Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
~ Matthew 7:7
We have heard this message many times from the pulpit, and some pastors will preach the, “Name it, Claim it” message, saying, “If you ask God for it, name it as yours, and if your faith it strong enough, you will claim it.”
For anyone who truly has faith, we know that this could be true, but many times not necessarily as we define truth. I have three prayers to share, to set the stage as examples:
1. A young boy went to his mother and said, “I don’t understand it mom, I pray about something all the time and God does not answer my prayer.”
2. A mother prayed that her adult daughter would regain her corporate job that she had lost.
3. A little girl, hid under her bed when her father came home drunk again. The fighting and hitting would start between her father and mother. The little girl prayed that it would stop.
In the first prayer, the little boy had been praying that his parents would reconcile, and become a family again. God could have answered that prayer, but He knew that life would have been more unbearable for this little boy, at this point, if the parents were together. It would have been a situation similar to the #3 prayer.
God answered, yes, to the second prayer, just so that the daughter could be reminded of what it was like in the corporate world. She realized just how unhappy she was there, with the added pressures and time taken away from her children. She opted for a job that paid less, but was less stressful and gave her the flexibility to spend more time with her children.
The third prayer was answered many years later. The father quit drinking after he received a bad report from the doctor. The only problem was, he stopped after all the children were adults. Yet God brought some good from this. The little girl grew to be a wonderful mother who trained her children to know the Lord, and to drink in moderation.
So, why does God answer some prayers, but to us, it seems like He does not answer others? Many times, I think we are not sure, for what to ask. I remember when my father was suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. I had prayed many times for his healing. God’s answer was, no. As dad's disease progressed I didn’t know exactly how to pray. I had to trust in God’s wisdom.
We cannot see the whole picture. Sometimes the thing we ask for, is not really what is best. However, when we ask for things like: forgiveness, confidence in Him, peace, love for others, strength, hope, trust and the filling of the Holy Spirit, God will answer abundantly. C.S. Lewis once said, “I don’t pray to change God. I pray to change me.” When we change, we can accept the will of the Father, no matter what the outcome.
God hears our prayers, and knows the desires of our hearts, but we must remember, it’s an inward changing of the heart we need the most. God definitely does answer our prayers. Sometimes the answer is, “Wait!” Sometimes the answer is, “Yes,” but sometimes the answer is, “No.” We must trust Him. It is easy to have trust when His answer is what we want. However, it’s when we are told, “No,” that our faith is tested. God will supply what we truly need as He works out all things to our good. Since God created the universe, and all that is in it, is it possible for us to trust that He might know what’s best?
Dear Holy Father, Help us to trust you to answer our prayers, in your way, not ours. Amen
~ Jenny Calvert