555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

376. Is It Right to Ask for Definite Blessings?

There are many passages, such as John 16 33, which warrant definiteness in prayer. Indeed, if a man needs something very badly, and is sure that it would be a blessing to him, he would show a lack of faith if he did not pray for it. There are many, however, who shrink from praying for definite blessings, after a painful experience. They have prayed for some blessing, and God has heard them, and granted their request, and it has proved to be a curse. Emerson said, in a passage which we cannot find, but the gist of which we quote from memory, that all prayers are answered, therefore we ought to be very careful for what we pray. A celebrated divine wrote: "There are millions of Christians day by day imploring God for the salvation of the whole world, and the supplication has never been answered. Does God, then, keep his promise? Is prayer a dead failure? Does God mock the Christian Church? Are we told to bring all our gifts into the storehouse and prove him, only to find out that he breaks his promise? The answer to prayer is only a question of time. So far from there ever having been a million prayers lost, there has never been one prayer lost. God not only keeps one promise, but he keeps all the promises, and never since the moment we first breathed the Christian life, have we ever offered an unavailing prayer."