“Pray pray pray!”…is all that is going through my mind lately. Hearing all kinds of stories about people I know and people I don’t know, not only breaks my heart but it has made me stand in the gap on behalf of them.
This brought me to an interesting topic, “answered prayers”. I know that God is in control of all things and that He can do all things. But what if He choses to do nothing at all? Is He still the same compassionate and loving God that we proclaim He is? Is He still the All Mighty who can do ALL things? Of course He is! God is not what we portray Him to be based on His answers to our prayers. Our small minds can never comprehend the magnitude of the work of His hands.
Now, does God really choose not to answer us? Of course not! God ALWAYS answers prayers. What happens is, we interpret God “not answering” a certain way or in a certain time frame, as an unanswered prayer. This brings me to 2 Corinthians 12 where Paul said, “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9, NIV). If you read about what Paul went through, starting from chapter 11, you will understand his request. Many of us would not even survive half the things Paul went through. As we can see, God did not choose to answer Paul’s prayer the way he was expecting Him to, instead His answer was, “my GRACE is sufficient”. I know many of us have received this answer from God at some point in our lives – I know I sure have.
Now, let’s just say God chooses not to answer our prayer. Will that be a reason to stop believing? Does that give us the right to get angry at God? We should be very careful that we don’t end up being a generation that only seeks to see the hand of God instead of God himself. The moment you keep on trusting and believing even after that prayer wasn’t answered the way you wanted it to be answered, is when you will see God move in ways you can’t even imagine.
Through the years I’ve learned that with change comes new challenges – new opportunities. I personally love trying out new things. For example, several months ago I was wrestling with the thought of becoming a vegetarian. Yes, I wanted to cut out meat completely from my diet. However, at the same time I hesitated to do so because to be honest, I thought to myself “what if I won’t be able to commit to my decision? Am I going to miss eating all this food that I know will not do my body any good?” So at the time, I decided to set my awesome plan on hold. I couldn’t step into something life-changing with a doubtful mind.
A few months later, December 2013 to be exact, I made up my mind. I started to inform myself on healthy eating by reading articles on nutrition and health. Now as I was gathering information and marinating my thoughts on what ended up being my final decision, I realized that this choice was a personal one, a choice that only I could make and that it was going to be one that will benefit no one else but me. I did not decide to change because someone else talked me into doing so. If that were the case, I would probably have given up in the process because it wouldn’t have been my personal conviction.
In relation to all this, God used this “changing experience” to show me how our spiritual lives can somewhat relate. As believers, often times people will tell us how we should live our lives, what we should do or not do. One thing I’ve learned throughout the years is that if you’ve not received that personal conviction in your heart, you will have a hard time changing your patterns – whatever it may be. Don’t do something because someone else is telling you to do so; do it because you want to and you know that it is good.
“Changing can be like climbing a mountain; to reach the top it is hard work…”, of course this can be applicable to all parts of our lives, especially our spiritual lives. The moment you decide to give your life to Christ, you have to change your worldly patterns, which can be a challenge. However, “…once you’re there you will see things you’ve never seen before”, you can be certain that once you’re walking in the perfect and acceptable will of God, you will begin to experience Him on a whole other level.