Praying, but not believing.
Something the Lord has really been dealing with me about lately is my prayer life. And it never fails that whenever something of this nature in really on my mind, something happens to confirm what He’s been trying to teach me.
At church on Sunday my Preacher was preaching on “A Senior Citizen with a Stand for God” – the Scripture from which he preached was Daniel 6:1-28 – but then he bunny-trailed away from the topic of His message for a second and started talking about prayer. What he said really hit home with me…
“You know, Christians pray and pray about stuff, but they don’t expect God to answer their prayers. We’re like the disciples who hid themselves away in an upper room and prayed for the Lord to get Peter out of prison, and while they were praying Peter was outside knocking on the door but nobody believed it was really Him!”
That is so true in my own life. I often pray for things, and then I mumble something along the lines of “I’m not exactly *expecting* You to answer me God, but if You want to I’d really appreciate it…” Oh ye of little faith. I pray to the One Who “is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think,” and then walk away expecting nothing to really happen (Eph. 3:20).
For me a lot of the time, if I don’t get an answer right away or His answer isn’t what I wanted it to be, I feel like God didn’t truly understand my prayer. Perhaps He misunderstood my request? Maybe He was only half-listening… if He even ehard me at all? I’m sure with having the entire universe to watch over and millions of people praying to Him at any given moment, my request is probably way on the back burner. But that isn’t what God’s Word teaches. Whether I get the answer I was hoping for or not, I can have complete confidence that He has heard my prayer and He cares about even the smallest request! I John 5:14-15 says, “And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.”
Perhaps my real problem is that the things I pray about and ask for aren’t in His will. Perhaps I am better at practicing James 4:3 than I’d like to admit: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.”
A few years back when I worked in the 3-to-5-year-olds Sunday School class, the teacher taught the kids every week about prayer. She’d say: “Sometimes He says yes; sometimes He says no; and sometimes He says wait.” I’m not a patient person – I never have been – and I need to work on that. God is happy to help me in this area. 🙂 I have been told to wait in many areas of my life. I can honestly say that I am okay with that. Why? Because I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God has a perfect will for my life! However, it can only come to pass if I allow God to have His way and wait on His perfect timing. God knows what He is doing and I can trust Him completely. He has never failed me before. He has never lied to me, never cheated me out of anything, never done anything that wasn’t for my good in the long run. He is so faithful! He is so trustworthy! I thank God for His perfect will… and I patiently wait for it to become evident in my life!