Today's Devotional Thought
June 22, 2010 by Wendy Foreman
I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer recently. I read something that said prayer is something we learn to do. We are not born knowing how to pray and even after we become a Christian, it is not something that we just know how to do. It is something that we continually practice and that we eventually feel very comfortable doing. And, the more we pray the easier it will be to discern the voice of God.
I could make a list of questions that I have concerning prayer. Why are some prayers answered and some seem to go unanswered for years or forever? Why do some people get miracles and some don’t? Why do horrible things happen in spite of prayer?
I have asked these questions to God numerous times and I have been asked them by many people. And, I wish I had this wonderful answer that would make sense and take away any pain and heartache you may have regarding seemingly unanswered prayers. The bottom line is that we live in a fallen world. Adam brought sin into this world and all humans were given a free will. God can not and will not dictate our lives. We, and those around us, are free to make good or bad choices. The sad part is sometimes we or someone we love are on the receiving end of someone’s bad choice. Maybe it was a car accident where someone was driving drunk and they wrecked into your loved ones car. I know it is painful and there are questions you have, but friend, it was a BAD choice on the other person’s part. Your pain is real and God feels it and knows it. There are so many questions we have in this life that I don’t know will ever be answered on this side of heaven.
Today, I want to talk about when we pray. Sometimes, it is very difficult for us to discern what God’s will is for the situation we are praying about because we have certain feelings about what we want the outcome to be. We often times find ourselves feeling very strongly about what we are praying about, so it makes it difficult to see what God wants. I laugh while I am typing this because I think we go to God already convinced of what He should do. Ladies, we have to remain neutral in all of this. I know this because Jesus says in the Lord’s Prayer, “Your kingdom come your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:9-10). We must get to a point where ALL we want is the will of God.
So, how do we recognize when God answers our prayers? There are 4 answers I believe that God gives us. (1) Yes; (2) No; (3) Wait; and (4) My grace is sufficient.
When God says “yes” we rejoice and shout for joy. When God says “no,” it seems we pray more and harder, or we look to see if we have sin in our life that needs to be confessed. We need to learn that God knows what is best for us. He sees what we don’t see and sometimes "no" is the best thing for us. God says “wait” sometimes to protect us and also because the timing just isn’t right yet and we must wait for His timing. When God says “My grace is sufficient,” those are the times when we pray and nothing happens. We could pray for months or years and see nothing. It seems like Heaven is silent. Let me share with you that this has nothing to do with if we prayed hard enough or long enough or whether we prayed with intensity. This is when God is up to something that we can’t see. Something perhaps bigger than we thought or maybe he has a different answer than the one we anticipated. I am sorry to say, but sometimes, God doesn’t remove that thing we are praying about because it becomes the “thorn” in our flesh. Sometimes His lack of response is his way of saying “My grace is sufficient”.
If you are facing a difficult and painful situation and you are praying and it seems like God isn’t answering let me reassure you that it is okay to ask why. David did in Psalm 13:1 “How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?” God isn’t offended that you ask why. He desires for you to trust Him enough to know that He does know what is best for you.
Ladies, my desire is that all of you are spending time in prayer everyday. That you begin to recognize the voice of God and also recognize when He has answered your prayers. Prayer is a subject that we could talk all day about and I am sure that Rachel or I will be doing many more devotionals on prayer.