Saturday, April 07, 2007

Unanswered Prayer

Last week our pastor taught about unanswered prayer at church. He asked how many people struggled with unanswered prayer. I put my hand up. There wasn’t a whole bunch of other people who put their hands up. He thanked those people who put their hands up for being honest. I was surprised not to see more hands.

Shouldn’t all Christians struggle with unanswered prayer? The bible has many references that could be considered promises of affirmative answers to our prayers. And even without those I believe in a God who loves me. Wouldn’t any good father give a child what they asked for? Would a good father allow his children to suffer?

I may sound angry. I am not angry at all right now. In fact I can’t really point to an unanswered prayer of mine that is particularly bothering me at the moment. I have been thinking a lot about faith and belief lately. I have struggled with prayer because I am afraid of unanswered prayer. I don’t want to ask for fear of not receiving. What kind of belief is that?

So perhaps the key is to struggle with unanswered prayer. The alternative, for me anyway, is to not see any answer to prayer at all.

1 comment:

Stephanie said...

I must admit, something happened yesterday that looked like an unanswered prayer. The job that has been prayed for and expected fell through in the last moment. Summer is upon us and Jimmy is jobless. From a fleshly perspective, things look bleak. But, I don't consider it unanswered prayer at all. I see it as God's guidance. I see that He has way better plans that we cannot see. We don't know what He has in store. We can't imagine anything better than what we had planned... a summer at the farm where our kids could run and play all day... the highest paying job Jimmy has ever had... a whole summer with family... and the list goes on. Now that has disappeared, Jimmy's finals are over, and there is nothing in sight. Praise the Lord!! He has everything under control! Just because we can't see what He is doing, doesn't mean that He is ignoring us. In fact, I believe that it is all in your perspective. If we believe Jeremiah 29:11, "I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" - if we believe that, then we don't need to worry whether or not He gives us what we ask or not. Of course, there is the whole aspect of praying in faith, for things like healing, and I do believe that God expects us to take authority over the things He has given us authority over, which leads us to the post on "The Secret". I don't believe that saying happy things will make happy things happen. That, of course, is baloney. But God has made some things clear in the Bible, and we can definitely choose "life" or choose "death". We can choose joy... or not. If we are blown around by our circumstances, life will be so full of ups and downs that the roller coaster ride will be so wild that we'd be sick! I think it may come down to a matter of trust.