Probably one of the greatest mysteries to me is the idea of how God answers prayer. It often doesn’t make sense to me why He answers some and doesn’t answer others, or at least doesn’t answer them when or like I think He should. I have been working hard at incorporating the spiritual disciplines into my life, and I have seen an entirely different side of God than the one I thought I knew before. This week God is leading me through a challenging re-evaluation on how I view the purpose of prayer.
When reading the Bible, it is clear that prayer is important in aligning our hearts with God’s heart, that the activities in the spiritual realm are heavily affected by the prayers of the saints, and that prayer causes things to happen. Prayer moves the heart of God. This is, at least, how I read the Bible, though I do not claim to remotely be an expert on the subject of prayer. The more I learn, the more I find that I do not know. There are so many deep places in the heart of God that I have not yet discovered, however it is exactly that which I am seeking.
I am in the middle of a concentrated time of prayer for many things including our contacts, and God has been working miracles in some of their lives as a result of that. One person that I have been praying for has recently and literally overnight dedicated everything to God and has come to everything, including 4am prayer. We went with him today to buy a Bible so he can be reading it on his own. Another person we met with today is someone for whom we have been praying for a long time. She is caught in a difficult situation, and as we were talking, I went down the list of the specific things I have prayed for and checked them off. We walked away from that conversation rejoicing in how big and amazing God is.
For the first time in my life, I am really starting to see answers to my prayers. However, I can also say that for the first time in my life I have the guts to ask for specific things. Over the years, I constantly prayed, “Lord, help me with this decision or show me Your will,” and those are valid prayers, but not ones that, when answered, clearly point to Divine intervention. Those kinds of answers are often overlooked or taken for granted. Now I understand that Jesus meant what He said when He told us to ask and we will receive. I understand what it means, at least a little bit, to seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness.
There are some things for which I have been praying for a very long time that still go “unanswered”. This week the theme that we are assigned to teach is about expecting miracles and how to pray for them. Although it is difficult for me to explain the deep mysteries of why God answers some things a certain way and others a different way, especially when I have a deeply personal situation in which I identify with the struggle, I know that trusting God is a choice. I have realized that a lot of it has to do with how we see God. I finally not too long ago let go of some resentment and misunderstandings that I had of God. I realized that He is good and that He never changes. So He has become my rock.
Here is my decision. I choose to pray with all faith that God will do what I ask in His name and that which is conformed to His will. I choose to thank Him for the prayers that He has answered and I choose to trust Him for the answers that I have not received yet. It is that simple. Whether my prayers are answered or unanswered, I love Him, and I choose to trust Him with unwavering faith.