Why isn't God answering me?

Misconception

I think the concept of prayer has been twisted into a something of ritual. It has become a practice many believers perform but very few recognize it's full potential. It's easy to say the right words, but it's another thing entirely to pray with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength.


What does the Bible say? 

The Bible has something to say about prayer, and what I read rocked my world. 

James 1:5-8 

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.
{Bold mine for effect}

Hard question, harder answer
So the big question, Why isn't God answering me? As Jesus so loved to do, I'll answer with a question. Are you really praying? 

How do we respond to this? 


This passage rocked my world! Authors, pastors, friends and bible studies love to quote James 1:5. It's a pretty popular verse. However the next verse is often left out. Ever wonder why that is? I think it's because sometimes people want to believe God is a candy machine and we just have to press the right buttons or say the right words and we get what we want. News flash... That's not how it works!!

Parents, if your kids came to you and asked you for something but doubted you could do it, would you feel hurt? Would you really want to give them what they were asking for? How about if they came to you fully confident you would provide for them? How special would that trust make you feel? Communication with God is the same, if not more serious! Verse 7 tells us if we don't trust God beyond a shadow of a doubt we can not expect to receive anything from Him!!

So many people complain about not getting answers to their prayers. Some even leave the faith because of it. My question for them is, Did you really trust God to do what you asked when you called on Him to heal your marriage? Or when you prayed for redemption of the wayward friend? Or to provide something? (or fill in the blank) 

I will be the first one to tell you this is hard. Recently I fasted for a period of 40 days to pray intentionally over a decision in my life. After about 20 days I started to really worry God wouldn't answer me. Then the above  passage came into my life and I felt God challenge the authenticity of my prayers.  Are you really trusting me to answer you Madison? Are you praying like you are hoping for an answer or are you praying like you expect to be answered, with the confidence as if you were already answered? That was a bold challenge. How could I pray with that sort of expectancy and confidence? The truth was, I couldn't. Yet. 


Encouragement


One night, feeling rather discouraged and uncertain how to respond to that kind of challenge, my phone pinged. It was God providing a person to help me process everything.  I consulted my friend and mentor. The text read 

My fast is going pretty good. I started really struggling with having doubts though about if I will get answers by the day I finish. I had thoughts like maybe I didn't hear God right about wanting me to fast, maybe I didn't fast the right way to hear answers. What if I don't get an answer? What if this is all wrong? 

She responded by telling me to look up the following verses.

Mark 9:23-24 

“‘If you can’?” said Jesus. “Everything is possible for one who believes.” Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, “I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!”

This passage was exactly what I needed. I could almost hear the sound of incredulity in Jesus voice. Immediately after reading my mind swirled with questions. How exactly can I do that? How can I measure my belief so I know when I completely trust God? Then The Still Small Voice pressed on my heart. "You can't do that by yourself, not without me. You can't get rid of your unbelief alone. I can, you have to trust me to do that" 

Does this feel a little contradicting? I totally get that! It took me a while, and a few mentors to really grasp the answer, are you ready for it? 


YOU. NEED. JESUS.


Just three words. You. Need. Jesus. Let me explain. If we are expected to do something humanly impossible, we need some help! James 1:6 clearly states we are not to doubt, but that's impossible by our strength!! This prompts to rely on the strength of another, more powerful someone who is beyond us. Jesus is the only thing large enough to fill that void. He can bridge the space. Now I'm not giving you an excuse to just sit back and do nothing, We have to keep working at it. 

You have now been exposed to a task given by Jesus. Today I challenge and encourage you to try praying like you have already been answered with the courage and assurance that you will be answered. Here's an example prayer. 


Dear Lord, Today I praise you for being sovereign Lord over my life. Thank you for all the blessings you have given me, seen and unseen. Thank you for loving this sinner enough to listen to my prayers. Lord I need your help with ________________ today. Father I trust that you will handle this. Thank you that you already have the end result worked out. I believe that you will take care of this for me. Please give me peace and assurance you will work this out. Help me to believe and not doubt because I don't want to be a wave tossed by the wind! In this ocean I'm facing, anchor me in your love. Hide me in the shadow of your wings while you fight for me. I trust you Lord, Help me trust you more.
In your heavenly name I ask these things, Amen 

If you feel comfortable to share what you are facing, I'd love to be praying for you! Leave a comment (anonymously if you want) and I will add you to my daily prayers! 











Comments

  1. Thank you for sharing your encouragement and insight and reminding us that prayer is powerful because our God is powerful. There is nothing our God cannot do! Leading with that faith that He can do all things is so important.

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! I agree with you completely and I think Matthew 19:26 states that so well! It says, Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

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