Have you ever prayed for something and then…nothing happens? Even sometimes we pray for trivial things we want God to fix and He doesn’t do it. I’ve prayed this before: “God, please help my car to start. I can’t be late for work.” It didn’t start.
When we pray things and we don’t see something happen immediately we develop ideas or opinions about God that may not be true. Here are some of the thoughts we entertain when we don’t see prayers answered immediately:
- God must not care about me.
- God isn’t really listening to me.
- My prayers don’t really matter.
- God can’t fix my problem.
- God could fix my problem but He won’t.
- God doesn’t answer MY prayers.
But, what if all of those thoughts aren’t true? Perhaps it’s how we approach God that matters. For many of us, we approach God in prayer like we do ordering pizza.
When we order a pizza we want it delivered fast! (I miss the days of 30 minutes or less or it’s free!) We tell God exactly what we want like we do the pizza shop: I want pepperoni, bacon, mushroom on one half and green peppers, sausage and onions on the other. I want it here in 30 minutes or less too. And when it doesn’t arrive the way we want as fast as we want, we get upset.
Don’t we often do the same thing with God? We place all kinds of demands on Him. God, I need you to give me a better job so I can pay all of my bills…and I need it this month! God, heal my grandmother so she doesn’t have to have the operation. God, help my friend come to church with me this week.
While there is nothing wrong with those prayers, we have to realize that God may want to answer us in a different way.
What have you been praying for that you haven’t seen answered? What thoughts or opinions of God have you formulated because of it?
I’ll share more of what God is showing me about prayer tomorrow.