hot topic: unanswered prayer

In my journey with Jesus, I’ve had some frustrations about praying.  When I read John 14:13-14,  “Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it”, Jesus’ words make me think that God will do what I ask, when I ask in Jesus’ name.  However, this hasn’t always been my experience.  I’ve asked God for many things in Jesus’ name and it seems like nothing has happened.  Ever had a similar experience?

So here are a few thoughts that might be helpful with unanswered prayer.  Perhaps our prayers don’t get the answers we want for some of these “reasons”:

  • motives:  we ask with selfish motives – James 4:3,  “You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures.
  • methods:  greater glory for God – in John 11:4, we read that Jesus told His disciples that Lazarus’ sickness would end with great glory for God;  Lazarus’ sisters (Martha & Mary) wanted Lazarus to be healed rather than die, but Jesus had resurrection rather than healing for Lazarus.  We must always remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways (Is 55:8)
  • unbelief:  in Matt 13:58, it says that Jesus didn’t do many miracles in His hometown because of their unbelief;  faith is an important ingredient for praying
  • schedule:  God has a different schedule and timeline than what we think.  In John 7:6, Jesus told His brothers, ““My time is not yet here, but your time is always opportune.'”  There are lots of occassions in the Bible where our timing is out of synch with God
  • maturity:  getting our way on our schedule isn’t always the optimum path God has for our development and intimacy with God.  In James 1:2-4 it says, ‘Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces cendurance. And let aendurance have its perfect result, so that you may be bperfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”

It seems to me that God always answers prayer but maybe not always in the ways or timing that we want 🙂

Don’t Freak Out!!

“LET GO!!!!!”  When I was younger, I went paragliding in China & had virtually no instruction for the paragliding adventure.  Whatever training the paragliding “company” did was in Mandarin & my Mandarin skills don’t have any paragliding vocabulary.  Needless to say, I wasn’t prepared for this undertaking, which of course didn’t stop me – smile.  I strapped into the harness thing, proceeded to jump off the mountain and I had this TOTALLY SHOCKING experience, which I later learned was a thermal.  I caught a wind gust that was like rocket thrusting me straight up!  My mind said, “LET GO!!” and then I thought about my options: let go & fall or hold on & keep going up.  I decided that I preferred the lifting experience over the falling experience, so I held on.  Let’s make the same kind of decision about Jesus when we get in a crisis.  Hold on to Jesus & He will lift us up!

ps – I had an amazing ride with my paragliding experience 🙂

frying pan

Out of the frying pan and into the fire:  I was reading about how David was trying to stay away from King Saul in 1 Samuel because Saul was trying to kill David.  It’s really interesting to me that God sent David a prophet in 1 Sam 22 & told David to leave the stronghold where he was staying & go back to Judah, where he was more vulnerable to Saul’s attempts to kill him – out of the frying pan and into the fire.

No one likes to be uncomfortable or in difficult situations.  If you’re like me, we often look for the paths of least resistance & opposition, along with the areas of greatest safety and comfort.  But clearly, this wasn’t how God was directing David in 1 Sam 22.  It seems to me that we often trust God the least when we are the most comfortable ,)

God Goes B4 Us

Sometimes I can get jittery about the future – lots if uncertainty, some fears, concerns & more. But as I was praying this morning, God reminded me that God goes before me & is waiting for me in the future. So friend, lets trust God in these truths:
*God loves us more than we can comprehend
*God is working in our lives to create good outcomes as we stay in love w God
*God is in control #fullstop 🙂

when things don’t work

Sometimes I can get frustrated when things don’t work particularly when I’m trying to get alot of things done & I’m being slowed down – very frustrating.  There are lots of things & situations that can break down in our lives & not work:  computers, cell phones, relationships, cars, work situations, communication, physical difficulities, etc. Sometimes, I can get frustrated with God & I can feel like God isn’t working like the Trinity is supposed to work – babies having terminal illnesses, toddlers watching their prostitute moms earn a living ( saving Moses ) , despots behaving with no seeming retribution or boundaries, employers cheating their workers from fair wages . . . . . and the list can keep going on & on.

But in my better moments, I know that God is very engaged in our daily living around the world and wants to use each of us to bring genuine love to the people with whom we interact, and possibly bringing this love into our communities most effectively when we feel the weakest & most frail.  So perhaps when things seem to be the most broken, maybe this is some of God’s best opportunity to bring divine solutions, presence, provision & help 🙂

The Last Straw

Have you ever felt like you’re on your last straw? Sometimes we go through challenges, seasons & struggles that are well beyond our natural abilities & wisdom. If you’re like me, I can find myself getting quagmired in these things at the expense of trusting God. There are times when I get stuck in what seems impossible & I can get discouraged. Ever feel this way?
This morning I was having this kind of conversation with God about a few issues & I was reminded of a verse that is really helping me:
2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God.
So lets remember that God is more than adequate for the various “last straws” that may be happening in our lives 🙂

Timelines & Deadlines

We all have various things that we have to get done by various deadlines, along with schedules that we have to keep with dates & times that must be managed. What I find interesting about time is that God doesn’t seem to see time with our eyes or values – seems logical since God made time.
In our lives, we all have various deadlines of which God is thoroughly aware. And while I must be responsible & steward my time wisely, I must also understand that I’ve give God my days & not just my life. So from time to time, I remind myself that I’m on God’s schedule not the other way around 🙂