In preparing to teach Sunday School tomorrow on 1 John 5:7-21, I found the following quote from Thomas Chalmers in Joel Beeke's "Epistles of John". I'm in conversation with someone who asked about praying that God would show him a sign that He was working out answers to his prayers. I had responded that to ask God in that way was unsound, and was an expression of unbelief - to put God to the test in that way is simply not something we ought to do. Providentially, then, I happened upon the Chalmers quotation, in which the subject of prayer and God's answers to prayer was mentioned. Chalmers wrote in his diary, "Make me sensible of real answers to actual requests, as evidences of an interchange between myself on earth and my Saviour in heaven." (quoted in Beeke, The Epistles of John, p. 207)
THIS is an honorable prayer - that God would remove our blindness so that we could see more clearly the answers He is giving to our intercessory prayers. We are never to tell God to give us some sort of sign so that we know He is answering our prayers - that is what He promises to do as our God, for us as His people. To ask for signs is, in my view, to ask God to prove that He is trustworthy. Isn't that simply unbelief? Seems that way. Let us be prepared, rather, to ask God to open our eyes and help us to see, that we might glorify Him as we recognize His work in our lives. Gideon's example, in which the man's weakness of faith is displayed for us, is not one for us to follow.
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