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Posts Tagged ‘Unanswered Prayers’

In our last post, we looked at some of the ways our thinking can become confused when God delays in answering our prayers.  For a review, you can look at Psalm 77:7-9.  The remedy for the confused thinking illustrated in those verses is found in the verses that follow, Psalm 77:10-12.

In these verses, the Psalmist gives us 3 things we can do to get our thinking straight and fight the confusion that can enter our thinking when we have to wait for God to answer our prayers.

  • Remember what God has done.
  • Mediate on what God has done.
  • Tell of what God has done.

REMEMBER

In battling the confused thinking, I need to remember the work of the LORD, both in the history of mankind and in my own history, my own life.  This is a good time to remember that reading through the Bible from cover to cover every year or so will keep the works of God and the deeds of God in my memory.  Also, keeping a journal of what God is showing me and how He has answered my prayers can be a good way of keeping track of my history with God.  When I become confused in my thinking, I can review the records I have kept of how God is working in my life and the lives of my husband and my daughter and my family and friends.

MEDITATE

The Bible teaches that we must bring “every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.”  By meditating on the Word and the works of God contained in the Word, I can train my mind to be obedient to Christ.  This is what is meant by taking every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  My thoughts can run in all directions and question God and be confused over His nature, but as I meditate on the Word and purpose to allow Christ to dominate my thoughts, I can learn to bring my thoughts through the Word and make them obey what Christ has said and done.  It is a discipline that must be practiced.  It can only be done if I know what the Word says.  I must be willing to sit and consider what the Bible means and how it can be applied to my life.

TELL OF WHAT GOD HAS DONE

How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, “Your God reigns!”  Isaiah 52:7.  It is important to learn of  what God has done and to mediate on what He has done, but it is equally important to tell others of what God has done.

When you become confused in your thinking because God has delayed in answering your prayers, and you are tempted to question God’s mercy, His faithfulness or His grace, consider the remedy for confusion discussed above:  Remember . . . Mediate . . . Tell!

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When I pray, I would like God to answer me immediately.  I would really appreciate visitation by a messenger of God to tell me that my prayer was heard and what God’s response will be.  That has not happened yet.  Sometimes, in His goodness and perfect timing, God delays in answering.  This time of silence on God’s part can lead to confusion on my part.  The Psalmist gives a good illustration in Psalm 77, verses 7-9 where he gives 6 statements which illustrate the potential confusion of thought in such situations.

  • Will the Lord cast off (reject me) forever? When God doesn’t answer right away, I can mistakenly believe He has forgotten me.  This is a mistake.  Consider what God says in Isaiah 49:15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child, And not have compassion on the son of her womb? Surely they may forget, Yet I will not forget you.”  Just because God delays in answering, does not mean He has forgotten me.  I must remember His heart for me as written down for me in His word.
  • Will He be favorable no more? This is similar.  Because God has delayed, does it mean He will never do anything for me again?  Of course not.  God’s purposes towards me are all good.
  • Has His mercy ceased forever? The God of all mercy cannot change His character.  His mercy continues towards me.  It is a mistake to think He has suddenly changed His nature.
  • Has His promise failed forevermore? The promises of God are sure.  They will not fail.  As Paul tells us in Romans 3:4, “let God be true but every man a liar.”  Surely if God has promised to hear me when I call, He will answer.
  • Has God forgotten to be gracious? As with all of the confused thinking that results from unanswered prayer, this seems almost silly.  How would God forget to be gracious?  It is His nature, and that nature, the Bible teaches us, is unchangeable.  In Hebrews 13:8, we read, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”
  • Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? The final example of confused thinking resulting when our prayers are not answered right away by God is like the others.  God is merciful.  It is part of His unchanging nature.

In our finite thinking, we quickly jump to some ridiculous conclusions when God doesn’t answer our prayers immediately.  We will learn in the next post how to cure or treat this confused thinking by countering it with what we know about God.

As you continue steadfastly in prayer, consider whether your thinking has gotten confused.  Remember these things about God:

  • He is always the same.  He never changes.  Heb. 13:8.
  • His thoughts towards you are for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.  Jer. 29:11
  • If you seek God with all your heart, He will be found by you.  Jer. 29:13
  • Nothing can separate you from the love of Christ.  Rom. 8:39
  • His mercies are new every morning and great is His faithfulness.  Lam. 3:23

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