I thought I’d spend the next post or two discussing prayer. This post covers something we’ve all agonized over at various times in our lives — unanswered prayer.
“Didn’t Jesus say, ‘Ask and it shall be given, seek and you shall find, knock and the door shall be open?’ Didn’t he say that?”
Yes, Jesus did say that. Then why do some of our prayers go left unanswered? How many times have you heard, “Sometimes the answer is no answer.”?
Bill has an outline that addresses the various responses God has to our prayers: “No,” “Slow,” “Grow,” or “Let’s go.”
If the request is wrong, God will say, “No.”
Maybe the request is a cop-out on your part, an unwillingness to face a real issue. Maybe the request is destructive in ways you don’t understand. Maybe the request is self-serving. Maybe the request is shortsighted. Maybe the request is too small, and God might have something better in mind, and he’s saying no to this one because he has a better plan. Could be you’ll be thanking Him for saying no down the road as you realize it would not have been the best thing for you.
If the timing is wrong, God will say, “Slow.”
We live in a society that demands instant gratification. Like children, we dislike the words, “Not yet,” as God shakes his head at us. God has reasons for his “Not yets;” we must not insist we know better than he. Among them are such concerns as the possibility of you developing some character, some endurance, some trust, some patience, or some submission, while God is orchestrating the timing of the answer to prayer. As human beings we tend to be much more concerned about comfort and convenience than we are about building character through patiently waiting on and trusting in God’s timing. I think God is a whole lot more concerned about character than he is about instant gratification and personal convenience.
If you are wrong, God will say, “Grow.”
Relational discord will cut us off from close fellowship with God. When we disobey, God says, “Why should I honor your requests when you don’t honor mine?” Ouch… It’s a lot easier to point the finger at God for not answering prayer than it is to look in the mirror and to say, “Maybe I’m the problem.” Put that sin away. It’s the only thing standing in the way. Change your attitude on this or that. Stop that practice. End that pattern. Reconcile that relationship. Soften up in your spirit. Repent; receive forgiveness. Come on, grow, grow. It’s the only thing standing in the way!” And God says, “When you grow, I’ll open up the floodgates of power and blessing and pour myself out to you, but you’ve got to grow.”
When the timing is right, God will say, “Let’s go!”
God wants to move that mountain for us; to change that circumstance; to answer that prayer. You’ll be amazed at how often God will say, “Let’s go!” When everything gets lined up, as it fits into the plans that he has for you and for this world, you’ll be amazed at how often God will say, “Let’s go,” because you matter to him and it’s in his heart to meet your needs and grant your requests. It’s really more a matter of you letting him, you freeing him to do it.
What a special gift we have been given by our creator to converse directly to Him.
I’m trying to get out of the way, but I keep bumping into myself!