I’ve been there, have you? Praying about a problem in my life or someone else’s life yet doubting that God will actually answer the prayer? Or do you, like me, find yourself making subtle excuses for if God does not answer it – like, well, maybe His answer was no, or maybe this isn’t His will or something like that? Why do we do that? Is our faith in His deliverance really that small, or is it that we don’t really understand what an answer to prayer is?
I have recently been looking at the life of Abraham. What a doubter he was – even amidst God’s promises to him. Take a look at a few of them:
- I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.
- To your offspring, I will give this land.
- Lift up your eyes from where you are and look north and south, east and west. All the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.
- Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield and your very great reward.
But we see that in Chapter 15 of Genesis, Abram says, “What can you give me since I remain childless. (Didn’t God say – I will make you into a great nation and to your offspring, I will give this land).
When God says, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. Abraham laughs and says, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” (Didn’t God say – I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you? …..all the land that you see I will give to you and your offspring forever.)
Then Abraham stayed in Gerar and passed his wife off as his sister to protect himself. (Didn’t God say, I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you.)
So, if God spoke directly to Abraham and gave him these promises, why was he so wavering in his belief of those promises? I like to think if God said out loud, “Tammy, I will bless you and protect you. I am your shield and your very great reward,” that I would have responded better than Abraham, but the truth is I wouldn’t and I haven’t. And if you are honest, neither have you. But the question is why? Why can we not believe God with all of our heart?
I think it can be summed up in one word – humanism. We are a finite bunch. We can see and understand only what our little human minds can comprehend. So while we believe God will hear our prayers and maybe He will answer our prayers, we think that the answer to our prayer should be how we think it should be, but we fail to see and understand that God’s ways are so much larger than us – infinitely larger. Let me give an example:
A friend of mine had been praying earnestly for a wayward son. Myself and others joined her in petitioning God for her son. The despair and anger grew within her as she waited for God to miraculously change her son and she watched as nothing changed, or so she thought, and there were even times when she said, “Where is God?” But then, oddly, she received a card from her father, someone she had not spoken to in many years. In a move that she will admit was odd, she texted him and had a brief conversation with him, thanking him for the card. He responded back that “her response was the best Christmas gift he could have asked for.” Ironically, she was the wayward daughter praying for her wayward son. God was answering prayer, but the prayer was not in the way she wanted, which was for her son to change his life around. The prayer was answered in that God wanted her to see that she was a wayward daughter and a relationship needed to be healed with her and her father, before God could work on the other area in her life.
Just as Abraham doubted, and took things into his own hands at times, God was working on Abraham’s faith. An immediate answer to Abraham’s desire to have a child was not first and foremost in God’s plan, just as deliverance for my friend’s child was not first and foremost in God’s plan. The truth is that God is actively answering prayers. And the bigger truth is that God is faithful to us more than we are faithful to him.
Thanks for reading, and if you are interested in a good mystery book, please go to my website http://Marysfingerprint.com , and check out my new book: The Vanderhoof Conspiracy : Based on a True Event. It is about a woman, her husband, their hired hand, and some arsenic. It is available on Amazon also as a paperback or Kindle.
Happy new year, Everyone!