The Berean Expositor
Volume 13 - Page 72 of 159
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An Aspect of Answered Prayer.
pp. 158, 159
What constitutes answer to prayer? To be able to comprehend the subject sufficiently
so as to give a full answer seems to be beyond our present attainment, but it may be
helpful to consider one of the many aspects of the question. The examples we give tend
to show that many times the answer to our prayer is close at hand, and that in supplying
our need God has no necessity to work a miracle, but only to open our eyes that we may
see. The case of Hagar comes to mind in this connection.
"The water was spent in the bottle . . . . . she . . . . . lift up her voice and wept . . . . .
God hath heard the voice of the lad where he is . . . . . and God OPENED HER EYES,
and she saw a well of water" (Gen. 21: 15-19).
There is nothing to lead us to believe that the well of water miraculously provided, it
was there all time, and the child was dying of thirst not because of the lack of water, but
because of the lack of vision.
In Gen. 22: the great test of Abraham's faith is recorded. Once more we do not
gather from the narrative that the ram caught by its horns dropped down from heaven at
the critical moment, rather do we understand that it was there all the time, but that
Abraham did not see it until the necessity arose:--
"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in
a thicket by his horns . . . . . And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovah-jireh:
as it is said to this day. In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen" (Gen. 22: 13, 14).
In both cases there is a personal act of faith accompanying the vision:--
"And God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water: and she WENT and
FILLED the bottle."
"And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked . . . . . and Abraham WENT and
TOOK the ram."
The incident recorded in II Kings 6: will doubtless come to the mind of the reader.
The servant of Elisha when he saw the great host encompassing the city cried:--
"Alas, my master! how shall we do?" (verse 15).
Elisha stilled his fears, not by saying that God would send deliverance, but by simply
"Lord, I pray thee, open his eyes, THAT HE MAY SEE. And the Lord opened the
eyes of the young man; and he saw: and behold, the mountain was full of horses and
chariots of fire round about Elisha" (verse 17).
Our greatest need is not for the miraculous provision of water in the wilderness,
not for deliverance, not for chariots of fire, but eyes to see.