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How Do I Know God Answers Prayer: First Hand Accounts

Updated: Jul 19, 2022

Does it seem to you like we’re living in a day when people all around us are trying to re-define who God is? I don’t like saying that but I’m quite sure most would agree that today people have their own definition and idea about who He is and how He relates to us in our every day lives. Perhaps that may be true in order to make it easier for mainstream society to live their lives the way they want to. Or possibly in searching for truth people haven’t seen, what they believe to be, a sincere picture of someone who lives their life following God so why would they want to follow in their footsteps? It seems as if people are running around in search of something to bring them assurance, peace, and a sense of stability in these days where stability is in question.

Far from perfect, far from living a sterling life myself, yet knowing, first-hand, the love of a faithful God, His precious patience with me, and His countless answers to my prayers over the years makes me want to shout this truth from this rooftops:

“God is STILL here! He’s STILL the same God! His LOVE never changes and He takes great JOY in answering the prayers of His children!”

In embracing this truth hope will spring forth, relief will wash over hearts, and freedom will become living reality to many! Do I want to shout this truth from the rooftops to cause a stir, or division among people who may have differing opinions? Absolutely NOT! My reason for wanting to let people know there’s a God who is alive, well, and still working today is because He is a life-changer. He has changed my life. I can say without hesitation I never look back to my life before Jesus. I don’t have one drop of regret for exchanging my life for His and the work He’s done in my heart! I wouldn’t change one day, even though many days over the span of the last 46 years have been most difficult.

Why can I stand up and share this truth? I feel that I have the freedom to do so, with joy, because one thing no one can dispute is a personal life change; a change resulting in the love of a Living God, His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness being written into the very fiber of my being. That’s the beauty of a testimony. It’s mine! It can’t be stolen. It can’t be tampered with. It can’t be changed. It can’t be denied.

Why do I stand up and share this truth? Because I want others to know they, too, can have a relationship with this same God~the One who hears the cries of hearts and still answers those cries today; the One who is a precious life-changer, hope-giver, covenant-keeper! That’s our God!

We’re living in such uncertain times; things have changed so much from what we once knew as day-to-day life in America. I know, first-hand, that people are frightened, without hope, and wondering what will happen next, not only in America and this world, but also in their own personal lives. So it’s with great anticipation I write this heartfelt post about our God who LOVES US so much. A personal, relational, heart-to-heart life with Him is available to those who say yes to His invitation. He’s on the move, calling dear ones to Himself! What a day we get to live in! It may be uncertain times, but we have a very certain God who has a plan. We need not fear if we are His own dear child.

Let me tell you a sweet story. I was preparing an editorial calendar for the next several weeks, choosing what posts I would be sharing on my blog. I was praying through that decision, choosing a different topic for each week. I always ask the Lord what direction I should go and what I should write about. While I was praying, I looked up from my desk and right in front of me was a much treasured, tiny volume entitled “How I Know God Answers Prayer,” by Rosalind Goforth. She, together with her husband (and children) served as missionaries to China on the front lines in 1900-1901 during the Boxer Rebellion.

I knew immediately that would be the post for this week, especially in the light of many needs my own family is facing right now. We long to have the Lord answer our prayers.

I first encountered this book several years ago. I was spending a week all alone with the intention of seven days in a solitary place, pouring my time into prayer and reading~no phone, no internet, no family around me, just Jesus and me! I couldn’t wait! As I was preparing to begin early the next morning, I asked Jesus if He could give me a book to add to my Bible reading…just something special He knew would bless me. I was looking at the countless books on my bookshelf…nothing really stood out to me. Then I spied a tiny, turquoise book shoved deeply in between larger books on my shelf. I pulled it out with a bit of a struggle and knew right away that this was exactly what the Lord had for me: “How I Know God Answers Prayer”.

During the week, I spent time reading through this precious little book and was so encouraged and strengthened as I read one account after another of the Lord’s provision. The answers to the heartfelt cries of Rosalind as she served the Chinese people, the needs of her family, her own health issues, and countless other trials were written throughout the whole book.

Let me make it crystal clear~this family’s life was not without pain and suffering. In her book she shares, in detail, how personal God was. From the most difficult trials to the minute details of their day-to-day lives their needs were met in the most miraculous ways! Her testimony proved to strengthen my faith; even though we all may find ourselves in desperate straits at times, it doesn’t change who God is. He is always there. We may not receive the answers we hoped for, or we may not have evidence of any answers, but the truth remains the same…God is still here and He’s still answering prayer! In that memorable week of prayer, spurred on by Rosalind’s testimony, I began writing a list of all the answers to prayer we received as a family over the years. In no time at all, I had a list of sixty-nine answer concerning significant trials, requests, and needs we had as a family. I wish I could say I finished that list. Alas, I haven’t. But I know for sure that my first writing was by no means exhaustive! Just writing this post creates a thirst in me to pull out that journal, add to the list, and begin the joyous task of writing out in full detail each answer to prayer. I can’t think of anything more precious than leaving a written account of God’s faithfulness to hear the cries of our hearts over the span of decades. Next week, my plan is to write a post entitled “What Do We Do When We Don’t Receive Answers To Our Prayers.” Reading the post we’ve just gone through may be painful for some…not receiving the answers we so long for. We’ll visit how to, by God’s grace, walk through seasons of waiting, of longing, of fear, of worry, of silence. I am trusting Jesus to make a way for us to be able to come away with the truth that:

God is STILL here, GOD is STILL the same, His LOVE never changes, and with JOY He loves to answer the prayers of His children.

In closing, I encourage you to consider creating your own personal list of answered prayer. What a precious gift to leave this record of God’s faithfulness behind after we’re gone for our families to treasure! Future generations will get to read the goodness of: A God who is STILL here,

A God who is STILL the same, His LOVE never changing, who with great JOY answers the prayers of His children!

Grab a journal or a notebook and start writing! You won’t be sorry you did. On this journey together, Deb


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