Read Unanswered Prayers, Part 1 here.
Read He Dreams Big, Do You? here.
As I said before, this series is a challenge. Sometimes we don’t want to hear the truth, especially when it pertains to something we’ve waited a long time for. But what if that truth is better than the partial truth we may be holding on to? What if God’s idea of answering our prayer is so different than what we expect that we possibly even see it as a set-back?
If we think of our own journeys and growth closer to God, we probably can see times where we despaired in the mire of what appeared to be a hopeless or unchangeable situation. At that moment, we had only the present to go by. But our God has the full picture and sometimes that dark moment has to come before the breakthrough. Our faith journeys become a myriad of changes bringing us closer and closer to the person we are meant to be in Christ.
So, I ask, if we can see this in our own lives, what makes us think it would be any different for our unbelieving loved ones? Would we rush a process so critical to their salvation only to meet our own selfish need for it to happen now?
I don’t mean to be harsh. Just honest. The truth of the matter is, there is so much going on that we don’t even know about. Like a wedding, weeks and months go into the planning. The guests see only the day of celebration—the beautiful dress, the fancy suits, bountiful flowers and a spectacular cake. They’ve seen nothing of the hands that created the dress, the organization of the suits for the groom and best men, the bouquets of special-ordered flowers arranged in a pleasing manner, or the hours spent baking and building a sculpture-like cake.
As guests, we see the results of all this hard work. Yet our role in our spouse’s salvation is both. We get to be the guest, but we are also a vital part of the process and preparation. And perhaps that’s where we miss the times our big prayers are actually answered in small parts.
We are so focused on the end result that we miss the small steps leading to it. I know I’ve found this to be true in my daughter’s recovery from a brain surgery. I’ve been so focused on the idea of her being normal again, whole and happy and going to school everyday that I’ve missed some of the steps leading there in a slow process of recovery.
At times she’s done better then to get worse. My greatest struggle at times is to not focus on this one set-back so much that I lose sight of the progress that’s actually being made. And even when I can’t see that progress, I can choose to trust God’s there, working to restore her to full health.
I know this is difficult, because I’m right there with you. I’ve been praying for my dear hubby for 14 years now. I know some of you have prayed even longer for yours. From my perspective he seems no closer to this critical decision, yet I sense discontent and restlessness in him. In some ways this can be difficult to deal with, and can even appear to be a set back, but in my heart I know that’s God working.
So don’t stop. Keep going. When you feel you can’t pray anymore, do it for God. Be faithful to him. Tell Him your desire is to please Him and that you’ll continue to pray for that reason alone. God will restore your hope.
Our greatest battles with unanswered prayer is not the prayer itself. It is with our impatience to have what we want when we want it, AND with an enemy determined to steal our hope, make us ineffective, and distract us from our true purpose, which is to seek constant relationship with God.
When we do this, when we are faithful to our highest calling to love God with all our hearts, souls, minds, and strength, we will truly be delighting in the Lord, and He will give us the desires of our heart.
Then we will see our prayers getting answered, because our desires will be in alignment with God’s. What’s truly amazing is that our greatest satisfaction will NOT come from those answered prayers, but from the close friendship we have with our Lord and Savior.
So let’s stop calling them unanswered prayers, but prayers in waiting. Like a bride ready to walk down the aisle, she will arrive at the right time in tune with the music.
And so will our unbelieving loved ones, at God’s time and to His music.
"Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think." —Ephesians 3:20
Praying and believing,
Share your voice, heart and love in the comments.
Lynn has wonderfully mapped out the steps we all need to walk through to develop and grow this vital relationship with Him. This was the Lord’s intent for her transformation journey all along, and His intent for you too. Here she has spelled out the spiritual truths behind the principles and talked us through how she applied them. These truths are universally applicable to us all, though as the details of our lives, situations and hearts will be different, we will apply them differently. - Reader Review from Barnes & Noble.