Why don’t he answer my prayers? I have prayed and prayed and nothing seems to change or get better in my life. I work more hours of my day than anything else I do and the days of my week are engaged more with survival than living. Consumed by debt, I push and I pull and still never seem to make ends meet. My job is a sentence, not a career and I am more dependent on it than it is on me. There is nowhere to go from where I am. The benefits are few and no opportunities exist for promotion or bonus…no reward for longevity, performance or vision. I have long given up on my dreams and have resigned myself to a life with no purpose, to simply trudge my way along in this unforgiving world, a place where the means of life is defined by the immediate environment in which I am bound to exist.
Please tell me, Lord…Can you hear me?
There is no family time, no me time…there is no time at all but to sleep, to eat and to work. No vacations to have memories of and no memories to speak of. I watch time and time again as the ones closest to us suffer from sickness, disease and death. My partner in life has needs, my children have needs and I have needs of my own yet nothing I ever do seems to be enough to fulfill them all. And just when things seem to be looking up, something else happens that changes it all…the car breaks or the roof needs repair…something. It’s always something and the further I go, the farther I am.
God please hear me…Are you there? Are you listening?
The world around us is falling apart. The sick get sicker and the poor get poorer. Our climate is changing, the ice caps are melting…more and more disasters occurring with enormous loss of life, atrocities committed on an unspeakable scale and rouge ideologies pit nation against nation at war. Prices are climbing and values are falling, including the value of a person’s word…honesty, integrity and humility.
God, please tell me…why won’t you answer my prayers?
Many of us…in fact, all of us at one point or another are forced to navigate the darker, bumpier and less traveled roads on the journey of life. In those times, it often seems as though we are lost and alone with no clear path to follow. So we may ask God for favor, as we should, but what is that really motivates us? Do we expect God to just fix our problems? Do we expect him to simply give us what we ask for? No matter what it is that brings us to God you can be certain that he sees us coming and knows exactly what is in our heart.
We almost never come to God just to have a conversation and get to know him. How does that feel? Just as every family has a relative that projects negativity , there is always another that wants something and as much as you love them, you always know what is truly in their heart. They never call just to talk or stop by to visit unless they want something. They may give thanks from time to time, but how often are they simply going through the motions hoping for favor? No matter how selfless you are in your nature, it is always difficult and often hurtful.
Prayer is an opportunity to have a conversation with God. As strange as it may sound, God has an open door policy to which we all have a direct line. We don’t always see it that way because opportunity is almost always outweighed by immediate need. So we become that relative that typically approaches Him only in a time of need, with little to no understanding of what we really need and certainly not knowing His will for us. The Lord’s Prayer says, “Thy Will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven,” …not Mans will in Heaven as it is on Earth, and so what we want for ourselves or perceive that our needs are may not reflect our true needs. This is where our expectations come into conflict with our beliefs about prayer. We get frustrated and wonder if God is there or if he is hearing our prayers. He hears us but again, our beliefs about our needs may not fit into His plan for us which may impact how we feel about prayer and so we ask the question…Is God listening? Our understanding of this can change everything…not necessarily in terms of how God will answer, but in the sense of how we approach him and how we frame our expectations. We should approach God in prayer fully expecting that he will answer because he will, but we must frame our expectations to accept the answer, whatever it may be. We may not even recognize it at first, which is why we have to be willing to look for it from every angle. Some may know this approach by another term…positive thinking, and I can personally attest to its effectiveness.
Finding favor through Prayer is all in our approach. Prayer is our opportunity to talk to God…to get to know him and we should take every opportunity to do so, even when we are not in need…especially when we are not in need. When we do approach him with a need, we should ask him to open our eyes so that we may have a better understanding of the things we cannot see… to give us direction and to guide us so that we make the right decisions and have clearer expectations. It is important to also be part of the solution as God may show us the way through our efforts. In prayer, we must trust and expect an answer but be willing to see it and receive it, even if it is not what we hoped for. It may not be immediately revealed to us but we must trust with our eyes wide open. Above all, we must remember that whatever the answer, it is God’s will.
Most of all, we should always be mindful of, and thankful for all of the blessings that already exist in our lives despite the difficulties that may challenge us. When you are looking for a miracle, never forget that you are a miracle.