“Do you remember the story of Job? It’s a story of great suffering, but also of great strength, and even greater faith. Like in the story of Job, it can feel overwhelming to not be able to have a simple answer to suffering and hardship as we are enduring it, but God gives Himself as the ultimate answer. He is the ultimate comforter and healer, and He is our Redeemer.
“Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are
God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.” Psalm 25:4-5
In a world where anything you want is just a click away; where food can be ordered through an app and delivered to your door in less than an hour, it can get frustrating when you’re asking God for something and all you hear is silence.
Unanswered prayers can trigger many emotions within us – from confusion to disappointment to anger. Often times these emotions not only show our lack of understanding of how God moves but it also leads us into thinking that He is not listening.
We all enjoy talking about the joys of our lives. Whether that is welcoming a new child into our family or celebrating a big breakthrough. You are full of excitement, joy, and anxious to spread the good news. But, why do we hesitate to spread the news of our troubles and disappointments? Fear of rejection? Fear of displaying our weakness?
Often, I find that I am one of the most impatient women I know. I tend to be high energy and want things done right now and in a minute is too late. “Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today.” But who is to say, when “tomorrow” is?
Have you ever felt like life was an uphill hike with a hundred-pound pack? God never promises life will be easy. He does tell us the heavy baggage we carry isn’t ours. When God is our guide, all that’s left to do is trust and be led.
The words fell hard upon my heart and rang repeatedly in my ears, “I have decided not to come home and will be by tomorrow to pick up a few things. I do not want to be married anymore. I’m actually in love with someone else. I want a divorce.” My husband’s piercing words cut me to the very depths of my spirit and struggling beneath the weight of the crushing news, I fell to the floor in tears!
Mommin’ ain’t easy.
Have you ever read a truer sentence? Parenthood, in general, is not for the faint of heart. It’s scary and full of plot twists and just when I think I have it figured out, I’m pretty sure my children organize a clandestine meeting and devise ways to keep me on my toes.
When we are small children, we learn what I call “kid prayers”. You know the traditional, “As I lay me down to sleep..” “God is good, God is great…” But no one really tells you how to pray. During my youth years, I found myself praying for only the things I needed or wanted. I leaped straight from thanking to asking. I would find myself praying “promise prayers”. “Lord if you will just help me make an A on this paper, I promise I will pray every day!” It wasn’t until I was almost 30 years old, I found myself on my knees – not even knowing what or how to pray. I felt like there was a specific way to pray and I didn’t feel like I had mastered that part of my faith, yet.
Be still and know?
On October 17, 2018, my husband was in a serious accident at work. Most of it is a blur now, but I do remember as I was driving to Raleigh, NC – which was about 2 hours from my home, I kept praying, “God, let him be ok”…. ”Please God, I cannot do this life without him.” I was simply praying what I desired. Never once did I thank Him for anything at that point. I sure didn’t have the time to stop and listen. Are you serious, my husband is laying on an operating table with his chest cut open – I don’t have time to “Be still and know.” Just Lord, hear my prayer! And, hopefully, if I just keep reciting the same prayer, “Lord please let him be ok,” He will eventually grant me the desires of my heart.
God has already worked it out for the good of those who love Him. Romans 8:28
What I didn’t take into consideration was God already was taking care of my husband. When my husband woke that morning, God had already prepared the surgeon that would be performing emergency surgery on him. He had things lined up for me that I couldn’t see at the time. He knew my husband would be involved in an accident that day, and He had a plan. However, I didn’t trust that God had a plan. Please don’t get me wrong, I do not believe God makes bad things happen to people, but He does allow them. This whole time, God had prepared for that day. It was already taken care of, before it happened on earth. But how easy is to forget to trust that God has already worked it out for the good of those who love Him? (Romans 8:28)
No prayer is too big or too small
Recently I learned how to stop-pause-pray. Before, I would pray and be interrupted or fall asleep during my nighttime prayers. Personally, I have a hard time praying on a whim, my OCD kicks in high gear and I get a bit frazzled because I need to prepare and plan exactly what to say… or at least that’s what I thought I had to do. And, how crazy that God hears our every prayer? God knows exactly what you are praying for even when you cannot find the mere words to utter. No prayer is too big or too small. He may not answer right away, but isn’t that the beauty of His unending grace and mercy?
Through this “growth” spurt, I felt God was challenging me to Praise Him rather than Ask Him. I was asking for things that He was already taking care of and handling. He was already protecting those people I prayed for Him to protect. Rather than asking God to continue to be there through my husband’s recovery, I thanked Him for being with him during his recovery. Less asking more praising!
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness”.
I realized God would always provide, I needed to ensure I was praising Him rather than asking. Have your prayers become mechanical? Do you find yourself asking for things that God is already providing? Practice the stop-pause-pray method. Do not stop asking God, but stop and evaluate the things you are asking for – praise Him during the pause-and never cease to pray.
Thanks be to God, Amen.
Read also: What trust can do