Thank you, God, for my many prayers that you have answered. Thank you, that when you have said ‘no’ or “wait’, I am assured you have heard, that you know best and always answer me in the ways that bring you glory.
Read LUKE 11:5-13
5 Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6 a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7 And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8 I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[a] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
9 “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.
11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[b] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”
New International Version (NIV)Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat do you do about your prayers that seem to go unanswered by God?
Sometimes I’m so slow to learn because I’m so quick to forget. Take these two stories Jesus tells. First (vs 5-8), there’s something I’ve been praying for, for a very long time, but nothing has changed. So, I stop and immediately start to think, ‘What’s wrong with God?’ Pretty arrogant of me? Sure. Really, I should be listening at that moment. It’s then that our Father is asking, ‘How much do you want this, and how much do you trust me?’ As William Hendriksen said: ‘With God it is never midnight; he never lacks anything; he is never “bothered” when any humble child approaches him; and he is never taken by surprise.’*
Secondly (vs 9-13), why am I ever disappointed with answers to prayer? It’s not as if God gets it wrong, like some poorly chosen Christmas gift. Even ‘no’ should be a cause for rejoicing, simply because he knows what’s best! And of course, he has already given us the Holy Spirit to bring all the good news God has to offer into our lives. What’s not to like?
Take a moment to examine your own attitude to prayer before God. Is there anything you need to be sorry about? Anything you really need to persevere in prayer about? As disciples, we’ll always need to go around the learning loop one more time.
Forgive my impatience, Father, when I feel you have not answered my prayers in the way I think you should. Thank you for your forbearance when I forget that you are faithful and always for me. Help me to trust you—and praise you—in every answer.
*William Hendriksen, The Gospel of Luke (The Banner of Truth Trust, 1978).
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