Thursday, 27 March 2014

Unanswered Prayer

During this Lent season, our church is focusing on prayer. This past Sunday we looked at unanswered prayer.  

Psalm 13How long wilt thou forget me, O Lord? for ever? how long wilt thou hide thy face from me?
 How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? how long shall mine enemy be exalted over me?
 Consider and hear me, O Lord my God: lighten mine eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death;
Lest mine enemy say, I have prevailed against him; and those that trouble me rejoice when I am moved.
 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
I will sing unto the Lord, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

I usually take notes as the pastor speaks and I like to post them here on my blog, perhaps you too can be blessed as you read what I heard. Pastor Ben was speaking. Here are my notes that I took as I listened to the message.

Unanswered Prayer

We have all experienced this. This is a complex issue but we need to tackle this topic.

The cross is central to our lives.
God became Human - Jesus in the flesh suffered, He was born into poverty, He was abandoned by his friends, He was betrayed, and brutally murdered.
Jesus feels our hurts and pain. He understands our grief.

So Why Do We Experience Unanswered Prayer?

1) Because of who God is

because His character is love. Sometimes we ask for things that are not good for us and in His love, He withholds these things from us.

Sometimes the choices we have made are such that we are not taking responsibilities for our actions and we want God to get us out of our situation. God doesn't respond because it would not be good for us. An example of this would be when a student does not study for a test or exam and then last minute cries out to God to zap him with the correct answers. God does not answer this because He wants us to be responsible people. 
God gives opportunities for us to become patient, loving and courageous.

2) God does us answer when we are selfish - He will not participate in our selfishness. James 4:3  You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. 

We are encouraged to bring our every anxiety and concern to God.

If we bring our selfishness into prayer, God will not answer. He is not our servant or slave, to do this is idolatry.
The core issue of many of our problems is selfishness. Marriages fail, instead of love, there is selfishness. Human trafficking, pornography are examples of selfishness, It is using and misusing other people as objects in order to get selfish pleasure. God will not participate in our selfishness. He will not reinforce our selfishness.

3) Deep Wounding and Brokenness -
If God is loving, why doesn't He answer us in our pain and brokenness.
Example - praying for healing for a friend who has cancer. Why doesn't God heal? He is able.
We may have questions and doubts and wonder if God is even listening... Does He really care?

Even though God does not do what we ask, He assures us by answering us emotionally. He reassures us that He has not abandoned us. At Communion we remember how Jesus suffered. God has not left us. God is there, even though our problems are  not fixed.
God is in the process of healing our wounds. God helps us to forgive and to let go of the anger we have towards God and others.
God pours out His grace, He holds us close.

We need God's healing touch, not intellectual answers.

Read the Psalms and pour out your heart to God as the Psalmist did. Cry out to God!
Face your unanswered prayer - Read Psalm 22 and personalize it. Do the same with Psalm 23.

Remember the cross - how Jesus suffered, God suffers with us. He cries and grieves alongside of us.

God has not abandoned us!!


I also found the following article by Anne Graham Lotz. It also talks about unanswered prayer. 

The Silence of God

  • March, 27
  • Pursuing MORE Of Jesus
He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him.
Psalm 32:10, NKJV
Is God silent in your life? What prayers has He not answered for you?
At a time of unanswered prayer in my life years ago, my mother taught me the verse to a hymn that I still quote when I am totally baffled by events that seem to careen out of the orbit of what I have asked:
Trust Him when dark doubts assail thee,
Trust Him when thy strength is small,
Trust Him when to simply trust Him,
Seems the hardest thing of all.
Is your focus on your immediate need blinding you to a greater purpose that God is working out? Would you choose to be patient and simply trust Him? Sometimes God does not answer our immediate prayer because He has something greater in store for us.

No comments:

Post a Comment