Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

The Formula for Success
“It shall come to pass That before they call, I will answer; And while they are still speaking, I will hear.” (Isaiah 65:24, NKJV)
Our Desire
All of us who are saved would like to believe the Lord is like Aladdin’s lamp.  In the mythical story,  Aladdin was able to get a genie to grant him three wishes.  I always thought his third wish should be to have more wishes but not having read the story recently, maybe that was “out of bounds.”  Most of us would love to know that the Lord has granted us three wishes to use as we please.  However, instead of being granted three wishes, we often feel like the Lord is not answering our prayers.  I know that we say that the Lord always answers, but sometimes the answer is “no.”  While that may be true, that is not what I usually mean when I say that the Lord has answered my prayers.
Biblical Instructions
Many people have studied prayer from a Biblical perspective and they all give us scriptural guidelines for our praying.  Some pray for hours before starting their day.  Others make sure that we are praying with thanksgiving.  We are told not to make a public spectacle of our prayers and to pray in the will of God (which probably means we should pray for things for which the Lord wants us to pray).  Should we fast when we pray?  Little is said about fasting in the new testament and yet it is obvious that the early new testament believers fasted.  
With all this instruction on prayer, when it seems that the Lord has not heard us, we can easily find some fault in either the things for which we prayed or in the way we prayed. However,  the Bible says to pray without ceasing (that is to keep praying for the things that are burdens to us even when the prayer may not be answered on our time table.)  The Bible says to pray with thanksgiving.  The Bible says to pray for those in authority.  And Paul asked people to pray for him that he might be bold in presenting the mystery of the Gospel.  I think that means we should be praying for those who are preaching the “how to go to heaven” Gospel. 
What Should We Do?
So what should we do if we feel like the Lord is not answering our prayers?   First of all, keep praying, keep asking, keep praising.  Maybe we don’t spend long hours in prayer but we can pray often as the Lord brings burdens to our minds that we need to give to the Lord.  We can even pray while driving so long as we are not determined to always close our eyes in order to pray.   It wouldn’t hurt for us to spend long hours in prayer as well and I know by experience that it doesn’t hurt to fast.  That can be done in different ways, but when a person fasts (diabetics need to be careful here), the discipline that is involved in being hungry and not eating reminds a person that they are needing to exhibit that same discipline in prayer. 
Be Encouraged!
I am encouraged by the fact that the day is coming (particularly for the nation of Israel) when the Lord will be answering before they actually vocalize their requests.  LIkely this will be in the Lord’s millennial reign.  That will be far better than Aladdin’s lamp.  But I think we can enter into that kind of a relationship even today.  The Lord says through King David: 
Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass (Psalm 37:3-5 NKJV).
I think David had the formula for success when we pray.  Trust, delight, commit, and He shall bring it to pass.  The only thing is, it may not be before we call in this day and age.  But the Lord will answer our prayers (in the affirmative).  Praise the Lord!
Bruce Collins
Meditation for the week of October 16, 2022

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