water on either side.
We look to God with our limited vision, through the lens of our fallen nature.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.” Isaiah 55:8 ESV
(Mark 6:34-44) Jesus had been teaching a great crowd—over five thousand. As the day wore on, the disciples became concerned for the people. Since they were in a desolate place, the men expected Jesus to send everyone away to find food for themselves. Jesus surprised his disciples by saying, “You give them something to eat.”
Their first thought had proved wrong. Jesus would not send the crowd away. What then? They may have thought somewhere in the crowd was a person who had a secret crate of food. Or possibly they hadn’t realized that all the people had packed their own lunch. What the disciples found and brought to Jesus were five small loaves of bread and two small fish. That didn’t seem to be enough for even the twelve, let alone more than five thousand.
Jesus said a blessing and told them to distribute the food. They passed out what they had and possibly had to return to Jesus for more, but everyone was fed. Afterward, the disciples collected twelve baskets of leftovers. Each had, in his hands, evidence of God’s abundant provision.
1 John 5:14-15 says we have confidence “that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us” and if he hears us, we have whatever we ask.
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