How do we faithfully pray about our greatest concerns when weeks turn into decades and we don’t see answers we’ve longed for? How can we experience joyful lives while waiting on God? Most of us are waiting for answers to prayers we’ve prayed for years.
God wants us to persist in prayer. Remember the parable Jesus told in Luke 11? A man knocked on his friend’s house at midnight, asking for bread. His friend didn’t want to be bothered but the man persisted; he kept knocking. Jesus said because of his persistence, the friend would eventually give him what he wanted. We are to pray in the same way the man knocked.
And so I tell you, keep on asking, and you will receive what you ask for. Keep on seeking, and you will find. Keep on knocking, and the door will be opened to you.
Luke 11:9, NLT
Our part is to pray and trust God to do what only He can accomplish. He will answer our requests in His way and in His time. The answers may be just what we hoped or they might be in ways we don’t understand.
On my wall hangs a vintage framed chalkboard. My husband cut plywood (which I painted with chalkboard paint) to fit into the ornate gold frame from my grandmother. She was a prayer warrior so it feels right to use her frame like this.
I’m honored to pray for the people and situations listed on the board. I wince when I add someone’s name, as I imagine what they’re going through.
I pray for many adult kids to return to their faith in Jesus. Several women are fighting cancer and I pray for their healing. Life carries with it a lot of difficult, painful experiences.
When we pray we don’t know what God will do or how He will answer. We are confident He will do what’s best for us as we read in Romans 8:28.
I can’t give a 100% guarantee that my prayers will result in desirable answers. It would be nice to check these items off as answered, and move onto something else.
But, I can remind friends of the faithful and sacrificial love of God. We can never doubt His love when we remember He sacrificed His only son for us.
We hold onto many promises in Scripture.
He is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.…
Some people go to God only in crisis. Prayer requests go out for the big things that can’t be humanly accomplished. A miracle is needed.
It’s important to remember, however, we need God’s miraculous power just to get up in the morning. Every breath we breathe is from Him. All we do emanates from Him.
Prayer is more than asking. He isn’t just a powerhouse in the sky for us to beg for help in our impossibilities. He’s our Father who desires a close relationship with us. Prayer is the avenue for our personal relationship with God.
While we wait for the big prayers to be answered, we are privileged to pray about the myriad of small things. We can live each day in conversation with Him, as we go about our life activities and responsibilities.
God and I have an ongoing dialog throughout each day. I might say, ”Help me be to safe on the road…show me who I should speak to on my walk… help me with this new recipe…speak to me…reveal yourself to me…help me to be healthy, to increase my strength…give me creative ideas in my writing, help me to write this blogpost, 🙂 give me wisdom as I shop to buy what I need and no more. Help my neighbor come to know you…let the words of my mouth be pleasing to you (Psalm 19:14)… please accomplish your will, and on and on it goes.
Prayer is such a gift, and the more we connect with the Lord and depend on Him for everything, the more answers we’ll see to our requests.
Pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18
God works in ways we aren’t able to see. If we’ve relinquished our lives to Him, He is in charge of our present and our future. We may not always understand why certain things did or didn’t happen, but as we look back, we can see that He was at work and he was faithful.
Long ago I became a single mom when my first husband left me. I could see not good in my situation and I prayed for years, even after our divorce, that we’d reconcile. God didn’t give me what I wanted. I could never have imagined that one day, out of the blue, He’d bring a wonderful man into my life and we’d be happily married all these years.
My older daughter is profoundly mentally impaired. For forty years, I’ve prayed for her development and understanding. Even now, she still needs assistance 24 hours a day. I’ll never stop praying for her.
We have to know He will do what’s best for us, as we read in Romans 8:28.
I’ve learned ten times more about God’s grace in dark times than I did in prosperity.
As we wait on Him, our character is developed.
When we’re discouraged in prayer, we should remember Jesus understands everything we go through. While He was on the cross, His Father said no when He asked that the “cup” be taken from Him.
In this most vulnerable moment, He modeled for us how we should surrender to God’s will when he said, not my will but yours.
He was abandoned and He suffered in unimaginable ways. His life on earth was difficult. He was misunderstood, ridiculed and killed by those He came to love and save.
I am not a theologian or a scholar, but I am very aware of the fact that pain is necessary to all of us. In my own life, I think I can honestly say that out of the deepest pain has come the strongest conviction of the presence of God and the love of God.