Due to a coffee maker that died (national catastrophe) and a computer that had the hiccups, I am a day late in posting. Due to a lack of caffeine, my thoughts seem kind of jumbled, but here goes...
Have you ever had one of those prayers? A specific, burden on your heart prayer that you have prayed every morning and every evening not only for days or weeks or even months, but for years? Have you ever gotten to the point where, not intentionally, but because nothing seems to be changing, your prayer falls off the radar? I have.
Again, I risk being vulnerable, but my ardent prayer for years has been for my son. I call it my "prodigal prayer". I raised my son in the church. I set God's precepts before him. I have prayed every day of his life that he would have a true relationship with his Lord and Savior. He seemed well on the right path until, through a series of events, he became disillusioned with Christians - he saw them for what they often are - hypocrites. Religion, as he saw it, was flawed and pointless. He stopped seeking God's will and set upon a course of determining his own future. It's a plan that has not worked out too well and has led him down a prodigal path of self destruction. In short, it breaks a mother's heart.
I have prayed day and night for several years that God would soften my son's heart and lead him back into His loving arms. I have prayed for enlightenment, restoration - even for God to knock him off his horse if that's what it would take to bring about a change of heart. I pray and I hope and I wait and yet nothing seems to change. "When will God answer my prayer?" I beg.
I do believe in Proverbs 22:6 which states: Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old he will not depart from it. I cling to the hope that this is only a venture off the path and he will return to the God of his youth. I see examples like Billy Graham's son Franklin who rebelled in his youth, but finally turned around and became a great spiritual leader. With God, all things are possible, right?
I believe in God's promises about prayer:
Let us then approach God's throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (Hebrews 4:16) I have approached with confidence.
"If you ask anything in my name, I will do it." (John 14:14) I have asked in Christ's name
"Whatever you ask the Father in my name he will give you." (John 16:23) Again, I have called upon the name of Jesus, my Savior.
Now this is the confidence we have in him, that if we ask anything according to His will, he hears us. (1 John 5:14) Surely praying for my son's reconciliation with his Father would be in keeping with his will?!
"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you." (John 15:7) I do abide in you Lord and your words abide in me...
I believe that God hears my prayer and that He will answer it!!
Lord I believe, help my disbelief.
I have come to some conclusions about why my prayer has not yet been answered (this is my own speculation). I would certainly entertain other insights!!
* God always listens. Perhaps I'm not listening to Him? I've been so busy talking that I haven't had time to truly listen. Maybe He has already spoken and I've missed it?
* I am not God...He is. He is sovereign and in control. How do I not know that perhaps He is working behind the scenes in ways that I am totally unaware of?
* Sometimes God is silent in order to get our attention. Many times throughout history, God has been silent in order to gain the full, undivided attention of His followers.
*Maybe He is putting my faith to the test. God does not always give a definitive "Yes" or "No"...sometimes He says "Wait". Oh the dreaded "wait"!
God weaves a beautiful tapestry of our lives and I have found that the dark threads of trial and of waiting on the Lord provide such a distinctive backdrop to the radiant light and beautiful threads of answered prayer.
What a wondrous tapestry God wove in the life of Job. There was a man who learned how to wait, yet he rose up to profess:
"Though he slay me, yet I will trust Him." (Job 13:15)
I don't pretend to have all the answers and I am certainly guilty of stale prayers. At the very moment I typed the scripture from Job, the sun burst forth from behind the clouds into my kitchen window. God speaking? Maybe so! I pray that I will go forth with renewed confidence in my prayers. God is listening and He is faithful!
Praying for you as you wait upon prayers to be answered. Please feel free to share a prayer request in the comments and I will be sure to pray for you!
In His love,