This is a continuation of to pray is to change.
I’m still in shock with this one.
Imagine there is no verse saying God’s answer are Yes, No and wait. Like since I can’t ascertain there isn’t one from my own Bible reading ( it will take me a while reading the whole bible again), I’ve just googled on that verse that says so..and guess what? I’ve found none.
Like we human beings created that ideology and preached it and owned it. That even a little Mercy grows up knowing that that is the truth.
Jesus tells us quite plainly on what God answers are to our prayer requests. And you have been seeing this but ignoring its meaning staring at you right in the face.
Matthew 7;7-8. Ask, and it will be given to you;seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
Does the above look like wait or no? Jesus 6 times repeats that whoever asks, receives. Like He could have chosen to just say whoever asks receives and moved on, but he uses two more words that almost mean the same thing , and on top of it repeats all of it again. Why would Christ do that unless He knew how doubtful human hearts are? He knew we would have trust issues when it came to asking and receiving.
But if this is true, how come some of our prayers don’t come true? Why do some take long for them to come? And why do others get answered but not exactly how we prayed for? Do our experiences make Jesus a liar when he said that Everyone ( not some, not just pastors, not just spiritually mature people, not just adults- but everyone) who asks shall receive?
I know God’s word to be true. And I also know God to be true. What I have simply said is that, the gift I want and the giver of the gift are for real and true. For example, if I want a Lexus and I ask God for it, and I don’t get it, it doesn’t make the Lexus unreal( you can see some around) or God nonexistent ( you only need to look into yourself to see Him). So what is the problem if the gift I was asking for wasn’t an issue or God the giver?
The channel. How do we ask, seek or knock? By praying. And Jesus has assured me that if I ask, I receive. So the only reason why I wouldn’t receive, is if my prayer was amiss. The issue isn’t God’s willingness to answer my prayer, he has already declared that if I ask I receive.
So how do we react if we don’t receive? We come up with concepts to explain this strange phenomenon. We excuse God. We excuse ourselves. We blame the timing. Some get angry at God and forsake him. Some get trust issues with this God, they stop believing he has their best interest at heart. They start thinking God is self-seeking. Personally I throw tantrums at God. I whine at him. I explain to him using a lot of words how I’m frustrated at Him.
We do and blame everything but the one thing we were supposed to do or blame. If our prayers are not answered brethren, that’s not on God( Matthew 7;7 clears Him of that), its not us ( Matthew 7;7 clears us on that- you ask you receive), its on our prayer.
If your TV is not showing Citizen channel, its not like Citizen isn’t being aired, its because there is a connection problem between your TV and the Citizen’s frequencies. So you can’t break your TV simply because of a connection problem and neither can you rule out Citizen as a bad channel simply because of a connection problem. You sort out the connection problem.
Same thing here, we shouldn’t rest until we know why our problems aren’t being answered. Remember to pray is to change? It means that if I ask and I don’t receive, I shouldn’t rest until I find that ‘thing’ making me not receive.
For example, I was asking God for a provision for something. I know God is able. And I also know God loves me and cares for me and he doesn’t enjoy or get a thrill from me being in want. But I didn’t get what I wanted. Week after week. My trust in Him started taking a hit. You remember me saying here that you should take your frustrations to him, He can handle it? Well, I realised I was angry at God. Angry at Him not answering my seemingly simple prayers.
And I took that to him. My anger, frustration and disappointment in Him. I explained to Him why I thought it was unfair for Him to not give me what I wanted. And I asked Him why. By then I did not know whatever I’m sharing now. But I was reading Habakkuk and the guy was not afraid to ask God for how long and why. So I decided to ask. I don’t remember expecting answers. It just felt good to vent and get it out there.
Until today, God made me realise that the provision I was asking for, was from a point of not trusting Him. Like wait, si me asking you for stuff is a sign that I trust you to provide? Well clearly not. We looked at my heart, and I realised that was I a parent and my child whom I truly love asked for the same thing I was asking for, I wouldn’t give it to him or her. Why? Its from a place of mistrust.
Its like your 5yr old child asking you for next week’s food. Your child knows that you provide all food for her. She also knows that you are capable of feeding her for as long as she is under you. And she also knows that you told her to ask and she shall receive. So why wouldn’t you give her next week’s food now? I know you are rolling your eyes thinking, the question should be, why would I give her, not why would I not.
God explaining to me why he didn’t answer that prayer request has made me see some areas I really need to grow in, in my spiritual life. He showed me aspects of our relationship that need immediate repair. And we are working on it together. See here, my prayer led to change by the end of the day.
Imagine if I had not sought to find out why my prayer wasn’t being answered week after week? Imagine if I had assumed that God’s answers are No, Yes and Wait and this time I just got a Wait or No? Would that have grown my spiritual life? Would I be a step closer to being Christlike really? When would God have corrected that issue that we are now working on?
So if you don’t get your answer, don’t doubt God. Or his Ability to answer. Or as we often do, don’t doubt his willingness. Jesus tells us God is more than willing to answer everyone’s prayer. Instead, find out from the giver why you aren’t receiving.
Remember you are supposed to be praying in the spirit. Like your prayer requests and the things that God has in store for you for this season are supposed to go hand in hand. You see no wonder I’m of the opinion that people shouldn’t spend their single hood praying for nonexistent husbands or wives or spouses. Is it what the Holy Spirit has for you for that season? If the Holy Spirit leads you to pray for something nonexistent to come to fruition, then by all means. If you are led to pray for your daily bread( what you need for now not later), then obey that. But most importantly, find out what God desires for your life at any given point. That way we won’t pray amiss.
To pray is to change.