I prayed, nothing happened, now what?

BethanySMC - Thursday, 21 June 2012 01:21

Disappointment, anger, despair, thoughts of doubt and the everlasting why question can be found at a place where an answer didn’t come the way it was expected and prayed for. Does God care what we pray for? If yes, why is He silent? Throughout the Bible, God encourages people to believe, trust, ask, follow and obey him – would it be right for us to turn our back on Him if we think He failed to act when we asked Him?

It is disappointing when a vending machine breaks on you, takes your money and leaves you with nothing. Those who view God as a vending machine, remember Him only when they need Him, often receive no answers to their prayers. Is it God’s fault? It is clear from the scriptures that there are conditions for our prayers to be answered and if we fail to do our part, let us not blame God. Our relationship with Him, our motives and faith in Him and His words are the major foundational blocks for our prayers to be answered.

Peter walked on the water until he doubted and began to sink – maybe we are sinking for the same reason also? Jesus spent nights in prayer and His disciples gathered together often for prayers before we find them on the streets performing miracles, healing the sick, commanding unclean spirits to leave people. If I do not know God personally, not interested in obeying Him, why would I expect Him to answer my prayers? If I am more devoted to some kind of object or to someone instead of God – should I be surprised if heaven is silent when I ask?

In James 4 we read: Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.

However, what do we do if all the conditions for prayer to be answered are met but we see no answer anyway? There is a story in the Bible that reflects such a case. It was Mary and Martha, friends of Jesus, who spent much time in His presence, served Him, believed Him to be God. They sent a request to Jesus regarding their brother, Lazarus, who got really sick. I believe they did everything Jesus taught them, maybe even prayed in Jesus’ name to the Father- yet Lazarus died and no answer or help from the Lord. Would it be a good reason for them to get upset at Jesus? Would it be just to undermine everything he thought and promised? Would it be appropriate to ask why and turn away from Him?

If they chose such a path of thoughts, they probably would have never seen their brother alive again. When Jesus finally came, on the fourth day after the funeral, He encourages them to believe, even through tears and hopeless conditions. An hour or so later, Jesus calls Lazarus out of the tomb “Lazarus, come forth!” and what a joy, Lazarus who had died came forth alive. They got what they asked for in a much glorious way than they expected – should it be a problem now? Were their prayers unheard and forsaken?

God wants the same from us, that we trust Him even through tears and hopeless conditions. Often times we can not even imagine the reason for the “rejected” prayers and yet, if all the conditions are met, no prayer will be rejected by God!  “Did I not say to you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”  – Jesus- Jn.11:40

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