Lord, hear my prayer! Listen to my plea! Don’t turn away from me in my time of distress. Bend down to listen, and answer me quickly when I call to you.
Psalm 102:1-2 NLT
Just because God hears our prayers doesn’t mean he answers according to the solution I carry within my own heart. I need to trust that God, in accepting my prayer, has both heard and answered. For the evidence of my eyes is no evidence of God’s response. My solution may be born of my own desire and not of God’s will.
I may feel despondent when the answer I crave in my prayer is not the one that I observe. It’s all too easy to berate God. For the good that I assume lies within my own solution can blind me to the will and way of God. This is tough, and easily lends itself to the many voices describing God as unfair. Yet in prayer I am agreeing to carry to God the needs of the world in which I live. I am also seeking to worship God, unseen save through the eye of faith. This same faith demands that I conclude that God hears my plea and indeed answers my prayer, for this is consistent with the character and promises of God.
Perhaps in prayer we face one of our greatest challenges. When instant responses are facilitated through the immediacy of modern technology, a more reflective way of life can quickly be lost. While I pray, then wait, I am both to ponder God and my own emotional turbulence in the light of the difference between the prayer request I’ve made and the evidence that I observe before my eyes. What if the work of God in response to my plea is quietly realising itself in hidden and unfathomable ways? Does my faith stretch to the borders of the unseen and then beyond? For this is as much the realm of God as all that I can experience and know through my five senses.
Have prayers that have not been answered the way you hoped, been a source of pain?
My hope and confidence is in the Lord God, the maker of heaven and earth. I choose to keep approaching you in prayer.