“Father, make of me a crisis man. Bring those I contact to decision. Let me not be a milepost on a single road;
make me a fork
, that men must turn one way or another on facing Christ in me.” - Jim Elliot

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Unanswered Prayer.

A window of opportunity. The rain had stopped, so I quickly ran outside to pick green beans for dinner. Not knowing how long the rain break would last, I passed by every distraction and began the reaping. It was the best harvest of beans yet.

I am still amazed at our little vegetable garden. I plant seeds. I water. Sometimes I remember to fertilize. And then something happens... a seedling... a plant... flowering... starts and then the bounty.

But there are times... that nothing happens. I plant. I water. I fertilize. I wait. I wait. I wait. And then the wondering begins... was something wrong with the seed? did I do something wrong? Why would one seed bloom but another would not?

And so it is with our prayers. Sometimes the answer is more than we could hope or dream. A bounty. And sometimes we wait. And nothing happens. And we wonder why God answers one prayer and not the other.

After reading her post today, I feel trite in even trying to post these thoughts which have been stewing for over two weeks now. But I am going to try. I admit that I do not have all the answers... but God does. And He can make sense of my thoughts... even when I cannot.

An outline found in the book Too Busy Not to Pray gives a general idea.
  • If the request is wrong, God says, "No."
  • If the timing is wrong, God says, "Slow."
  • If you are wrong, God says, "Grow."
  • But if the request is right, the timing is right and you are right, God says, "Go!"
"No" ~ Friday, I had the privilege of praying with other moms from Christopher's school. One of the moms said that her children wanted us to pray that they would not have homework over the weekend. We chuckled as we discussed the request. We felt we needed to bring their request before the Lord... and yet the request was selfishly motivated.

"Slow" ~ I also had the opportunity to see some closure to something I had been praying about for over a year and a half. Something that I thought would have occurred a year ago. And when I realized that it was going to take much longer then I anticipated... I had to find my strength in the Lord and trust him for his timing. I have to admit that because of the delay I drew closer to the Lord and have a new perspective on the situation. And looking back now... I see how the timing is... well, perfect.

"Grow" ~ God treasures our relationship with Him so much that He chooses it over our comfort or desires. If we do not know Him or if we are out of relationship with Him, He will choose our greater good.

I'll discuss "Grow" and "Go" in another post.

But for now... Why don't you tell me what you think about unanswered prayers?

"Frequently I have wondered if God was saying, 'No,'
only to find out later that hew was saying, 'Not yet'
so that he could orchestrate a greater miracle
than I had the faith to pray for in the beginning." ~ Bill Hybels


a portland granny said...

How do I feel about unanswered prayer??? Well, to be brutally frank, I find it frustrating, but also know that it is a lesson in continued trust! I also learned the hard way, not to demand an answer from God--I'll tell you about that one some time!!

I must get that book by Bill Hybils. I love what you are sharing from it.

bp said...

I like the quote at the bottom. I've found that often no really is not yet. The thing that came to mind was the prayers I prayed during my first pregnancy and then that followed when I had a miscarriage. Why why why? At the time it felt terrible and like God was saying no but really it was a not yet. I know there was a reason for the miscarriage and what we learned from that. It's hard during the problem/trial/hardship to see what God is teaching but looking back it is nice to see how it fits.