We pray and pray for something, believing that God will do it. But, when God doesn’t answer in the way we had prayed, do we doubt that God answers prayer? God does answer prayer, but not always in the way we ask or in our timing. When He doesn’t answer in the way we ask, we need to consider the possibility that something is not right in our prayers.
- Am I praying with wrong motives, perhaps selfish motives?
- Am I praying for something that I know is outside of the will of God?
- Am I praying for something that would not glorify Him?
- Am I refusing to deal with sin in my life?
God does answer prayer, but according to His will, not mine. Beware these three dangers in prayer:
- Wrong motives
- Sinful attitudes
- False expectations
There may not be anything wrong in the way we’re praying. Perhaps we haven’t seen our answer to prayer because God wants us to persevere in praying about the matter awhile longer. If He gave us everything we wanted as soon as we prayed for it, we wouldn’t have to trust Him for anything. God may be saying, “Not yet,” or “No. I’ve got something better. Just trust me.”
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked that the Father take away His cup, the cross, but God said no. And I’m so glad He did. If He had said yes, then we would have no hope. Paul asked God to take away the thorn in his flesh. If God had answered the way Paul prayed, would Paul have made the same impact for Christ with his life?
The closer we walk with God, the more our desires line up with His, and we begin to pray open-ended. “God, the desire of my heart is ____, but I don’t want it if it’s not your will for me. I want your will.” God always answers prayer – not always the way I want Him to, but always for my good and His glory.
What have you been praying for that you are still waiting for God to answer? Will you trust His answer – whether it’s yes, no, or not yet?