The Berean Expositor
Volume 21 - Page 119 of 202
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#35.
One aspect of answered prayer.
pp. 81 83
While to suggest that in this brief note we should deal with the question of answered
prayer would be so evidently unreasonable as to need no refutation, yet it may certainly
be a real ministry of consolation to many to have their minds illuminated by the teaching
of Scripture upon one of the many aspects of this vital theme.
Apart from higher spiritual aspirations to Christ likeness, fellowship, and conscious
entry into His blessed victory, most prayer falls under one of the following categories:
prayers for protection; prayers for provision; and, combining these two, prayers for the
presence of Him Who is both Protector of and Provider for His people.
Protection.
Let us now read II Kings 6: 8-17. The king of Syria was at war with Israel, and
because he had learned that Elisha kept the king of Israel posted as to the movements and
intentions of his foe, he compassed the city, wherein Elisha was staying, with horses and
chariots and a great host. When Elisha's servant beheld this huge encircling host he was
naturally much afraid, saying:--
"Alas, my master! how shall we do?" (II Kings 6: 15).
Elisha's reply supplies the point of our message regarding answered prayer:--
"And he answered, Fear not: for they that be with us are more than they that be with
him. And Elisha prayed, and said, 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" (II Kings 6: 16, 17).
The great truth for us at the moment is that answer to Elisha's prayer was not the
sending of the horses and chariots of fire, but the opening of the eyes to see that they
were there already. It is evident, therefore, and a matter of consolation to us all, that
sometimes we need to pray that our eyes may be opened that we may see what has
already been provided for our protection in Christ.
Provision.
Turn now to Gen. 21: 9-19. Sarah views with dismay the mocking of Isaac by
Ishmael, and prevails upon Abraham to dismiss Hagar, her handmaid, with her son. Let
it be said to Abraham's credit that, though he now realized his error in the matter of
Ishmael, he did not lightly set aside his responsibilities, and the dismissal of Hagar and
Ishmael was very grievous in his sight. However, being assured that this was in line with
the will of the Lord, he gave Hagar some bread and a bottle of water, and sent her and
Ishmael away, and they wandered in the wilderness of Beer-Sheba. Although Abraham