Once in a great while someone will approach me and ask me: "Why did God not answer my prayers?".
My first answer is that God did answer your prayers. Perhaps God said, "No!" or "Not Now!". We do not like to think about the times that God may say "No.". But what if God is saying, "Not yet." or "Wait a little longer."? How can we tell the difference?
I found one answer to this difficulty when I read an article in a Lutheran Women's magazine about five years ago that addressed this problem. A woman of mature faith was struggling because she felt that God did not always answer her prayers. She decided to keep a notebook where she would write down her prayer requests and then she would write down the date when her prayer was answered.
After a short time of doing this, she realized that God was constantly answering her prayers. She realized that most of the time she was not looking for God's response to her prayers, so she did not see them. Once she started intentionally looking for God's answers to her prayers--she became surprised at God's creativity and faithfulness in answering her.
This observation has transformed her prayer life. Instead of complaining about a lack of answers, she celebrates all the prayers that God has responded to. She still keeps her notebook of prayer requests and answers. It is now primarily a list of all of the prayers that God has answered!
She was also embarrassed to notice that God even answered prayers that she had forgotten about. God was more faithful to her prayer life than she was.
Try this exercise for two weeks. Keep a list of your prayer requests and write down when those prayers are answered. You will be surprised at how many answers you see once you start to look for them.
Pray and then look to see how God answers you.
I welcome comments at WordsandSighs@gmail.com
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