Spiritual gifts and unanswered prayer

In studying our way through Ephesians 4, we’ve seen the importance of spiritual gifts and how God uses them to accomplish His purposes in His people.  We seem to understand that, at least cognitively, if not also experientially.

But the use of our gifts and our receiving the practice of the gifts of other believers may be even more significant than we might initially think.  Consider this:  sometimes our perception that God hasn’t answered a prayer may be because we have failed to participate in the life of the body of Christ.  John Piper explains:

God may intend to give us the blessing we long for not directly in answer to prayer, but indirectly in answer to prayer — through the spiritual gifting of another believer.  And the reason we don’t receive the blessing is that we don’t avail ourselves of the power God intends to channel through the gifts of his people.…

If we pray and pray for some change we want to see, but we never consider seeking the ministry of a fellow believer, we are like the eye that says to the hand, I have no need of you” (1 Corinthians 12:21).

In other words, we need the ministry of one another and God uses that life-on-life ministry within the body to administer His grace to us and even to answer our prayers!

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