May the Lord Answer Your Prayers

In Numbers 6:22-27, among the multitude of instruction that God gave Moses and the people of Israel, a famous blessing of the Jewish people appears:

 

24The Lord bless you

And keep you

25the Lord make His face shine upon you

and be gracious to you

26the Lord lift up His countenance upon you

and give you peace

 

These blessings expressed the hope of all who would put their trust in the Lord. In a world that competed for the hearts and affections of the Israelites, those who remained faithful looked to the Lord for their prosperity and peace.

The New Testament is no stranger to a greeting expressing the hope that the favor of God would fall upon them. Paul, for example, began his writings with such expressions, “3Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor. 1:3, cf. Rom. 1:7, 2 Cor. 1:2, et al). A heart full of God’s grace and peace is a heart full of the Lord.

We should not be surprised to discover that the hope of God’s favor appears in other places, too, like in Psalm 20. The expressions abound in this psalm, with one important focal point of hope. The blessings of Psalm 20 look like this:

 

1May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble;

May the name of the God of Jacob defend you;

2May He send you help from the sanctuary,

And strengthen you out of Zion;

3May He remember all your offerings,

And accept your burnt sacrifice.

4May He grant you according to your heart’s desire,

And fulfill all your purpose.

5… May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.

9… May the King answer us when we call.

 

At the heart of the blessing is the hope that the Lord would answer prayers:

 

1May the LORD answer you…

4May He grant you according to your heart’s desire…

5… May the LORD fulfill all your petitions.

6… He will answer him…

9… May the King answer us when we call.

 

David wrote a good portion of the psalms. If anything characterizes David, it is that He always went to the Lord. He trusted in the Lord explicitly, and amid every trial, and the pursuit of his enemies, and the onslaught of the wicked, David ran to God, making his petitions for deliverance to Him.

Prayer is the natural communication between the believer and God. It is expected that we pray always (1 Thes. 5:17). With prayer comes the hope and expectation that the Lord will answer our prayers. It is fitting, then, that Christians share that hope of answered prayer with one another, just as we find in Psalm 20, “May the Lord answer you!”

When others share their burdens with us, we should tell them we will pray for them, and “May the Lord answer all our prayers.” When someone tells us they are praying for us, we should express the hope, “May the Lord answer all your prayers.” When we seek to do the Lord’s work and have needs in order to bring it about, and as the church prays together for those needs, “May the Lord answer all our prayers.”

The deliverance and provision we need to live this life for God revolve around God’s favor, His grace, to us. At the heart of God’s grace is our relationship with Him and our communication with Him. Prayer is a pivotal part of the life of the believer. So, let us pray, and may the Lord answer all our prayers.

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