A Word to the Wise: A prayer God will always answer with a "yes"

By: Tom Rupp, Special to the Telegraph
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Although the philosopher Kierkegaard defined prayer in one word as ?listening,? we also think of prayer as talking to God. We can see similarities between prayer and a child asking its parent for something. Sometimes a child makes a request knowing for sure that the answer will be ?no? but still gives it a shot anyway. Sometimes that same child presents a request and sincerely wonders that perhaps there?s a chance he will receive it. When my boys were just starting off in life, they quickly learned that some things would not be given them, such as an expensive toy a month after Christmas. Then again, there were times that they asked to get an ice cream and to their delight we went for a treat.The same holds true in prayer. I cannot guarantee a positive answer to every prayer that you pray. A prayer for a new Jaguar, or a million dollars, is suspect from the start for me. James 4:3 says, ?And even when you ask, you don?t get it because your motives are all wrong?you want only what will give you pleasure.? Having said that, I can think of at least one prayer whose answer is always guaranteed to be ?yes.? In Philippians 1:9-11 Paul prayed, ?I pray that your love will overflow more and more, and that you will keep on growing in knowledge and understanding. For I want you to understand what really matters, so that you may live pure and blameless lives until the day of Christ?s return. May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation?the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ?for this will bring much glory and praise to God.? If you were to pray for an overflowing love and a God-glorifying life, you will be asking God for what He already wants to give you. It?s sort of like when my little boy asked me for money in order to buy me a Christmas gift. Of course I will say ?yes.? Yes, this is one prayer whose answer is guaranteed. You can pray this with complete confidence as to its answer. When you pray this, you are asking what God wants you to ask and what He wants to give. So pray for a thoroughly loving life that will bring glory to God and then enjoy the adventure that unfolds before you. Reach Tom Rupp at