It has been a common theme I have seen lately…people who have prayed, fasted, prayed some more, and their prayer…as if a wish…didn’t come true. I think this belief that God is like an ATM machine, we put prayers in and out comes the money…or whatever it was we prayed for…is a relatively new belief, and when the prayer goes unanswered, the individual has a crisis of faith and is suddenly an atheist.
Where did this way of thinking come from? The likes of the Joel Osteen crowd? I read a quote from him recently, it went something like this (paraphrased) — Ordinary prayer yields ordinary results. Extraordinary prayer yields extraordinary results.
I commented on his Facebook page how awful this happy-go-lucky train of thought is, and how damaging it is or can become to those who are hurting.
You see, God is God. He is the Alpha and Omega, first and the last. He created us. He knows all and sees all. He knows our past, present and future. He answers prayer, with either a yes or no, the way He sees fit, based on Him being an all knowing God. So yes, the answer might very well be no. It might be not right now. This makes Him no less God. This makes Him no less caring. This just makes Him exactly who He is. All-knowing.
Maybe this will help you, but my approach to prayer has been ‘Lord, let your will be done’. Yes, I take my requests to Him…but want nothing more than His will. Even if His will is opposite what I was praying for, He knows better than I and I trust Him.