Unanswered Prayers

My God, my God, why have you deserted me?

Why are you so far away? Won’t you listen to my groans and come to my rescue? I cry out day and night, but you don’t answer, and I can never rest.         Psalm 22:1-2 (CEV)

I believe that God always answers. I believe that my perception of no answer IS an answer. There are times that God is silent.

I have had very difficult seasons in my life. Frankly, it seemed to become more difficult after I made my commitment to follow Jesus Christ! My father died. My husband told me he wanted to divorce. My youngest child was diagnosed with cancer. I committed my life to Jesus and all hell broke loose! I’ve heard other people share similar stories.

Have you ever cried out to God – and cried out to God – for days, weeks, months, years – and heard nothing? What is God saying when He is not speaking? Couldn’t He say, “Wait” or “No”?

Jesus answered: “Don’t let anyone fool you. Many will come and claim to be me. They will say that they are the Messiah, and they will fool many people. You will soon hear about wars and threats of wars, but don’t be afraid. These things will have to happen first, but that isn’t the end.”            Matthew 24:4-6 (CEV)

Jesus warns us here and in John 16 that there will be a time when the world and events become our worse nightmare. Today, in 2011, we may think we are seeing some of the beginnings of that time. Multiple disasters of nature, multiple wars, violent crime escalating, and churches bickering, back-biting, and refusing to work together for God’s Kingdom. Yes, it seems bad. But I believe it is going to get much worse. We must learn to walk in faith in Jesus and His plan, not by what we see with our eyes. Jesus is teaching me how to grow spiritual muscle.

Jesus knew that Lazarus was sick with an illness that could kill him. He waited another two days before going to Bethany (John 11). Instead of healing a man, Jesus chose to raise him from the dead. Faith.

Jesus sent his disciples out in the boat alone. Storms comes up then Jesus walked out to them. In both Matthew 14 and Luke 8, Jesus does not prevent the storms but instead allows the frightening events to occur and then comes. Faith.

And then there are the times in my life when I begged God to give me what I wanted and heard nothing. As days became months, I learned that what I thought was essential was wrong for me. God had saved me from myself. He had a better vision and plan for my life. Faith.

Garth Brooks recorded a song a few years ago about learning how God did not answer his prayer. It’s a good way to take some time today to thank Jesus for His mercy and great love for me that He would not answer a “my way” prayer and, instead, answer me in His best way. My faith is growing!

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.

Remember when you’re talkin’ to the Man upstairs,

That just because He doesn’t answer

Doesn’t mean He don’t care.

Some of God’s greatest gifts are unanswered prayers.

(Chorus, Unanswered Prayers. Garth Brooks. No Fences album. 2000)

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