Tuesday, December 27, 2016

New Eyes On Unanswered Prayers

Daily Gratitude Year 4-Day 360: Today, I am grateful for new eyes on "unanswered prayers".

I've seen the quote, "God answers all prayers. Sometimes, the answer is "no"."

Prayer was designed to be two-way communication between God and man. It is not a shopping list... or a Santa list. I is not even a "to do" list. Prayer was meant to be intimate and life changing. The "two-way" occurs when we take time to "wait upon the Lord" and listen. 

To "wait upon" is more active than passive. It is a time of alertness and eager anticipation of the answer. Sometimes, the answer is still..."No". Why?

As humans, it is easy to forget we are not the center of the universe. We have been told "you have to do what makes you happy". Sometimes, answering God's call means doing the opposite of what our humanness would dictate. It means tapping into the Spirit infused guidance God provides for those who know him as father, savior, brother and friend. 

We all miss the mark, because sin is still present in this world. No one is perfect. Temptation is tough.But, prayer is a place of sanctuary. In the silence, the answers come. Sometimes the answer is :"I know you don't understand... but in time... all things will be made beautiful." 

Yesterday's brokenness.
Today's heartbreak.
Tomorrow's tears.

He answers our prayers, but as God of the Universe with a hand on all things. It is so much bigger than my mind can imagine.

Jesus, too, experienced "unanswered prayer". On the Mount of Olives, he prayed, 

And he withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and knelt down and prayed,42 saying, “Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done. And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him.-Luke 22:41-41

Whenever Jesus prayed... by example or in private. "Not my will, but yours, be done." This God-Man showed us the way to pray. He knew the cross was before him. You can't blame him for asking to be excused from the task. But, the answer was, "no". Actually, the answer was "your will is not my way". 

How many trials do we come up against... face to face... and have to accept that "His will means it is not going to be "my way"? Still, he makes all things beautiful in His time... not mine. 

Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,-Psalm 103:1-2

I love this Psalm. May my soul not forget all his benefits

There is no life so broken he cannot heal it. There is no cross so heavy that he can't help us carry it ... beside us... with us, our Immanuel is with us. He is present and engaged, even when it feels like he is being silent. At times, it is the answer to prayer is the quiet strength that gets us through the most difficult days. 

Some "unanswered prayers" change the world. 

This year's lesson in gratitude is coming into focus. That is for day 365.

Today, I am grateful for new eyes on "unanswered prayers".

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