By: G.J. Fortier

Does God answer your prayers?

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chronicles 7:14 (NIV)

Is this verse a familiar one to you? I’m sure that it is if you’ve ever attended any IronMen Ministries event. Every Friday morning, we IronMen gather together in God’s name for breakfast, testimony, and fellowship, and we open with the verse above and the Pledge of Allegiance to our country.

We also pray.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.” Matthew 6:5-8 (NIV)

On these occasions, our prayers tend, but are in no way limited, to focusing on big things. For example, we might pray for our leadership. Not only within the ministry, but for our local, state, and federal governments (who need these prayers very, very … very much at the minute). We might pray for events such as wars, famine, oppression, etc. around the world. We might even pray that God, in his infinite wisdom, uses all of these situations, and many more, for His purpose, and that He gives us the insight and acumen to accept what’s happening as just that, His will. But prayer is much, much more personal than that.

Being a Christian is all about accepting that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. That He accepted the punishment for the sins of all mankind, living in the past, now, or in the future, by dying on the cross, so that we all might attain the divine salvation and eternal life that He promised us. This can never be earned. It must be accepted as the gift from our Heavenly Father that it is.

But it’s not that simple.