Have you ever thought about what prompts a lot of us to pray? It’s usually when we want something really badly like a job or a date with someone special or the lottery. And if we don’t get what we ask for, we feel our prayer wasn’t answered and we feel “the silence of God.” We’re like children who don’t get what they want then pout. Why bother praying when God doesn’t answer our prayers?
Oh ye of little faith! The problem is not that God doesn’t answer our prayer but in our lack of faith in believing that God knows what’s best for us. Jeremiah 29:11 says that God has plans for us “to prosper us” and not to harm us. If He has plans for us and He is our creator then it stands to reason that He knows what’s best for us. He has a purpose for each and every one of us. It may not be the same as the plans we have for ourselves but therein lies the problem of what we may consider to be God’s silence. We’re so convinced that what we’re asking for is the perfect thing for us that we’re forgetting that our Creator is all knowing. Psalm 9:10 promises that God won’t forsake those who trust in Him. If we put our lives in God’s hands and accept His will for us and in His timing for what happens in our lives, we’ll also be able to accept that everything we ask for in prayer may not necessarily be what’s best for us. We should be praying for God’s will in our lives, not for our will. Our prayer should be, “Thy will, not mine, be done oh Lord!”
Remember the popular song from years ago by a group named the Byrds called “Turn,Turn,Turn”? Well, it sounds remarkably like Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3. It says, “To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven.” Think about that for a second or two. For all we know, that thing we prayed so hard for but didn’t get would have been the worst thing for us in that season and at that time. God wasn’t silent when we thought He wasn’t answering our prayer. He was protecting us from ourselves! Instead of feeling slighted we should be thanking Him! You see, God is never silent. We’re just not listening!
We spend our lives worrying that we won’t get what we ask for in prayer instead of putting our faith in God’s plan for us. Jesus says in Matthew 6:27, “Who of you, by worrying, can add a single hour to his life?” There are a lot of questions in life and God will answer every one of them. What we need to remember is that they will be answered according to what’s best for us and in our Creator’s timing. We can fight it or we can have faith in and accept the will of God in our lives. If we begin each day by asking God to take control of every aspect of our lives and to help us to remember that we really want His will and His timing in our lives and we take it one day at a time so as not to become overwhelmed, we’d find our journey in this life to be so much more fulfilling.
I have a little plaque above my kitchen sink that was passed on to me by my “hanai” or adopted family that I try to live by. It says, “Lord, help me to remember that nothing is going to happen to me today that you and I can’t handle together.” Then I try to pray prayers of thanksgiving all day long and only ask that His will be done.