Watching for God’s Answers to Our Prayers

Psalm 5:2, 3; Psalm 130:5

Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto thee will I pray. My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.

C. H. SPURGEON (1834-1892):Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King and my God.” Here is a grand argument why God should answer prayer―because he is our King and our God. We are not aliens to Him: He is the King of our country. Kings are expected to hear the appeals of their own people. We are not strangers to Him; we are His worshippers, and He is our God: ours by covenant, by promise, by oath, by blood…Above all, we should cultivate the habit of expecting answers to our prayers. We should do like the merchant who sends his ships to sea. We should not be satisfied unless we see some return.

A. W. PINK (1886-1952): True faith looks to a promising God, and expects Him to be a performing God, too.

MATTHEW HENRY (1662-1714): We must look after our praying, and see what answer God gives.

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up, Psalm 5:3—“I will look up.” The prophet, in these words, makes use of two military words. First, he would not only pray, but marshal up his prayers, he would put them in battle-array; so much the Hebrew word gnarach imports. Secondly, when he had done this, then he would be as a spy upon his watchtower, to see whether he prevailed, whether he got the day or not; and so much the Hebrew word tsaphah imports. When David had set his prayers, his petitions, in rank and file, in good array, then he was resolved he would look abroad, he would look about him, to see at what door God would send in an answer of prayer.

C. H. SPURGEON: We may expect answers to prayer, and should not be easy without them any more than we should be if we had written a letter to a friend upon important business, and had received no reply.

THOMAS BROOKS: He is either a fool or a madman, he is either very weak or very wicked, that prays but never looks after his prayers; that shoots many an arrow towards heaven, but never minds where his arrows alight. When children shoot their arrows, they never mind where they fall; but when prudent archers shoot their arrows up into the air, they stand and watch where they fall.  You must deal by your prayers as prudent archers do by their arrows: “I will stand upon my watch, and set me upon the tower, and will watch to see what he will say unto me, Habakkuk 2:1―the prophet who, in the former chapter, had been very earnest and very fervent in his supplications, gets now upon his watchtower, to see what becomes of his prayer. He stands as a sentinel, and watches as vigilantly and as carefully as a spy, a scout, earnestly longing to hear and see the event, the issue, and success of his prayers.

WILLIAM GURNALL (1617-1679): To pray, and not watch what becomes of our prayer is a great folly, and no little sin. What is this but to take the name of God in vain? Yet thus do many knock at God’s door, and then run away to the world and think no more of their prayers.

WILLIAM JAY (1769-1853): It is more than trifling [with God]; it is even insulting Him, to awaken His attention when we never mean to regard His benefits. Yet thousands never think more of their prayers when they have once offered them. They knock, but never stay to see whether the door of mercy is opened.  They send an address, but never wait for a reply, or read it when it comes. And will God remember prayers which we ourselves forget, or regard prayers which we ourselves despise?

F. W. KRUMMACHER (1796-1868): Too often we omit to notice God’s answer to our prayers, otherwise how often should we find to our glad astonishment that at the time of our supplication, the commandment had gone forth to help us.

THOMAS BROOKS: Certainly there is little worth in that man’s heart, or in that man’s prayers, who keeps up a trade of prayer, but never looks to see what becomes of his prayers.

WILLIAM JAY: Yet as prayer is answered, it is proper and important to attend to it; and whoso is wise and will observe these things, even he shall understand the loving-kindness of the Lord, Psalm 107:43.

C. H. SPURGEON: Answers to prayer should be noted and acknowledged…Answers to prayer serve in no small degree to illustrate the goodness of God; and confirm our faith in it.

WILLIAM JAY: How desirable to know that He has not forgotten to be gracious, or turned away our prayer from Him. How confirming to our confidence to be able to say with Moses, The Lord heard me at that time also, Deuteronomy 10:10. What excitement to praise and prayer does David derive from the persuasion, “I love the Lord, because he hath heard my voice and my supplications; because he hath incline his ear unto me, therefore will I call upon him as long as I live,” Psalm 116:1,2.

C. H. SPURGEON: The Psalmist not only knows that he loves God, but he knows why he does so. When love can justify itself with a reason, it is deep, strong, and abiding―David’s reason for his love was the love of God in hearing his prayers―Answered prayers are silken bonds which bind our hearts to God. When a man’s prayers are answered, love is the natural result. According to Alexander, both verbs may be translated in the present, and the text may run thus, “I love because Jehovah hears my voice, my supplications.” This also is true in the case of every pleading believer. Continual love flows out of daily answers to prayer.

THOMAS BROOKS (1608-1680): Now this was the frame and temper of David’s spirit when he came off from praying; he falls into waiting for a gracious answer…Carefully watch what happens to your private prayers. Look at what door, in what way, and by what hand the Lord shall please to give you an answer to the secret desires of your souls.

MARY WINSLOW (1774-1854): But how few—how very few—watch the hand and doings of God! And lacking this, they continue blind to His great goodness and His unceasing care.


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