June 22, 2010

Unanswered Prayers

Does God Fail Us? AA034250

Sometimes, it may seem like God doesn’t answer our prayers. From healing, to financial woes. From marital problems to protection from evil in a particular situation. We ask God for a lot of things. Sometimes, it may seem as if He isn’t listening. Or sometimes we think He tells us, “No.”

But that doesn’t always seem like a good answer. When we lose a loved one after hours of tears and prayer. When we miss that promotion at work, after all the hard work and overtime that was spent to show your worthiness. When a loved one walks out the door and we pleaded our hearts out with God so that things would work out. When we get caught up in a world of dying loved ones, money problems and unhappy relationships that we often forget that we serve a mighty God.

Does this mean that God has failed us? Did He not deliver on His promise to us? Jesus said, “Everything is possible for him who believes.”(Mark 9:23) If everything is possible, then why won’t He answer our prayers? But why won’t God grant healing? Relief from debt? Or give us a happy spouse? Doesn’t God care if we are happy? Doesn’t God want to provide for us all that we need?

It can seem easy to think that God doesn’t care. He does. Then why won’t God answer prayers? It isn’t God. It is someone else. It isn’t the Devil. He cannot stop God. The answer might surprise you.

It Isn’t God?

God didn’t fail us. He cares for us. It is not the Devil. He doesn’t have the power to hurt us. If it isn’t God or the Devil, then who? That leaves us. We are asking God to give us the things that we want... The things that fill our desires

You want something but don't get it... You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.

James 4:2-3 (NIV)

What are our motives in asking for healing? For debt problems? Or for making a spouse happy? Often times, we try to make our lives set up so that we are comfortable. We want things from God to help us with this. We ask God to do things our way so that we can have it easy. We demand from God to fulfill our own pleasures. We may even think of our motives as being good. They are good, aren’t they?

We need to put God first. Our prayers should glorify God. Our problems should be to lead people to God. Our sickness should be used to lift up the name of God. Our debt should be used to show His power. Our unhappy spouse should be an instrument to show the world what God can do for His people

Jesus promised that “Everything is possible for him who believes.” The only question is, do we believe enough to trust God in keeping this promise? How can we show God this trust

He gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
   "God opposes the proud
      but gives grace to the humble."

Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. Come near to God and He will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves before the Lord, and He will lift you up.

James 4:6-10 (NIV)

Submitting to God means simply to put God’s plan ahead of our own. He wants us to be examples for a lost world to see His glory. He needs us to be pure and faithful to His teaching. When we lift up God with our lives, He will lift us up for the world so that a dying world can see Him and come to know him.

And, by submitting to God and being all that God wants us to be, everything is possible.

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