If you believe in any kind of higher power, or maybe even if you don’t, chances are that at some point in your life you have prayed. Reaching out and asking for help or guidance from God at a moment when you just don’t know what else to do.
There are times when we pray and receive the answer we are hoping for, but sometimes even the most heartfelt and passionate prayers seem to go unheard and unanswered. So why is it that sometimes prayer just doesn’t seem to work?
Is anybody listening?
The Bible says a lot about prayer. Prayer is the way that we communicate with God. If you can’t communicate with someone it’s rather hard to have any kind of relationship with that person. Prayer is more than just requesting thing on a wish list. Prayer is about expressing gratitude, declaring love and giving praise to God for who He is and what He’s done for us.
Having said that, the Bible does tell us that we can bring our requests and needs before God and that He hears us, and answers our prayers in accordance with His plans and purposes for our lives. It would be wonderful if that meant that everything we ask God for just happens, but it doesn’t.
In the book of Isaiah we are told:
“I don’t think the way you think.
The way you work isn’t the way I work.”
“For as the sky soars high above earth,
so the way I work surpasses the way you work,
and the way I think is beyond the way you think.”
God is telling us that He approaches situations differently than we do. There are times when we can’t see the whole picture and the things we are praying for and hoping for possibly don’t fit in with God’s plan or maybe the timing is wrong.
It’s all about the “who”
It’s very hard facing a situation where you have prayed and nothing has changed. It’s easy to lose faith and become angry with God, especially when it feels like all hope is gone and he’s not listening or doesn’t care. At those times it’s important to remember that he hears and more than anything, he cares for you. You may not understand what He’s doing or like the circumstances you are facing but His promise to you is that all things will work together for good in the lives of those who love Him.
You may be facing difficulties or sickness. Even if God doesn’t take the problems away and you still have to walk through the hard times. Rather go through the storms with him by your side than face them alone.
While the Apostle Paul was in prison he wrote a letter in which he said that he could face the suffering he was going through because…
“…I know the one in whom I trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him until the day of his return.”
Paul had placed his life in God’s hands; not because God would fix all his problems and keep him from suffering but because he knew that he could trust in God’s goodness.