Lack of Faith? Or Will of God?

There have and always will be times when you are desperately praying to God for an answer to some very important issues. And you wait and wait and nothing seems to be happening.

But what is it? “Am I not praying hard enough? Perhaps it’s because I’m not good enough. Or maybe my faith is too weak. Or is it just the will of God that I go through this?”

Most of us believe that it is “us”. We believe that it is our lack of faith and/or that our lives are not pure enough for God to acknowledge our prayers. And if it’s the will of God, how can we be sure? We don’t know what God is up to. Does He want us to grow up before He answers our prayer? Perhaps He’s testing our faith. Or maybe our request may just not be good for us. And maybe our prayers are fine, but we’re praying for something that isn’t the will of God. Some events have to occur before some change or growth can take place.

One question to ask is, are you active in solving the issues you are praying for? For example you may be praying for a spiritual revival to sweep your town, but then are you doing things to help bring it about? Or just expecting God to take care of it without you? Or perhaps you’re praying for the healing of a person, but are you caring for him/her? And if you’re praying for a relationship to be reconciled, are you doing everything you can to promote reconciliation?

Many prayers seem to be in accordance with what is good and it would seem only logical that God would acknowledge our prayers for goodness, healing and righteousness. After all, many of our prayers are about serving Him, healing of loved ones and relationships, spreading of the gospel, etc., all things God desires to see accomplished. Or are we stepping over our bounds and being presumptuous when we start deciding what God wants. Lots of times our prayers seem to go unanswered. Why wouldn’t He answer prayers that would further His Kingdom and make His name glorified? A good old-fashioned miracle is what we need! Well, yes if it’s what God wants.

Jesus Himself said:
“Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds and to him who knocks it shall be opened. “Or what man is there among you, when his son shall ask him for a loaf, will give him a stone? “Or if he shall ask for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him! - Matthew 7: 7-11

So what’s happening? Some prayers are answered immediately, while others seem to have a time element. A waiting period. Why? Who really knows? God has His reasons. Look at Abraham and Sarah. God promised them an heir. But Sarah being elderly laughed at the idea that she would conceive a child. But lo and behold, she gave birth when she was ninety and when Abraham was one hundred. A long wait, but an answered prayer and fulfilled promise.

And what is the purpose of a prayer that isn’t answered quickly? Some lessons in life take a lifetime to learn and perhaps a lifetime needs to pass before the faith of a person is ready to receive the answer. And sometimes the answer comes with lessons of patience, faith and trust in God to do what will be the best.

Jesus says it only takes the faith of a mustard seed to affect change. And many of us certainly have the faith that could have leveled Mount Everest eons ago, but a lot of the times, the answers to our prayers are far more complicated than just one, two, three...Shazam!

I’ve come to realize that God likes to leave a bit of mystery. Miracles are always a little hidden, to give a little room to doubt. The first thing to figure out when praying: What is your motive for your prayer? Do you hate inconvenience in your life? Do want to see if you have enough faith to channel God’s energy? And then, if no evident answer to prayer occurs, are you disappointed in God easily, scratching you head, trying to figure out how you missed the mark? Perhaps your prayer requests are really tests for God. Or perhaps God wants you to have a prayerful heart that can only be achieved through blind faith.

Realize that when you’re in prayer, you need to leave room for God.
Even if its for healing of another person. Perhaps God has allowed an illness for someone so they will seek Him out. God has a plan and purpose.

Prayer is communication with God and faith in Him to further His Kingdom, NOT a magic wand to get you stuff and solve your problems. Prayers have to involve love. Prayers for healing are an act of love.
Prayer for revival and spiritual growth is for the love of people and God. So in whatever prayer request you make, remember that Jesus said the Father knows what you want. And you need not spend hours asking and asking (Matt 6:7,8). Bugging Him is not the answer, but praying and leaving your requests at the foot of the cross is way to go.
Leave it there in the hands of God and believe that He’s heard you.

So which is it? Faith or will of God. I suspect a little of both.

Don’t see anything happen? Don’t worry, He’s on it. Your faith has pleased Him and He is sending out angels to bring about the will of God. Having faith also involves learning patience. We don’t know what’s on God’s mind, but I think that’s the way He wants it for now. His will. Our faith is not just in believing that God will answer our prayers, but rather that He will answer our prayer in a greater way than we can imagine.

Have faith in the will of God. Amen!


© 2003 Edrick

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