I know a lot of my blogs lately have been about prayer. So what? I read about it and think about it all the time. So I guess you could say it’s on my mind and it certainly is in my heart. When the things you pray for do not come to pass. When I questions you ask receive no answer. When you’ve drawn a circle of prayer and years go by without seeing it happen, do you trust that God is still for you even when He doesn’t give you what you asked for? Do you trust that He has reasons beyond your reason? Do you trust that Your plan is better than His? New truth came as I read Deuteronomy 29:29 (NLT)The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.”
Perhaps I need a Deuteronomy 29:29 file into which I put my unanswered questions, my unanswered prayers. I need to realize that God has secrets (mysteries) known to no one that will only be revealed in eternity. I don’t understand a lot of things: why my mother died at age 53 of emphysema and never smoked a cigarette in her life! Why people I love are stricken withe cancer or a plagued with agonizing pain?
This is the signature text for unanswered prayers. We must guard our hearts and not allow unresolved anger to build toward God. It’s one of the hardest things to do. Trusting God may be the last card in your hand but Batterson says, it’s “the Wild Card.” “If you can trust God when the answer is no, you’re likely to give Him praise when the answer is yes.” So “press in and press on!” (122) “Praying hard is praying when it’s hard to pray. But “hard times teach us to pray hard.” But if we will “keep praying through, the peace that transcends understanding will guard our hearts and minds.”
Sometimes the answer is no and we may never understand why. (I sort of feel this way about praying for my loved ones and friends. They seem to roll from one negative condition to another.
Batterson says that “What we perceive as unanswered prayers are often the greatest prayers.” When you’re tempted to question, “What’s going on, God?” perhaps He is orchestrating “the greatest answer.” When God answers prayer, “He doesn’t settle for good;” He gives us what is best.” Do we trust Him? “Our Heavenly Father is far too wise and loves us far too much to give us everything we ask for. Someday we’ll thank Him for the prayers He didn’t answer as much or more than the ones He did.” Someday we’ll just have to trust that our “frustration will turn to celebration if we patiently and persistently pray through.” It may take years or may never make sense, but “sometimes God gets in the way to show us the way.”
David F. Nixon, D.Min.
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