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Yes. And for each answered prayer, we learn of God’s peace and of His deliverance. Our faith is strengthened as we see God’s hand move throughout our lives. We feel a joy like none other. Personally, I love when God allows me to see a glimpse into the inner workings of answered prayer; I feel a deep sense of humility and awe. God’s ways are truly spectacular, reaching beyond our comprehension (Isaiah 55:8-9).
Nevertheless, there are times when God hears our prayers, but chooses to respond in a way that isn’t what we had in mind. We may be told no, or that we need to wait. Such an outcome can be difficult to comprehend, especially when our requests don’t seem sinful or selfish. When our hearts are set on certain outcomes, it can feel as though God isn’t listening – but He is. God knows best, even when “that best” doesn’t make the most sense to us.
The Acceptance of God’s Will
We are living in the great controversy. Satan is actively trying to convince us to see our own will in God’s will. We look for every sign and circumstance that aligns with our own desires as opposed to hearing what God has to say. This bias opens us up to distractions, clothed in good intentions and warm feelings. Yet a distraction is still a distraction if it pushes us towards our own desires, as opposed to God’s will for us. We ignore the red flags; we bypass being patient and waiting upon God’s direction. Such a response will always lead to destruction and pain.
Instead, we must learn to accept God’s will, even when God’s will asks us to stand still. In the midst of important or difficult decisions, we need to trust that God will always steer us in the right direction. As we step out on faith, we’ll understand it’s the gateway to divine strength. We can conquer weaknesses and overcome the temptations that Satan places in our way. Let us be careful to not try to manufacture our own blessings, for they are not blessings at all. Instead, we’ll make traps that engulf us in sin and compromise. Unexpected twists and turns then drive us to our knees, as we plead with God for relief.
Understanding the Journey
What God has for us, He will make plain. We should not go into prayer expecting God’s will to mirror our own. Instead, it’s important to recognize that God’s grace and infinite wisdom will lead us down a path best suited for us to grow spiritually and carry His light towards others. God’s power, and His love, know no bounds. Yet I would be remiss if I did not speak on the discomforts we will experience along the way.
One of the hardest truths to face as a Christian, is that we will still feel the effects of sin. Not everyone we encounter has the same intentions. Circumstances will arise – such as sickness, job loss, or divorce – that will have us question – does God hear my prayers? Does He not keep me safe? Why does He not spare me from these tribulations? But the Bible teaches us otherwise. God takes us through the pain, even if we aren’t always insulated from it. Take the story of Job – for all he gained, he lost much as well.
Faith in Prayer
God can change circumstances, or He can choose to keep us where we are. We must consistently pray for discernment and wisdom, and then learn to quiet ourselves to hear the voice of God. We read in the scriptures:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.James 1:5-8
Even in prayer, we cannot serve two masters. To pray, but not believe in God’s direction, is useless. Our actions will reflect self instead of God. Instead, we must come to the throne in faith to experience the depth of God’s goodness. Faith must be exercised in order for it to grow. If we learn to trust in God, we will stop asking if God hears our prayers because we will no longer have that doubt in our hearts. We will be patient in seeing God move, and trust in His process. I pray that we all get to experience the goodness of God and the essence of His character. If so, we will always feel His presence in the outcomes.Print This Devotional