Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What's on Your Mind '09? - Prayer

I hope you've been enjoying this series on prayer for What's on Your Mind '09? as much as I have. Again, I want to say thanks to Shane, both for hosting WOYM '09 and for choosing this topic.
I so enjoyed reading your comments last week about why you pray, and I hope we can continue the conversation today. Only today I have a slightly different question.

Why do you keep praying?

* If you're in the middle of a struggle and you're asking God to free you from it, but nothing seems to be happening, why do you keep praying?
* If the circumstances around you are confusing, and you're unsure about what you should do so you ask God, but no answer appears to be coming, why do you keep praying?
* If God is all-knowing and all-loving and He's supposed to be able to handle your situation, but the petition you've been bringing before Him - for years, even - remains just a petition, why do you keep praying?

I don't know about you, but I have often been praying about something and grown tired of waiting on God to answer. It has seemed as though He had other things to which He needed to attend, and hadn't been able to pay attention to my prayers yet. At least I've assumed that must be the explanation, because in my estimation - if God realized how urgent my request was, He surely would have taken care of it sooner!
I would wonder when He was going to get around to my needs.
And sometimes I would feel like giving up.
I would think, Well, my concern must not matter.

But God has taught me a wonderful thing while I've waited for Him to "get around" to my prayers. It is that thing which gives me reason to keep on praying.
And what is that "thing"?

God's ways are higher than my ways.

While I've spent time waiting I have learned that God's will is perfect. And sometimes that means He answers my prayers in a way I didn't ask Him to. But when I have hind-sight I can see that His answer was so much better than that for which I was asking.
During my waits I have learned that God's timing is perfect. So sometimes He answers my prayers according to a totally different schedule than the one I had in mind. But in retrospect, I have been able to see why His time-table was better than the one I was proposing.
And as I have waited I have also learned that God's purposes are perfect. More on this point Thursday.

I have become confident of the fact that God's ways are higher than mine. Everything about Him is perfect, and I can trust Him.
Even when I don't understand...
Even when I don't like it...
Even when I'm tired of waiting...
Even then, God is up to something good. So I keep praying. I keep hoping. I keep trusting.

How about you???

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Proverbs 27:19 said...

I know what you mean about thinking that God didn't answer a prayer only to find out that He has answered it, just not in the way I thought or wanted it to be answered. This way of thinking has almost caused me to miss out on many things from God and I am sure that this is why He repeats some lessons for me!

I keep praying because it's all I know how to do. I know that not praying is not gonna work. I also know that persistence is what God advocates, Luke 18:1-8.

I have to admit, however, there are times that I do ask why do I keep praying.


jtkpatch said...

I have to give you a big thank you for encouraging my prayer life. I felt God encouraging me in this area of my faith. Then I read you blog with prayer being the subject. OH My He has clearly spoke to me about not ceasing in Pray. I am doing a forty days of prayer now and it has truly been through this ,what is keeping me praying..So thank you again for you in tune ways with Christ and bring us this blog.

O Mom said...

I have been praying for a certain thing for years. Yes, sometimes I get so discouraged and want to give up. But God always is there in those moments and never lets me. He may show me someone else with an even huger prayer request or maybe it's just a glimps of what's to come. This song has gotten me through lots of hard waiting times.
"If you want me to" by Ginny Owens (I think that's her name)

luvmy4sons said...

Yes...oh yes...to be changed by our prayers and to think that God is listening to our prayers and the waiting ...you hit it all here today sister. I laugh sometimes at the HOW of God answering my prayers. We prayed for 16 years, my sons and I, for hubby to quit smoking. He wanted to quit smoking but physically he was addicted. We waited and waited. Giving up that prayer was never an option. Finally it was answered when hubby had to spend 8,000 on dental repair and bone grafting. NOT HOW I wanted that prayer answered, but God knew what it would take to give hubby the motivation it would require!

And other times It has been in my surrender of a need...not giving up but a surrender in my spirit that I am ok with ANY answer...and a time of just resting that the request has been put forth and I can quit striving in prayer. When I have done that there have been break throughs!

km said...

So true...and sometimes in praying He changes my heart.

Renee said...

Just what I needed! Thanks for the link on Facebook and the reminder to watch out for today's post!

Amanda said...

I believe 100% in the power of prayer. And it seems to me that God is always answering my prayers... I love that I can trust Him with everything, because HE is my everything!


God's girl said...

Don't have time to read your posts, but was thinking about you and wanted to stop and say "Hi!" Love ya! Heaven

Jerralea said...

I keep on praying even when I haven't gotten an answer because I believe it's in God's timing. I prayed all my life as a child for my dad to be saved but it didn't happen until I was 17. I prayed to have children for 10 years. Now I have 3. It's all about His timing.

Tamrah T. said...

"...God is up to something good." I love it! It really is true. But, first, I must be still and wait upon Him because in the end HIs Will is better than mine anyday. Amen!

Angie Muresan said...

I can tell you that I've learned to be patient and trusting in His promises. Prayer has taught me that, more than anything else.

Anonymous said...

I pray to keep up the "conversation"...and the alternative, not praying, well, that won't work, ever, will it? ;)

Seriously, I have learned the only way to keep Him close is to have that converstation with Him...be it a formal one of prayer, or an informal one...I just have to remember to keep the "whining" down when I pray! lol!

This was a FABULOUS post, Karen!!
Patricia nyc

Edie said...

I love your answer Karen. His ways are higher, and His timing is perfect, and He has to keep reminding me of that.

The thing that first came to my mind when you asked why keep praying is this. Whenever I want to give up and throw in the towel, so-to-speak, the Holy Spirit reminds me of what the apostles said to Jesus. "Where would we go?"

Love you!