The Challenge of Unanswered Prayer Part 2

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Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.

Psalm 27:14

My last post ended on a bit of cliffhanger – one that unfortunately lasted about 5 months! I won’t spend a lot of time trying to explain myself, except to say that life (and in my case health) truly did get in the way of doing something I love so much. But I am sorry for letting so much time slip by. I’ve missed writing and sharing, and hope those of you who have so faithfully followed me in my journey will join back up with me now. And so, onward!

As I pointed out in Part 1, the issue of unanswered prayer is thorny for Christians. It certainly has been for me. It’s hard not to get something that I really want, or to be saddled long-term with something I don’t want. And I’ll admit that many times I haven’t been gracious about being in either situation, uttering lots of “God, where are You?” kinds of prayers.

What are we to do with this challenge? I think Psalm 27 can help us. It talks about waiting. And after all, living with unanswered prayer is a type of waiting, don’t you think? My lack of grace during times of waiting was an attitude problem. You see, my focus was on me and what I wanted, or didn’t want, and the questions I asked were self-centered and not God-seeking. And the result? Frustration and confusion.

 

This verse gives us better things to wait for. Focusing on those will lead to questions that seek His Will more than our own. And in the process, we’ll learn more about our Heavenly Father and about His perfect plans for us.

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So Let’s Wait:

  • On God’s timing What are you up to right now, Lord?  We can wait impatiently. Or we can be still until God moves and catch a glimpse of how God is at work in the world around us in the meantime. Getting a bigger picture could help put our own requests in perspective.
  • On God’s teachingWhat am I supposed to learn during this time, Lord?  We can see the waiting as wasted time. Or we can trust that God uses everything for our good. Growing in knowledge about His character or taking in a lesson He has helps us grow in wisdom during seeming “down” time.
  • On God’s temperingWhat changes does God want to make in me now?  We can remain fixed on our own agenda. Or we can invite God to do His work His way. Letting our hearts and minds be changed more into His image will help us be more content along the way,

 

Unanswered prayer is neither a fast nor easy process to work through. The amazing thing is that we can come out of those times stronger and more joyful. I’d like to have that kind of testimony – how about you?

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