From the DayBreaks archive, July 2010:
A while back on a subway platform in one of our Eastern states was a large, printed sign proclaiming boldly: “God Answers Prayer.” Right below that message, some experienced person had scrawled these words: “Sometimes the answer is NO!” This is one of the challenges that we have to deal with in any discussion of prayer.
If you have talked with any skeptic, or even some Christians, you have undoubtedly heard someone say something like this: “I felt the need of God. I prayed for something to happen, for Him to give me a sign, or just to answer me, and it didn’t happen. Prayer failed.”
Is that really a fair statement to make? I don’t think so. As Carveth Mitchell said: “I suggest that you did not want God – you wanted God to do something, and that’s different.”
Far too often I think we think of prayer primarily when we want something from God. We want someone to be made well, we want more money, we want a child or a job or a house. And so we pray for those things – asking Him for what we want. And we tend to pray for what we want, but seldom do we pray for what God wants. It is very possible that we have missed the primary purpose of prayer: to be in harmony with God, to be keenly aware of His hovering and indwelling Presence, to feel the assurance that God is aware of, encompassing and is far greater than any circumstance we may be encountering, and that no matter what else happens, that we will still belong to Him and that underneath us are the everlasting arms of God that never quiver or are weary.
Mitchell also observed: “Prayer is not a trading post, but a line of communication.” Let’s be more aware of the purpose of our praying and not treat it like a bartering session with a Father that loves us. He is eager to give good gifts…but only what is good, never what is harmful.
PRAYER: In our prayers, Lord, may we want You more than anything else! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright by 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>