Shirley's Corner - Why Doesn't God Answer My Prayers?1
In talking to a friend recently she asked, "Shirley, why doesn't God answer my prayers?"
I'm sure as she pondered this question in her mind, our enemy had plenty of answers for her. "God doesn't care about a nobody like you. You are unimportant in His grand scheme of life, so save your breath! You aren't even a "blip" on His radar. He "screens" His calls and you are too sinful to answer.". The father of lies has spoken once more.
However, the Father of Truth hears and answers every prayer brought before His throne.
"And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: (we are sure) that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we (positively) know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know (with settled and absolute knowledge) that we have (granted us as our present possessions) the requests made of Him.". (1John 5:14-15)
All our prayers are answered personally by a God Who hears our faintest sigh. Over and over throughout the New Testament we are both invited and commanded to ask of the God Who both hears and answers.
In general, God's answers fall into three categories and under these categories the specifics are as varied as the petitioners. His answers are YES...NO...and WAIT.
YES is the answer we all want to hear when we pray...and the sooner, the better. We are sure that if God will just grant our wishes, life will be wonderful! It is the Father's good pleasure to pour out love on us, and we have all received wonderful blessings from His hands. In fact, He lavishes on us not only our needs, but more than we had hoped or imagined. We do not serve a "stingy" God, but One Who delights in saying YES to those prayers that will truly enrich our lives.
NO is also an answer to prayer...most times the answer we don't want to hear. In His same protective love, He says NO when the things we ask will harm us or side-track the plans He has already set in motion.
James tells us in chapter 4 the following:
"...you have not, because you ask not. (Or) you do ask (God for them) and yet fail to receive, because you ask with wrong purpose and evil, selfish motives. Your intention is (when you get what you desire) to spend it in sensual pleasures."
Because He loves you with His entire Being, the answer is NO!
WAIT is also an answer. When the disciples wondered what was to come next after the resurrection, Jesus gave them these instructions:
"And while being in their company and eating at table with them, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem but to WAIT for what the Father had promised, Of which, (He said) you have heard me speak." Acts 1:4
Abraham WAITED for an answer, Simeon WAITED for an answer, Jesus WAITED for His Father to reveal His will while He was here on earth....and dear ones, at some point in your prayers you will also hear Him say WAIT...
YES! NO! WAIT! They are all answers to prayer...Learn to rejoice in every answer, for it is Father's good will concerning you!
Richard J. Foster
With love from my chair at the Harvest Table,
Photo Credit at top of post: Where Can I Find God blog
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