In our present existence, prayers cannot be as completely and perfectly answered as they one day will.
“Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in Heaven” (Matthew 6:10).
Only when God’s kingdom comes, can His will be “done in earth, as it is in Heaven.” “The LORD hath prepared His throne in the heavens; and His kingdom ruleth over all” declared the Psalmist (Psalm 103:19). Note the venue where God’s “throne” and “kingdom” reign: “in the heavens.” This is not yet the case upon the earth, where human beings frequently act contrary to the will of the Lord. Only when the Lord Jesus reigns in a creation perfected and purified by fire will God’s will be “done in earth, as it is in Heaven.” We presently see foreshadowings of such righteousness, but in a fallen creation, our Heavenly Father’s will cannot possibly be executed according to the pristinely perfect standard of Heaven. Thus, we wait for such until “Thy kingdom come.”
Another classic example involves our Savior’s command that we pray for our Father to “keep us from temptation.” A complete answer to such supplication cannot possibly manifest itself in the present realm of our existence. “The whole world lieth in wickedness” (I John 5:19). Certainly, our Father answers our prayer for keeping to the utmost degree possible. He cannot not, however, completely deliver us from temptation without taking us out of the world of temptation in which we live. Thus, we rejoice in His presently measured keeping, while looking forward to another day when He will deliver us from the presence and power of all temptation.
Finally, God’s answers to prayer often manifest themselves in ways that may not satisfy if we apply our own definition of Divine response to situations and circumstances. The Apostle Paul received grace rather than healing in the matter of his thorn in the flesh (II Corinthians 12:9). The Lord showed Paul that provision in the presence of a thorn unremoved revealed greater glory than the extrication of Paul’s challenge would have supplied. God answered Paul’s pleadings regarding the thorn without removing it. The seemingly limited answer, however, resulted in a vast increase of Paul’s knowledge of God, as well as his Biblical testimony of the matter providing light and blessing to multitudes through the ages.
Our Lord always acts in perfect accordance with His character, nature, and eternal purpose in Christ. He answers our prayers in this context. Thus, some responses may seem strange to us, both in mode and measure. We do well to remember this necessary truth of our present existence, and also look forward to that day when our Lord’s perfection will shine forth in open and obvious display.
“My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
Weekly Memory Verse
He that trusteth in his riches shall fall: but the righteous shall flourish as a branch.