â€œIn the day when I cried thou answered me, and strengthened me with strength in my soul.â€ (Psalm 138:3)
Godâ€™s responses to our prayers are delivered in two ways: practically, in the circumstances or in the direction, and spiritually, in the â€œinner manâ€ (Ephesians 3:16).
We are often so focused on the physical or external event for which we are insistently praying that when the answer comes we fail to receive the full blessingâ€”even if we read the practical answer correctly.
Our heavenly Father is committed to providing our needs on Earth (Philippians 4:19;Luke 12:30), but such supply is of minimal significance in the scope of eternity. The good thoughts (Jeremiah 29:11) and the good gifts of God (Luke 11:13) are toward the expected end, the ultimate conformity â€œto the image of his Sonâ€ (Romans 8:29).
While God responds to our physical needs, His heart and His purpose are to fill us â€œwith all the fulness of Godâ€ (Ephesians 3:19).
He blesses us â€œwith all spiritual blessingsâ€ (Ephesians 1:3) and has chosen us to be â€œholy and without blameâ€ (Ephesians 1:4).
Godâ€™s Word is designed to allow us to participate in the â€œdivine natureâ€ (2 Peter 1:4).
Godâ€™s desire in responding to our prayers is this:
â€œThat ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfullness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in lightâ€ (Colossians 1:9-12).
But please be on notice! This internal and spiritual worship and praise cannot be kept private. The â€œinternalâ€ blessings of God will overflow in godly behavior and visible joy (James 3:13;Â 1 Peter 1:8). HMM III