“Ask and it shall be given to you; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened to you”, Mat 7:7.

When we read verses like these there is a human instinct to take hold of it the human way. Man is born into unbelief and into a way of not seeing God, much less taking Him for real. People will rather take Him for granted than for real. It is, therefore, expected that man should take emphasis upon the asking part (the thing he can do) when God is emphasizing the answer as being for real. Any prayer without its respective answer (either a no or a yes from God) is no prayer at all – it can’t be. When God says no, it just means He has heard me fully and has taken my request into consideration. But we know God hears people and not prayers. We read God saying about Job “My servant Job will I hear”. So, having God saying no to someone means God has listened to that man. The same might be fully said about when He says yes unto us. God has to take first into consideration the praying man before taking the prayer into evaluation. Man must be holy and if he is not, the only prayers that will be answered will be those which will mean his own sanctification or justification.

There is a mistake, however, that most actual Christians fall into as easily as they breathe. They take it for granted that, when God does not answer them, they have prayed about the wrong thing or issue and that God’s will is something else. I often say Christians talk to fast, reason to much and come too quickly to easy conclusions. If the prayer has a problem in itself, I am sure God will answer it, either correcting it or saying no. There might be something wrong with the man or woman that prays for God to be quiet about it. There is no way God will not answer any prayer - ever.   

The second gross crime they do unto themselves is to cease to pray easily. People always have a high opinion about themselves, even when they say they are worth nothing. So, once they have prayed and heaven is dumb, they conclude they are right and God is loving enough not to say a word back unto them even if it must be an easier thing to think and believe it is a strange thing for God not to answer, since He himself has solemnly said “Whatever you ask of Me”.

I recall something I heard about a tribe in Africa. They say, if any man comes to the king for an interview or request and the king is in his way out at that moment, the king saying to him he should wait till he comes back, he dare not leave there since he would be killed for disrespecting his own king. However long it takes for his king to come back, he must wait there till he comes. This is something we should apply to our prayer life: never cease to pray, however strange the request may be. To pray without ceasing just means to pray without giving up on anything until the answer is given either in a practical form or in a word. Just recall the blind men in Jericho when Jesus was passing by and they were commanded to be quiet and people told them they were not of the kind Jesus would listen to. By pressing to the end, people will be saved, corrected and aligned into God’s will and ways forever. By setting your time for now, God will set His heart to grant His timetable, His own time and you never know if it is now too. Be free to be yourself before God so God will be free to present Himself unto you as He is too. It will be granted unto you an eye for an eye.

At occasions when God does not answer, one should become more eager to press on and become like that widow we read about in Luk.18 being a despised woman bothering an important judge in his sleep. She cared very little about her fate, being bold enough to bother a ruler who did not fear God. Nevertheless, she got the answer – and that was what really mattered unto her. Besides, I am sure that judge would never forget that woman again. He would recall her above recalling her request, the one she had made unto him. That judge would never forget that woman (again). This is precisely what happens to people who come to God as they are: God remembers them easily.

Once a request has received no answer, one should become bold enough to risk knocking at any hour, any time, harder and yelling louder. What is there worse than to go preaching when God is not answering? Do my words save people unless God is with me, unless Emanuel is for real and not a mere song? Shall we play church like children play with dolls and say those are babies knowing they are not for real? Only when God is for us (and that for real) none can be against us. Let’s remember this: when we do not gather with Jesus, we are scattering - even when we use the right tools. People easily assume God is with them because they fear to be unbelieving or to be thought of as unbelieving. I believe to say God is not with me when He is not, is faith – very strong faith. Faith is to believe in truth, to be able to accept it as truth. If the truth is that God is not with me, I might just find my way in between the multitudes of thoughts and doubts to reach His skirt so He may hear me. Is there any greater faith than that?

Because people have an assuming attitude that God is not real – a real Person – they easily accommodate themselves and go live things their own, unreal or surreal way because they have prayed. We read in Is.53 that lost sheep go their own way and not their own sinful way. Not to have an answer, to have no vision, unto any request causes us to go our own way if we are normal people at all. Would that make us saved ones on the Way towards heaven? “Where there is no vision, the people perish”, Prov.29:18.

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José Mateus