experiencing the goodness of God

prayGod’s goodness is expressed to us in many ways.  One of the ways we can learn about the goodness of God is through prayer.

God uses prayer to express His goodness to us in at least two ways.

One, God reveals His goodness when we pray.

The Bible says, “Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known” (Jeremiah 33:3).

Two, God reveals His goodness to us when He answers our prayers.

The Bible says, “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.  8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him” (Matthew 6:7-8).

I learned about God’s goodness both by praying and having a prayer answered recently.  As many of you know, I pray over, through and for every member of CrossPoint.  Some days I pray generally.  On other occasions I pray specifically.  A few months ago, I began praying specifically for a CrossPoint family.  I was specific in my prayer in that the family informed me how to pray for their need.

I received an email today informing me their prayer, and mine, had been answered.  Thus, I experienced part of God’s goodness.

I am glad the CrossPoint family took me at my word when I reminded them I pray for them.  I am equally glad they informed me how to pray for them.  And, I am glad I prayed.  Today, when I received their email I rejoiced.  I whispered, “Father, thank you for answering their prayer.  You are good.”

When was the last time you prayed?  When was the last time the Lord answered one of your requests?  Pray today, and experience the goodness of God. You may experience more of His goodness tomorrow, when He answers that prayer.


9 Responses to “experiencing the goodness of God”

  1. February 24, 2009 at 8:13 am

    ‘Many words’…that owns me:)
    Love the Jeremiah verse and the photo. Nothing is more precious than the sincere prayers of Christian brothers and sisters. I agree being specific is so important to know how to pray. It seems God answers them best when I least expect it and most expect it. He is so good that way. Great blog…keep praying. We all need it.

  2. 2 Searching
    February 24, 2009 at 10:40 am

    You know, Ryan, prayer is one of our most intimate experiences with God and the ideas about how to pray vary as one observes people praying or talking about prayer. Often when praying specifically is mentioned it comes from the “name it and claim it” doctrine which teaches one to tell God specifically what one is supposed to receive based on a particular interpretation of scripture. This approach, in my humble opinion, reduces God to a servant of man justified by an understanding of a benevolent God and a particular definition of “abundant” life. It often appears as people pray that they forget that they are praying to the one who created them and knows what they need, and want, before they speak it in prayer to him. I have also witnessed people praying to God as though they are praying to someone they do not know; which breaks my heart because I am afraid that may be correct. I have had a number of pastors teach that personal prayer should be like a conversation with God and that this context not only allows for a holy familiarity between us and our Creator but it affords us the opportunity to learn, and discern, his voice as we mature in our praying. It also allows us to experience the goodness of God you speak of here in being able to discern when prayers are answered, or rather how prayers are answered. The less I know you, the sound of your voice and the signature of your life, which you revealed in your last blog, the less likely that I will be able to see the work you do or know the sound of your voice when I hear it. Prayer is not a laundry list of our needs but an opportunity to reflect the glory of God through personal experience and scriptural awareness. I believe there is a vicious circle people get caught in where their faith is small because they do not pray and they do not pray because their faith is small. Very much like the forty years God’s people circled Mt. Nebo. The journey to the Promised Land began with one step away from the mountain. Stepping out can be frightening and uncertain, but there is no way to experience the joy until the step is taken and the journey begins.

    Thank you for this taste of the joy of “knowing” God through prayer!

    Soli Deo Gloria my brother!

  3. February 24, 2009 at 2:50 pm

    Searching, that is excellent! I agree completely! Joyfully His….

  4. 4 Ladd
    February 24, 2009 at 9:29 pm

    Searching, I agree wholeheartedly, especially with the point about “name it and claim it”. I had alway disagreed with that doctrine, but never was able to express why. Thank you for putting into words what I could not, even silently to myself.
    Secondly may I share a couple of experiences of answered prayer. A large number of people were recently let go where I work. Victims of the bad economy. I knew a lot of them. Some I had worked with in the past and were very good friends. I prayed for all of them, but two or three mor specifically than the others. I have found out within the last week that two of those have found new employment. I was overjoyed when I found out and stoped and have Him thanks for those answered prayers. The other answered prayer was a little more personal. It also was not immediate, but took numerous years. It was to bless my wife with the child she had always wanted. He answered that prayer, a beautiful baby girl. But that is just the end of the story, at least to this point. You may know that we have had a very interesting last few years. We started our own business. It was never aboutus. We knew we were going where God wanted us to go. He was just that clear. Well, the business failed and pretty much took all the capital we had saved for years. In asking God why he recentoy reminded me of my prayer. “Lord do with me as you will, but please bless my wife with the child she so deeply desires. He did, both. Still I am sure we were able to minister and witness to others along the way that He put in our paths, customers, employees, vendors, etc. His will not ours.
    Soli Deo Gloria because from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. Thanks be to God. Amen

  5. 5 Stacy
    February 25, 2009 at 7:55 am

    I have definitely fallen short. My faith in God continues to grow day to day, but my discipline is very minimal. I WANT to do the things I know I am supposed to do like read my bible daily, pray without ceasing and have time alone with God, but I have miserably failed Him. What is even sadder is that I find time to do everything else! I don’t understand how I could place God on the back burner like that, for His grace and goodness have abundantly made their presence known in my life. Why I feel the need to put this all out on the table, I don’t know except maybe I need all of your prayers. God has never failed me even when the prayers I prayed did not produce the results I hoped they would. There is a reason for everything and His goodness is in everything!!

    Ryan, thank you so much for being the man of God you are. I have learned so many things since attending Crosspoint and reading your blog. I know God has placed me in the place I am for a specific reason, if for nothing more than to be held accountable for my actions through conviction from the Holy One through your messages. Thank you, thank you, and thank you!

  6. February 25, 2009 at 10:14 am

    Stacy, I believe we all go through seasons of harvest and famine. It may just be your in a time period of famine. Be patient, a harvest will come. And when it does enjoy it. Until then, keep pursuing the Lord and Him alone. Perhaps you can carve out time in your day. I know the less I watch television the more time I have for the Lord, for my family, for others and for myself.

    Keep the faith.

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