Unanswered Prayer Part 2
|October 12, 2021|
Unfulfilled prayer – even this past week, I became aware of a relationship, prayed and hoped for, that did not come to pass. The temptation was to question “What happened?” While I’m purposefully being vague on what type of relationship this was, I am inclined to think most of us have had an experience similar to this. Because what we were praying for seemed to make sense, as it was a God-honoring prayer. But when the answer was no, we became introspective. Perhaps we did not pray hard enough, well enough, or deep enough; perhaps we did something that voided our prayers.
The human race has never been very good at obeying God. We see this in the scriptures. Throughout the Old Testament, the Hebrew people were constantly wanting to do their own thing or have their own way. God’s people would walk in alignment with God’s ways; then they wanted what they shouldn’t have; thus they fell into abject sin and walked away from their God. Because of their sin, they faced the consequences of that sin (which usually involved death or enslavement); and then……finally…..they cried out to God for relief. A young friend once shared, “The Jewish people certainly weren’t very smart.” My response was, “I know, and we are just like them.” So! It does not set well when the answers to our prayers are not what we were looking for. We want answers; we want them now! If I don’t get what I want, to me it then becomes obvious the Lord does not care about me.
But….does this mean that God doesn’t love or care for us? Our immediate response is no, absolutely not! But, there could be one or two who have to think about the question. I hope you had the opportunity to look last week at the list of bible verses showing us how God sees us and how he hears our prayers. The link to that PDF is still below. I found myself seeing God’s promises in those verses. This past week, two verses stood out to me.
· O Lord, you have searched me and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O Lord. Psalm 139:1-4
This verse not only encourages me but it also keeps my “plumb line” centered on my Lord. The Lord knows every detail of who I am. This verse is also a bit disconcerting because if the Lord knows every aspect of my life, am I living my life in a way that is honoring to my Lord? I love the fact that He knows what I’m going to say before I say it. To me, this means in part that I don’t have to impress my Lord with verbose (aka long-winded) prayers. Instead, I can be concise and heartfelt.
· …..The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will. Romans 8:26-27
This is another verse I’ve learned to depend upon. A few days back I had the opportunity to pray with a lady who was going through difficult trials. At one point, I confessed out loud, “Lord, I don’t know how to pray about this.” Immediately, I knew in my spirit that the Spirit of the Living God was interceding on behalf of both of us; and, he was giving me the words to continue praying. The Lord desires this kind of intimacy with his children.
If you’ve not had the opportunity to read the attached verses, I encourage you to do so now. Perhaps even consider underlining each of God’s promises or attributes you find. If you believe that God’s word is true; if you have received Jesus/Yeshua as your Lord; then, “The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ…” Romans 8:16-17. With this knowledge, allow the power of God’s Spirit (the Ruach haKodesh) to awaken within you the truth of how God sees you.
So…..we still have those unanswered and “unfairly” answered prayers. Next week I hope to share practical & biblical ways to remain engaged and even be encouraged during the times of waiting or processing through the disappointments.
Coming up on Saturday, October 30 – Encircle Tucson with Prayer. Please click on link below for more information.
Blessings & Shalom,