Sunday, June 7, 2020

Some Thoughts About Prayer

I suppose every believer in God has prayed the words, "not my will, but Yours". You may think you've never prayed those words, but it's right there in the Lord's Prayer, and not too many people have never recited the words "Your Kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Now the degree to which we really, sincerely meant those words is probably best judged by how we react when God actually does do His will and not ours. What we say we want and what we really want aren't always the same thing, and by we I mean me, too.

Let's face it, we even pray prayers that contradict each other. One minute we're asking God to root out our pride, to help us to be humble. Then when something happens that humbles us we pray for God to remove the circumstance, to deal with the person who wounded our pride, to bind the devil, or we cry, whine and stomp our feet, (at least I've felt like doing that at times). Have you ever asked God to help you to trust Him more? When situations arise where you have to trust Him, are you thinking, where are you God and why are you allowing this trial in my life? Yes? Me, too.

The way I see it, the God who sifts and searches out the path before us, also has to do a lot of sifting when it comes to our prayers. Prayers prayed totally contrary to His will, His purpose, His plan and His timing get sifted out. We really need to be thankful for the many prayers God didn't answer, or maybe more correctly, said no to.

Then there are the prayers that we pray that involve another person's will. Aren't there just times when you wish God hadn't given us humans a free will? When someone chooses to harden their heart against God, chooses to engage in self destructive behaviors, chooses to hurt others, it's hard to watch while prayers for them seemingly go unanswered. The good news is that God is a relentless lover who continues pursuing and calling and knocking at the door of even the most willful person's heart, until, with their will, they choose to open the door to Him and His great love and grace.

Sometimes unanswered prayers feel like a no, but they're actually a wait. When a prayer prayed in agreement with God's will, purpose and plan is prayed, then sooner or later that prayer will intersect with God's divine timing and it will come to pass. My oldest daughter and her husband struggled with infertility for ten years. They had three miscarriages. It seemed like their prayers for children would never come to pass. Then God said, "NOW!" and daughter number one was born,. Just shy of three years later they had daughter number two. In the meanwhile, God didn't waste their waiting or their wounds, but used it to strengthen and deepen their walk with Him.  In their ministry, they can relate to the sufferings of others in a way that wouldn't have been possible if they hadn't suffered through their own season of waiting and loss.

Sometimes our prayers can look like a no, but it's really a yes in disquise. My second born daughter prayed for God to let her live in Africa, to be a full time missionary there. While God opened doors for her and her husband to go to Africa numerous times, to be instrumental in helping to accomplish some wonderful things in conjunction with Ghanaian pastors, the door remained frustratingly shut to live there. But in His great wisdom, God searched out and answered a prayer my daughter had prayed in secret, a heart's desire prayer that no one else knew about. It appeared to everyone that their family was complete with a daughter and son via adoption. It even appeared to them that their family was complete. But where there was a no or a not yet in one area, (living in Africa), God whispered a yes in another, (her prayer to conceive). After thirteen years of marriage she conceived for the very first time and had a baby boy, who is now six years old. Any day now, she is due to deliver another "surprise" gift from God, another sweet baby boy-our eighth grandchild!

Be encouraged, friend, God is listening to your cries, the spoken ones and the ones so dear to your heart you've never even uttered them aloud.  In His perfect timing, His divine yes will meet the prayers you've prayed according to His will. He's pursuing the prodigal you're praying for.  And remember when you prayed "not my will, but Yours", sometimes His yes to that prayer, looks like a no to yours. If it does, He has the best of reasons and  the purest of intentions. God always has your highest good in mind. 


  1. He hears all of our prayers. Even the ones we are hardly aware of uttering

    1. "the God who sifts and searches out the path before us, also has to do a lot of sifting when it comes to our prayers."

      This line really got me thinking. I am glad that He is more than able to do this because sometimes I don't even know what to pray and I must sound like I am going in circles.

  2. Elizabeth, After reading the rest of your post, it looks like we agree on God's Yes and No answers to prayer. It was encouraging to ready about the answered prayers in your family. Congrats on the grand babies!

  3. I know I've prayed those contradictory prayers--root out my pride, but remove that situation that would bring more humility. Sigh. God is so much more patient with me than I am with myself.

    Congratulations on the upcoming birth of your 8th grandchild! What a blessing! We have two now and it couldn't be more fun. :)


Thank you for stopping by, we love hearing from you. Please feel free to contact us with any prayer requests or questions by commenting below or emailing us at the About Us page.